Real estate sales and construction often lead to disputes ending up in court. Mr. Levin represents buyers, sellers, owners, contractors and sub-contractors in cases involving breach of contract, failure to disclose construction defects, breach of warranty, defective construction, design defects, failure to pay, mechanic’s liens, fraud and other issues.
Real Estate Sale and Construction Law FAQs
When can the seller of a home have liability to the purchaser for failure to disclose a defect in the home?
To prevail on a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation, a buyer is required to prove (1) that the seller made a false representation; (2) that the seller had knowledge that the representation was false; (3) that the seller intended to induce the buyer to rely on the representation; (4) that the buyer justifiably relied on the representation; and (5) that the buyer was damaged. A misrepresentation occurs when the seller affirmatively makes a false statement. In addition, the failure to disclose a material fact which in good conscience should have been disclosed is a misrepresentation. In the context of the sale of real estate, a seller must disclose to the buyer known latent defects, and the failure to do so constitutes a fraudulent misrepresentation.
Are there any implied warranties that are included in the sale of a newly built residence?
Yes. Implied warranties for a new home exist in a sale by a builder-vendor to a consumer. Three warranties apply to the sale of a new home: (1) the builder-vendor has complied with applicable building codes; (2) the home is built in a workmanlike manner; and (3) the home is fit for habitation. The implied warranties discussed above do not apply to the sale of a used home by someone who is not a builder.
Can the builder of a residence be held liable to a subsequent purchaser for defective construction?
Yes, under certain circumstances. Assuming the case is filed within the statute of limitations, a subsequent purchaser can maintain a negligence action against the original builder in a case where latent defects exist that the subsequent purchaser was unable to discover prior to purchase.
How does the Consumer Protection Act apply to sale of a newly built residence?
The Consumer Protection Act requires developers to provide home buyers with a plain-language summary soils report at least two weeks prior to closing on a residential sale so that home buyers can evaluate the risks of expansive soils under new homes.