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Massachusetts New Home Construction Warranty: 3-Year Implied Warranty of Habitability


It’s the spring of 2019 and contractors are building homes in impressive numbers. Everyone is predicting the housing market will thrive, and families across Massachusetts are starting to look for a new house to call home.

Before you close on a real estate transactions, though, you must first know that choosing a quality contractor is critically important, as is a full home inspection prior to closing because even the best builders are not perfect. That’s where a home warranty comes into play. Most of the time, housing developers provide a limited one-year warranty on newly purchased homes.

Home warranties account for a variety of potential problems, such as:

  1. Plumbing issues
  2. Structural weaknesses
  3. Foundation breaks
  4. Wall cracks
  5. Peeling paint

With one year not really being much time to try to spot all the problems in your new home, what are you supposed to do if you see a big problem shortly after that warranty expires? In Massachusetts, you are in a bit of luck. The state has a three-year implied warranty of habitability after the sale of a new home. No parties involved in the transaction have the power to void or overlook this warranty, either.

Albrecht v. Clifford Sets the State’s Standard

Back in 2002, the conclusion of Albrecht v. Clifford solidified the value and prominence of Massachusetts’s three-year implied warranty of habitability. Within the ruling of that case, it was stated clearly that the warranty existed to shield new homeowners from “latent defects” that cause significant safety or habitability issues. The ruling also allowed the actual extent of the warranty to be flexible depending on a judge’s discretion based on the individual details of each and every case it arises. In other words, if you and the firm or company that sold your home get into an argument about your coverage under the three-year implied warranty of habitability, then you have a chance to take things to court to convince a judge to rule in your favor.

On the other hand, Albrecht v. Clifford also provided some protections to home construction companies and builders. The ruling decided that the implied warranty “does not make the builder an insurer” and it also does not create an expectation of constructing only “perfect” houses. That is to say, a construction company is still capable of erring to degrees as any company can, and the warranty is solely concerned with defects that can pose dangerous or problematic safety and habitability situations. Furthermore, the warranty does not guarantee a homebuyer any new right to negotiate other warranties, different prices, and additional inspections. Such matters are still placed between the two parties to decide.

Real Estate Services for Buyers, Sellers, Banks & Builders

Are you finding yourself in a bind due to Massachusetts’s three-year implied warranty of habitability and another interested party? Come to Percy Law Group, PC for comprehensive and reliable legal counsel to navigate the sensitive matter. In our 30+ years of legal experience, we have represented buyers, sellers, banks, and more in real estate cases and conflicts, so you know we can uphold your best interests from start to finish.

Call (508) 206-9900 or contact us online to learn more about our services and your options. Same-day consultations are available.

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