Are contracts required to have a 3 day right of rescission?


Sheldon: Hi, good morning. My question is this: October of last year, I signed a roofing contract with a local roofing firm.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right. No names please, Sheldon.

Sheldon: No. I'm not saying any names. Okay. I signed it in the office, but what surprised me was, they told me they couldn't get to the roof until April of this year. And I said, "Well, I've got a couple of leaks in the roof." To make a long story short, they sent a fellow over to put a couple of tarps on the roof, but this is now May, and so far no one has come to put on a new roof. And I just wondered if--

Attorney Tom Olsen: Sheldon, remind me again when you signed it?

Sheldon: October of last year.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Oh, that is ridiculous. Now, Sheldon, have you given them any money?

Sheldon: No, there's no money involved. The money is collected when the job is done.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay. Sheldon, I would say that what you're experiencing is unreasonable. If you want to know, can you get out of that contract, Sheldon, I would have to tell you that I'd have to review that contract first. But if that contract says, "Sheldon, you agree that we're going to put a roof on your house, and we have five years to complete the job," I think a judge will look at that and say five years is unreasonable. I'm just making up a number, of course, Sheldon.

Sheldon: No, there was nothing written in the contract about the time.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Well then, Sheldon, I think the reasonable position for you to take, Sheldon, would be this: that you would right them a letter via certified mail. It would say this, "Hey, I signed it in October. Here it is May 1st. I'm going to give you 30 days to start and complete this job. If I don't hear from you by the end of May, I'm going to hire somebody else."

Sheldon: Just one further thing before we wrap it up. There was no clause in their contract stating that -- the three-day clause, that a consumer has a right to cancel, and I read somewhere online that all contracts have to have this clause in it as far as the--

Attorney Tom Olsen: Sheldon, you would be wrong. And so, let me explain that law to you. A lot of people think: A) Every contract, you get a three-day right of rescission – no. That is not true. The Florida Law says that that only applies to door-to-door sales, and I think telephone solicitations as well. So it is not across the board, it is limited to those two situations. When you fit into that situation, the law also requires that you have big, bold, huge language on there that says you have a three-day right of rescission. So if you have that right of rescission, it is built right into your contract. You cannot miss it. Now, some companies might put a three-day right of rescission in their contracts, not because they have to under the law, but simply because they think it's good business practice. But Sheldon, in your roofing contract, no way were they required to give you a three-day right of rescission on that.