1. Except in the case of a housing merchant implied warranty, the builder or seller of a new home may exclude or modify all warranties by any clear and conspicuous terms contained in the written contract or agreement of sale which call the buyer’s attention to the exclusion or modification of warranties and make the exclusion or modification plain.
Terms Used In N.Y. General Business Law 777-B
- Builder: means any person, corporation, partnership or other entity contracting with an owner for the construction or sale of a new home. See N.Y. General Business Law 777
- Building code: means the uniform fire prevention and building code promulgated under section three hundred seventy-seven of the executive law, local building code standards approved by the uniform fire prevention and building code council under section three hundred seventy-nine of the executive law, and the building code of the city of New York, as defined in title twenty-seven of the administrative code of the city of New York. See N.Y. General Business Law 777
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- home: means any single family house or for-sale unit in a multi-unit residential structure of five stories or less in which title to the individual units is transferred to owners under a condominium or cooperative regime. See N.Y. General Business Law 777
- Owner: means the first person to whom the home is sold and, during the unexpired portion of the warranty period, each successor in title to the home and any mortgagee in possession. See N.Y. General Business Law 777
- Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
2. Except in the case of a housing merchant implied warranty, the builder or seller of a new home may exclude or modify warranties with respect to particular defects by any clear and conspicuous terms contained in the written contract or agreement of sale which identify such defects, call the buyer’s attention to the exclusion or modification of warranties and make the exclusion or modification plain.
3. A housing merchant implied warranty may be excluded or modified by the builder or seller of a new home only if the buyer is offered a limited warranty in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision.
a. A copy of the express terms of the limited warranty shall be provided in writing to the buyer for examination prior to the time of the buyer’s execution of the contract or agreement to purchase the home.
b. A copy of the express terms of the limited warranty shall be included in, or annexed to and incorporated in, the contract or agreement.
c. The language of the contract or agreement for sale of the home must conspicuously mention the housing merchant implied warranty and provide that the limited warranty excludes or modifies the implied warranty. Language to exclude all implied warranties is sufficient if it states, for example, that “There are no warranties which extend beyond the face hereof.”
d. The limited warranty shall meet or exceed the standards provided in subdivisions four and five of this section.
4. A limited warranty sufficient to exclude or modify a housing merchant implied warranty must be written in plain English and must clearly disclose:
a. that the warranty is a limited warranty which limits implied warranties on the sale of the home; the words “limited warranty” must be clearly and conspicuously captioned at the beginning of the warranty document;
b. the identification of the names and addresses of all warrantors;
c. the identification of the party or parties to whom the warranty is extended and whether it is extended to subsequent owners; the limited warranty must be extended to the first owner of the home and survive the passing of title but may exclude any or all subsequent owners;
d. a statement of the products or parts covered by the limited warranty;
e. the clear and conspicuous identification of any parts or portions of the home or premises that are excepted or excluded from warranty coverage, and the standards that will be used to determine whether a defect has occurred; provided, however, that:
i. any exception, exclusion or standard which does not meet or exceed a relevant specific standard of the applicable building code, or in the absence of such relevant specific standard a locally accepted building practice, shall be void as contrary to public policy and shall be deemed to establish the applicable building code standard or locally accepted building practice as the warranty standard; and
ii. any exception, exclusion or standard that fails to ensure that the home is habitable, by permitting conditions to exist which render the home unsafe, shall be void as contrary to public policy.
f. what the builder and any other warrantor will do when a defect covered by the warranty does arise, and the time within which the builder and any other warrantor will act;
g. the term of the warranty coverage and when the term begins, provided, however, that such term shall be equal to or exceed the warranty periods of a housing merchant implied warranty, as defined in subdivision one of section seven hundred seventy-seven-a of this article;
h. step-by-step claims procedures required to be undertaken by the owner, if any, including directions for notification of the builder and any other warrantor; an owner shall not be required to submit to binding arbitration or to pay any fee or charge for participation in nonbinding arbitration or any mediation process;
i. any limitations on or exclusions of consequential or incidental damages, and any limitations on the builder’s and other warrantor’s total liability, conspicuously expressed on the first page of the warranty. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a limited warranty shall not be construed to permit any limitation on or exclusion of property damage to the home proximately caused by a breach of the limited warranty, where the court finds that such limitation or exclusion would cause the limited warranty to fail of its essential purpose, except that such property damage may be limited by an express limitation on the builder’s or other warrantor’s total liability in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph.
5. a. This article shall not be construed to authorize or validate any covenant, promise, agreement or understanding which is void and unenforceable under section 5-322.1 of the general obligations law.
b. This article shall preempt any local law inconsistent with the provisions of this article. This article shall not preempt any builder subject to its provisions from complying with any local law with respect to the regulation of home builders except as expressly provided herein.
c. Nothing in this article shall be construed to repeal, invalidate, supersede or restrict any right, liability or remedy provided by any other statute of the state, except where such construction would, as a matter of law, be unreasonable.