The Ohio Home Solicitation Sales Act: What Your Small Business Needs To Know

What is the Home Solicitation Sales Act?
The Home Solicitation Sale Act (the “Act”) is a set of laws designed to protect consumers who engage in certain transactions that take place at or are consummated at the consumer’s home. The Home Solicitation Sale Act is codified at Ohio Revised Code Sections §1345.21 to §1345.28.

What is a home solicitation sale and does my business have to follow it?
A home solicitation sale is a sale of consumer goods or services, which are defined as goods or services that are primarily for personal, family or household purposes. These include home improvement and home maintenance services.

A home solicitation sale includes personal solicitation of the sale at a residence of the buyer and include solicitations in response to an invitation by the buyer. If your business provides goods or services to consumers and your business’ representatives go to buyers’ homes, you should follow the act. You are not required to follow the Act if the entire transaction takes place at your place of business.

Other factors can exempt a transaction from the Act such as:

1) The total purchase price is less than $25.00. This includes interest and service charges.

2) The transaction was consummated entirely by mail or telephone if initiated by the buyer and with no other contact between you and the buyer prior to the delivery of goods or performance of the service.

3) You have a retail business establishment and have a fixed permanent location where goods are exhibited or services are offered for sale on a continuing basis AND the final agreement is made pursuant to prior negotiations when the buyer visited your retail business establishment.

4) You have a retail business establishment and have a fixed permanent location where goods are exhibited or services are offered for sale on a continuing basis AND the buyer initiates the contact for the purpose of negotiating a purchase.

5) The buyer initiates the contact AND the goods or services are needed to meet an immediate personal emergency which will jeopardize the welfare, health, or safety of persons, property which the buyers owns or for which he/she is responsible AND the buyer furnishes the seller with a separate, dated, and signed statement in the buyer’s handwriting describing the situation and requiring immediate remedy and expressly acknowledging and waiving the right to cancel the sale within three business days.

6) The buyer initiates the contact AND specifically requested the seller to visit the buyer’s home for the purpose of repairing or performing maintenance upon the buyer’s personal property. If in the course of such a visit the seller sells the buyer additional goods or services other than replacement parts necessarily used in providing the maintenance or in making repairs, the sale of those additional goods or services DOES NOT fall within this exclusion.

7) The buyer is accorded the right of rescission by the Consumer Credit Protection Act or regulations adopted pursuant to it.

When negotiations occur ANYWHERE other than a seller’s fixed business establishment where goods or services are regularly offered for sale, even if the contract or agreement is signed at the business establishment, there is a legal presumption that the Act applies to the sale!

Although the inquiry regarding what constitutes a “home solicitation sale” can be complex, it is better to be safe than sorry and to include all requirements of the act on all contracts.

In our next blog post coming next week, we will discuss what you need to do to comply with the Act.

If you have questions regarding the Act or whether you are obligated to comply with the Act, please contact your attorney. This post is meant for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship between you and Poplar & Mason, LLC. Poplar & Mason, LLC does not represent you unless and until you have a written agreement with us.