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Three Day Grace Period to Cancel Home Repair Contracts in Illinois

Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
October 28, 2019

In this article we will explain the three day right to cancel home repair contracts in Illinois, including what types of home repair contracts can be cancelled within three days?, what are the exceptions to the three day right to cancel home repair contracts?, what notice of the customer’s three day right to cancel a home repair contract is the contractor required to provide?, and how to cancel a home repair contract.

In order to prevent consumers from being taken advantage of, Illinois provides that certain home repair contracts may be cancelled within three days of signing them, and further that consumers must be informed of this right via a consumer rights brochure.

What is the Definition of “Home Repair” For the Purpose of the Three Day Grace Period

“Home repair” is defined as the fixing, replacing, altering, converting, modernizing, improving of or the making of an addition to any real estate primarily designed or used as a residence.  “Home repair” does not include the following:

  • The sale, installation, cleaning or repair of carpets;
  • The sale of materials or goods by a merchant who does not perform any work to install or apply the goods or materials;
  • The repair, installation or replacement of any home appliance if the person doing such work is an employee or agent of the merchant that sold the appliance; or
  • Landscaping.

What Types of Home Repair Contracts Can Be Cancelled Within Three Days?

If both of the following are true, you have the right to cancel a home repair contract within three days:

  • The sale of service or merchandise is for an amount of $25 or more; and
  • The contract is signed while the salesperson or contractor is physically in your residence.  

What Are the Exceptions to the Three Day Right to Cancel Home Repair Contracts?

There are a couple of exceptions to the three day right to cancel home repair, including (1) emergency work; and (2) prior negotiation of the contract.  

(1) Emergency work: In order for home repair work to qualify for the emergency exception to the three day cancellation right, two things must both be true:

  • The work is needed on an emergency basis; AND
  • The customer must have initiated the contact with the contractor.  

In these situations, the customer must provide the contractor with a handwritten statement describing the emergency situation and waiving the three day cancellation right.  

(2) Prior Negotiation of the Contract: The customer does not have a three day right to cancel if he or she previously negotiated the terms of the contract at the contractor’s retail establishment, even if the contract was executed by the customer in his or her home.

What Notice of the Customer’s Right to Cancel Home Repair Contracts is the Contractor Required to Provide?

Illinois law requires that when a home repair contract meets the above-criteria such that the customer has the right to cancel, the contractor must provide the customer with either a written contract or receipt that reflects the terms of the agreement.  This document must contain the date, as well as specific statutory language providing the customer with notice of his or her right to cancel the contract within three days, and instructing the customer as to the proper procedure the cancel the contract.  

How to Cancel a Home Repair Contract in Illinois  

A customer may cancel a home repair contract that meets the above criteria simply by delivering written notice to the seller at the seller’s place of business within the three day time period.  

For more on home repair fraud, check out our article: Illinois Home Repair Fraud Explained.

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