SB 1170 - This act creates statutory warranties for home buyers and homeowners and also prevents home solicitors from engaging in certain deceptive practices.
This act prohibits home solicitors from selling products financed by the consumer's home which would put the consumer in those types of situations. This act outlaws certain unfair or deceptive practices relating to home improvement loans to the consumer. It would prohibit 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 act's provisions would constitute a Class A misdemeanor.
This act mandates warranties to protect new home purchasers from losses caused by faulty installation, major construction defects, and noncompliance with building standards. The act also mandates similar warranties to protect homeowners from losses caused by defects caused by home improvement contractors.
There are three distinct new home warranties created by this act. The first covers the home 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 second statutory warranty protects consumers against home improvement contractors. Under this warranty, the home improvement contract warrants that the home improvements made will be free from defects caused by faulty workmanship and defective materials for a two-year period. The home improvement warranty also guarantees that the home improvement will be free from major construction defects for a ten-year period.
Improvements involving plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems are guaranteed to be free from defects for a period of two-years.
If the house vendor or the home improvement contractor violates these implied warranties then the homeowner may bring a cause of action against the person for actual damages. The court shall also award the homeowner court costs and reasonable attorney fees. If the breach of the warranties were willful or deceitful, then the court may assess punitive damages.
The act is identical to SB 635 (2002).