New York law requires every condominium unit made available by a sponsor or developer be subject to a construction warranty. Under the Housing Merchant Implied Warranty law, the following warranties must be provided for new units in multi-unit residences that are five stories or less:
- The property will be free of construction defects for one year from the warranty date
- Major systems for electrical, heating, cooling, ventilation, and plumbing will be free of installation-related defects for two years from the warranty date
- The property will be free of material defects (e.g. physical defects in the structure) that make it unlivable or unsafe for six years from the warranty date
Sponsors still have the obligation to construct their buildings in accordance with applicable codes, regulations, laws, filed specifications and plans, and regular building practices for areas that codes do not cover.
As the name suggests, limited warranties only cover certain defects or conditions. As part of the offering plan, the sponsor may indicate that it is not responsible for issues like the following:
- Cracks in concrete caused by the building settling
- Conditions resulting from normal wear and tear
- Smudges or defects on painted surfaces
- Accidental loss or damage due to fire, flood, or other disaster that could not have been reasonably foreseen
- Performance of items under manufacturer warranty, such as a smoke detector or doorbell
Unlimited warranties pledge generally provide no express time limit on the standard warranty that a building will be good quality, free from defects, and in conformity with the contract. Like limited warranties, they do not often cover wear and tear and may be voided by specified conditions, such as failure to keep up with required maintenance.
In both instances, if a structure or component covered by warranty comes to light, the sponsor or developer will repair or replace it at no cost to the condo owner, using items or components that are substantially similar to the original.
The decision to include a limited or unlimited warranty with your New York condo offering plan should be made with the assistance of an experienced construction law firm. At Rosen Law, LLC, we have helped many condo sponsors and developers create offering plans that tally accurately with the building’s unique specifications and intended future use. For more information or to schedule a case review, please call (516) 437-3400 today.