Is building your dream home becoming a nightmare?
Late contractors. Wrong materials. Unworkmanlike construction. Take it or leave it attitude. Half-assiduous work. Surly workers. Unkept promises. These are the tell tale signs of what I like to call “Contractor Problems.”
The Implied Warranty of Habitability applies to the construction of new homes, in Massachusetts. It applies above and beyond regular contract principles and protects purchasers of new construction homes from predatory builders, contractors, and sellers.
The Implied Warranty of Habitability, as it applies to new construction of residential homes in Massachusetts is:
1) by law implied into every new home construction
2) protects the home buyer above and beyond normal contract obligations and
3) cannot be waived, canceled, or bargained away in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held in the landmark case of Albrecht v Clifford, 436 Mass. 706 (2002) that an Implied Warranty of Habitability arose out of the contract between a builder and buyer. The purpose of the warranty is to protect the buyer from certain defects with new residential construction that may not be apparent to the buyer at the time s/he accepts and moves into the new home.
The Court in Albrecht held there was a three year limit to bring claims under this particular warranty, and set out the factors to establish a prima facie case for breach of warranty in new residential construction. This means your case could be extinguished forever if you do not file it within three years from the date of the incident(s).
These cases also often fall under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute, M.G.L. c. 93A, whose invocation requires a demand letter be sent at least 30 days prior to commencing a suit under 93A. The benefit to the consumer of invoking c.93A in civil cases is the potential that the judge will double or triple the damages awarded to the damaged buyer if the seller does not make a reasonable settlement offer within 30 days of receiving a c.93A demand letter.
Contact my office immediately if you believe your rights have been violated when purchasing a new residential home in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I look forward to reviewing the situation with you and making sure your rights are being protected under Massachusetts law.
PS: You can check the status of any Massachusetts builder’s license here.