SB 727 - This act creates statutory warranties for home buyers and homeowners and also prevents home solicitors from engaging in certain deceptive practices.
This act prohibits certain unfair or deceptive practices relating to home improvement loans to the consumer. It prohibits home solicitations where a home improvement loan is made encumbering the person's home to pay the loan and where the practice violates federal law. Violation of this provision constitutes a Class A misdemeanor.
Three new-home warranties are created by this act. The first covers new homes against faulty workmanship and defective materials due to noncompliance with building standards for a three-year period. The second warranty covers new homes against faulty installation of plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems for a five-year period. The third warranty covers the home against major construction defects (foundation) for a ten-year period. These warranties are extended to subsequent purchasers of the home.
The act also creates three warranties for home improvement work. Home improvement contractors must warrant that the improvements made will be free from defects caused by faulty workmanship and defective materials due to noncompliance with building standards for a two-year period. Contractors must guarantee that the home improvement will be free from major construction defects for a ten-year period. Improvements involving plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems must be guaranteed to be free from defects for a period of two years.
Damage covered under the warranties must be reported to the home seller or home improvement contractor within 6 months of discovery of the damage. The act lists types of damage not covered under the warranties.
The warranties cannot be modified by contract, except as provided in the act.
If a home vendor or a home improvement contractor violates these implied warranties then the homeowner may bring a cause of action against the violator for actual damages. The court shall also award the homeowner court costs and reasonable attorney fees. If the breach of the warranties was willful or deceitful, the court may also assess punitive damages.
This act is identical to SB 282 (2009) and SB 913 (2008) and similar to SB 123 (2007) and SB 1170 (2006).