A. The residential contractors' recovery fund is established, to be administered by the registrar, from which any person injured by an act, representation, transaction or conduct of a residential contractor licensed pursuant to this chapter that is in violation of this chapter or the rules adopted pursuant to this chapter may be awarded in the county where the violation occurred an amount of not more than thirty thousand dollars for damages sustained by the act, representation, transaction or conduct. An award from the fund is limited to the actual damages suffered by the claimant as a direct result of the contractor's violation but shall not exceed an amount necessary to complete or repair a residential structure or appurtenance within residential property lines. Actual damages shall not be established by bids supplied by or the value of work performed by a person or entity that is not licensed pursuant to this chapter and that is required to be licensed pursuant to this chapter. If the claimant has paid a deposit or down payment and no actual work is performed or materials are delivered, the award of actual damages shall not exceed the exact dollar amount of the deposit or down payment plus interest at the rate of ten per cent a year from the date the deposit or down payment is made or not more than thirty thousand dollars, whichever is less. Interest shall not be paid from the fund on any other awards under this chapter unless ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. An award from the fund shall not be available to persons injured by an act, representation, transaction or conduct of a residential contractor who was not licensed pursuant to this chapter or whose license was in an inactive status, expired, cancelled, revoked, suspended or not issued at the time of the contract. No more than the maximum individual award from the fund shall be made on any individual residence or to any injured person. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, monies in the residential contractors' recovery fund shall not be directly awarded for attorney fees or costs except in contested cases appealed to the superior court.
B. Except as provided in section 32-1152, subsection C, every person making application for a contractor's license or for renewal of a contractor's license to engage in residential contracting shall pay an assessment of not more than six hundred dollars during the biennial license period for deposit in the fund. In the event that the registrar does not issue the license, this assessment shall be returned to the applicant.