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HOME BUILDER
SALES REPRESENTATIVES

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Home Builder Registration Unit
Consumer Protection Division
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 576-6573 / Toll Free: (877) 259-4525
Fax: (410) 576-6566 / Email: homebuilder@oag.state.md.us

All home builders who build homes in Maryland must be registered with the Home Builder Registration Unit. This page outlines the major provisions of the Home Builder Registration Act and should answer most questions regarding who must register, procedures for registering, and information that registered builders must include in their contracts and advertisements.

Important:  Effective October 1, 2008, all Sales Representatives for home builders in Maryland must be registered with the Home Builder Registration Unit, including Sales Representatives for home builders who build exclusively in Montgomery County.  A "sales representative" is defined as "an individual employed by a home builder as the home builder's representative to consumers regarding the purchase of a new home from the home builder."  For more information, or to register as a Home Builder Sales Representative, click here.

NEW LAWS AFFECTING HOME BUILDERS (2014)

Who must register as a home builder?
How does a builder register?
Who is a principal of a home builder?
What must a builder include in its contracts?
What performance standards or guidelines will apply to the contract?
How can builders obtain their copies of the consumer information pamphlet?
What must a builder include in its advertising?
Where can I obtain a copy of the Maryland Home Builder Registration Act and the other State laws mentioned in that Act?

Who must register as a home builder?
The Act requires persons to register who build new homes or who enter into contracts to sell new homes to consumers. Some builders have a single legal entity that both builds the home and sells it to the consumer. For such a builder, that single legal entity will have to register as a home builder. Other builders have one legal entity construct the home and a separate legal entity sell it. For such a builder, both legal entities will have to register as a home builder.

There are six important types of legal entities or people who do NOT have to register under the Act. They are:

(i) an employee of a registrant who does not hold himself or herself out for hire in home building except as an employee of a registrant;

(ii) subcontractors or other vendors hired by the registrant to perform services or supply materials for the construction of a new home who do not otherwise meet the requirements of the Act;

(iii) the manufacturer of industrialized buildings intended for residential use or of mobile homes, unless the manufacturer also installs the industrialized buildings or mobile homes;

(iv) a real estate developer who does not construct or sell homes;

(v) a financial institution that lends funds for the construction or purchase of residential dwellings in the State; or

(vi) a person who erects or constructs new homes solely in Montgomery County.

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How does a builder register?

A builder can Register Online and pay the registration fee of $600 by Visa, Mastercard, check, or money order.

To Register Online Click here

Or, a builder can Register By Mail by completing all required forms and mailing them along with a check or money order to the Home Builder Registration Unit.

To Register By Mail Click here

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Who is a principal of a home builder?
All builders will have at least one principal. Under the Act, "principal" means:

(a) a sole proprietor, officer, director, general partner, or limited liability company manager of the applicant;

(b) a person with at least 10 percent ownership in either the applicant or a subsidiary of the applicant; or

(c) parents, spouses, and children with a combined 10 percent ownership in the applicant or a subsidiary of the applicant.

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What must a builder include in its contracts?
The Act requires builders to include certain information in their contracts, except for those contracts covering sales in Montgomery County. This information must be printed in conspicuous type in all contracts. The information that must be included in a contract for the sale of a new home includes:

(i) the builder registration number of the seller of the new home;

(ii) a provision stating that the new home shall be constructed in accordance with all applicable building codes in effect at the time of the construction of the new home;

(iii) a provision referencing all performance standards or guidelines:

  1. That the seller shall comply with in the construction of the new home; and
  2. That shall prevail in the performance of the contract and any arbitration or adjudication of a claim arising from the contract; and

(iv) a provision detailing the purchaser's right to receive a consumer information pamphlet as provided under the Home Builder Registration Act.

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What performance standards or guidelines will apply to the contract?
The performance standards or guidelines shall be one of the following:

(i) the performance standards or guidelines adopted at the time of the contract:

(a) by the National Association of Home Builders; or (b) under the federal National Manufactured Housing and Safety Standards Act, to the extent applicable;

(ii) any performance standards or guidelines adopted by the home builder and incorporated into the contract that are equal to or more stringent than the performance standards adopted at the time of the contract;

(a) by the National Association of Home Builders; or (b) under the federal National Manufactured Housing and Safety Standards Act, to the extent applicable:

(iii) any performance standards or guidelines adopted at the time of the contract by a county or municipal corporation that are equal to or more stringent than the performance standards or guidelines adopted at the time of the contract:

(a) by the National Association of Home Builders; or (b) under the federal National Manufactured Housing and Safety Standards Act, to the extent applicable.

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How can builders obtain their copies of the consumer information pamphlet?
Home builders are required to provide each consumer with the consumer information pamphlet developed by the Division's Home Builder Registration Unit before entering into a contract for the sale of a new home. The Unit provides each builder with a sufficient number of consumer information pamphlets to meet their needs. To request that pamphlets be sent to you, estimate the number of pamphlets you anticipate you will need and mail or fax the Consumer Information Pamphlet Order Form or send your request by e-mail to homebuilder@oag.state.md.us.

What must a builder include its advertising?
A builder must include its registration number in its advertisements. The registration number must be in one of the following forms in the advertisement:

"Maryland Home Builder Registration No. ______", or

"MHBR No. ________".

It was not the intent of the General Assembly to require that this number be included on magnets, pens, key chains, and other trinkets.

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Where can I obtain a copy of the Maryland Home Builder Registration Act and the other State laws mentioned in that Act?
Click on a law to view it:

  1. The Maryland Home Builder Registration Act.
  2. 14-117 (j) of the Real Property Article. This law describes performance standards or guidelines, and other provisions that must be included in new home contracts.
  3. The law on Express and Implied Warranties.
  4. Regulations Concerning the Protection of Consumer Deposits
  5. The law on Deposits on New Homes.
  6. The Custom Home Protection Act.
  7. The law on New Home Warranties (Third Party Warranties).
  8. The definitions in Article 83B of "industrialized building", "install", and "mobile home."
  9. The definitions in the Financial Institutions Article of "mortgage lender" and "out-of-state bank."
  10. The definitions in the Consumer Protection Act of "unfair or deceptive trade practices."

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