RI Supreme Court Finds Implied Warranty of Habitability Means Strict Time Limit for Buyers’ Claims

When you purchase a home, there are certain expectations that you have regarding its safety. That’s why buyers in Rhode Island have protections from loss if the home is not only unsafe but also defective or has additional unforeseen issues that require resolution. 

The buyer can look to the purchase contract for any specific protections within the warranty, but may also look at any negligence of an architect, contractor, prior owner, or other person or organization responsible for the faulty issues. 

Homebuyers in Rhode Island can also look to the implied warranty of habitability. This warranty protects the buyers of residential homes from them being uninhabitable regardless of what the purchase contract states. However, while the buyer has this implied warranty, there are time limits regarding when a related claim can be brought. 

10-Year Limit for Implied Warranty of Habitability

The court came to this decision in a recent case in which an individual purchased a home from the defendant. The defendant constructed the home in 1997 and the defendant held himself out as a professional homebuilder who had built the property in adherence with professional standards. However, in 2013, slight water damage led the plaintiffs to have the home inspected. They soon learned that a large part of the home would need replacement due to water damage and that the water damage would have been prevented had the home been constructed properly. 

One of the claims that the plaintiffs brought was based upon the implied warranty of habitability. The case worked its way up to the Rhode Island Supreme Court, which found that any cause of action based on the implied warranty of habitability must be made within 10 years from the date that the home was purchased – regardless of when they discovered the defect. 

Palumbo Law Helps Those in Rhode Island with their Real Estate Needs

While the implied warranty of habitability allows for the homeowner to bring a case within 10 years from the purchase of the home, when negotiating the terms of the purchase contract, the homeowner can agree with the seller on a longer time period for a warranty. Regardless, it’s always in your best interest to have comprehensive home inspections before you purchase any property. This can help you to discover an issue while there is still time for it to be corrected.  

By consulting with a qualified Rhode Island Real Estate attorney, you can ensure that you have taken all of the necessary steps to protect yourself.

At Palumbo Law, our experienced Rhode Island Real Estate lawyers work strategically to help our clients to get what they deserve. We can help to make sure that your rights are upheld. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!