Implied Warranty of Habitability Extended to Second Purchasers
In October 2013, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania granted a Petition for Allowance of Appeal to determine whether the Superior Court of Pennsylvania correctly extended the implied warranty of habitability to second purchasers of homes. In Conway v. Cutler Group, Inc., 57 A.3d 155 (Pa. Super. 2012), the Superior Court of Pennsylvania was faced with the question of whether a subsequent purchaser of a home who has no privity of contract with a builder/vendor could maintain an action against said builder/vendor for a breach of the implied warranty of habitability. The Superior Court held that the implied warranty of habitability does apply to a second or subsequent purchaser of a home. The court noted that a plaintiff still bears the burden of proving that the “alleged defect is latent, attributable to the builder’s design or construction, and affects habitability.” 57 A.3d at 162. In addition, in response to the builder’s concern that such a holding could result in unlimited filings against builders/vendors, the court noted that a homeowner is required to bring any claim within 12 years of the completion of construction based upon the statute of repose.
The Supreme Court will have the final say on this issue. Needless to say, this will be a much anticipated decision for builders and homeowners, alike.
This article is not legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.