News: Arizona Homebuyers Entitled to Habitable Homes

Homebuilders cannot escape their legal responsibility to create “habitable” houses by instead giving buyers a different kind of warranty, the state Court of Appeals has ruled.

The judges acknowledged Tina Zambrano, a homebuyer, signed an agreement with Scott Homes Development Co. that provided for a “limited warranty.”

That document said the warranty “is the only warranty applicable to the purchase of the property.” And it said that she, as the buyer, “waived any right to any other express or implied warranties dealing with things like habitability and workmanship.”

But Judge David Gass, writing for the three-judge panel, said her signature on that document is irrelevant.

“A new home buyer cannot waive – and a builder cannot disclaim – the implied warranty of workmanship and habitability,” he wrote. “This prohibition precludes a waiver even when, as here, the building gives an express warranty in consideration for the waiver.”

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