1. When paying PENNBOC by credit card . . .

    When paying PENNBOC by credit card, you must use the credit card form provided.






    Email is NOT SECURE.


  2. If they are frequently asked & just as frequently answered...

    ...why do they continue to be frequently asked?!


  3. HICPA Enforcement and the Code Official: Does a municipal code office have any obligations under HICPA??

    The PA Attorney General's Home Improvement Contractor web page provides these resources:

    • the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act

    • FAQ's

    • HIC registration/tracking

    • more!

    Section 517.8 of the HICPA, "Home improvement fraud", specifically states in Subsection (d), "Jurisdiction", that the PA Attorney General and the District Attorneys of the counties will enforce the act.  This section does not enable or mandate any local enforcement of the act.  Said differently, this section prevents/prohibits enforcement at the municipality level.

    How does HICPA interrelate with other laws?

    Based on the absence of cross-referencing between HICPA and somewhat related, previously enacted statutes it is obvious that the General Assembly intended these laws to be free-standing.

    HICPA’s Section 517.12, preempts local regulation of HICs.

    HIPCA does not affect code official's responsibility to administer the act of Nov. 10, 1999, known as the PA Construction Code Act [PCCA]  (P.L. 491, No. 45) or the act of June 2, 1915, known as the Workers Compensation Act [WCA] (P.L. 736, No. 388 at Section 302(e)).  The PCCA and the UCC regulations promulgated thereunder instruct code officials and municipalities how to administer construction code regulations.  The WCA precludes local government release of a building permit to a contractor until the contractor's compliance with the Workers Compensation Insurance statue is confirmed.

    The HICPA does not compel or authorize [allow] local governments to withhold construction permits when a contractor's HIC registration is not furnished with a permit application, or the contractor has not obtained required registration. The HICPA preempts local government from establishing new licensing programs for HICs, and grandfathers existing local contractor licensing programs. 

    Local Workers Compensation Insurance Verification programs are also not precluded by the HICPA.  This is supported by the previously discussed Section 517.8.

    So, you might well ask, "What is a conscientious code official to do regarding HICPA?"

    Historically, PENNBOC has advised its members to "Make your customers aware of the HICPA and for them to report any violations to the appropriate authorities."


  4. How do the UCC and the Industrialized Housing laws interrelate?


    August 21, 2011

    Mr. Gil Longwell, Administrator
    Pennsylvania Building Code Officials Conference #269
    4902 Carlisle Pike
    Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

    Dear Mr. Longwell:
    This letter comes to you to help assist your members in understanding the recent amendment to the Uniform Construction Code Act (UCC), more specifically Act 1 of 2011 and the impact of this amendment on the Pennsylvania Industrialized Housing Act.

    As you know, the Industrialized Housing Act predates the UCC and by virtue of the program requirements already established, is exempt from the UCC. It is nowhere expressed or implied that the Industrialized Housing Act should defer to the UCC for the adoption of standards. In fact, the particular standards of construction for a Pennsylvania certified industrialized housing unit is not a condition for a local authority issuing a building or occupancy permit. The only condition of acceptance is the certification that the industrialized housing unit has been produced under the Pennsylvania Industrialized Housing Act.

    It is important to recognize that Act 1 includes language that precludes the adoption of any standard under the industrialized housing program that is specifically omitted from the UCC (such as fire sprinklers for one and two family dwellings). However, Act 1 does not impact or amend the requirements for adoption of standards under the industrialized housing program.

    With this said the newly added requirement for fire protection of floors (UCC 9 403.21 g), like any other standard adopted under the UCC, does not apply to the industrialized housing program.

    While we feel that there is a benefit to having all housing standards parallel one another to the maximum extent possible, we cannot arbitrarily apply new requirements. We have notified all approved producers of industrialized homes that the industrialized housing program will adopt the 2012 IRC R 501.3 effective for all industrialized homes entering the first stage of production on or after September 1, 2011. Homes previously certified under this program, retain their exemption from the UCC without the need for modification.


    Mark Conte
    Chief, Housing Standards Division



  5. What is the Uniform Construction Code

    The Uniform Construction Code, is also known as Act 45 and the UCC. The UCC is a state law that establishes minimum construction standards within the Commonwealth. Often called “building codes,” these standards protect the life, health, property and general safety of building occupants, be they residents, workers, visitors or people who respond to emergencies within structures.

    The UCC addresses several situations... • By eliminating inconsistent construction requirements from municipality to municipality, the UCC sets one common standard statewide.

    • Where no municipal construction standard was in place, the UCC creates a construction standard.

    • Duplicative or conflicting standards were set aside by the UCC which created complimentary inter-related requirements.

    • The state agency responsible for UCC-related issues is the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I).

    There is a link to the L&I site on our "links" page.