The buyers of new condominium units and their homeowner or condominium associations can obtain relief for defects like leaky roofs, leaking windows, bad flashing, building envelope problems, water infiltration, mold, violations of the construction codes and other construction defects.
- Many homes sold in Maryland come with a contractual warranty under the Maryland Real Property Code §10-604. A builder who offers no warranty must disclose that fact. Maryland law also requires builders to disclose any surety bond or other financial security available to guarantee assets to satisfy warranty claims.
- Contractual warranties usually cover all defects for one year, defects in major systems for two years, and structural defects for five years. Vendors may also create contractual warranties by representations made prior to sale. Additional contractual warranties may also be made on particular components such as roofs, windows or HVAC units. Contractual warranties must be examined in detail to determine the rights of the homeowner.
- There is a statutory implied warranty (§10-203) under Maryland law by the developer of a newly constructed home or condominium that the home is
- Free from faulty materials
- Constructed according to sound engineering standards
- Constructed in a workmanlike manner; and
- Fit for habitation – typically this includes a warranty that it complies with applicable building codes
- The implied warranty period for the absence of structural defects is two years. For all other defects, the warranty period is one year.
- A warranty claim must be brought within two years of discovery of the defect. For hidden defects, this may be as long as twenty years after the sale of the last condominium unit. Such statute of limitations questions can be quite technical and fact specific. They should be examined by an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
- Maryland law forbids a number of clauses that builders or developers may attempt to include in contracts with home or condominium purchasers or in the by-laws and declarations applicable to condominium associations. Any language purporting to limit an implied warranty, attempting to exclude consequential damages, or attempting to negate an express warranty made during the building construction or sale process should be examined by an experienced attorney.
- Condominium associations may assert claims for itself, or on behalf of two or more unit owners. Any language in documents governing condo associations that purports to limit the ability of the condominium association to assert claims should be examined by an experienced attorney.
- Condominium associations and unit owners may have additional warranty claims under the Maryland Condominium Act. Maryland Real Property Code §11-131. Additional warranties may apply under the Maryland Homeowners Association Act or the Cooperative Housing Corporations Act.
- Local jurisdictions may also require specific warranties for new home or condominium construction.
- Maryland consumers may also recover attorneys fees, incidental expenses and similar costs if a contractor refuses to honor a warranty on home repairs or other service contracts. Md Comm Code 14-407.
Consumer Protection Act Claims
Md. Com Law Code §13-105 et seq.