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Construction Defects in New Jersey – Know Your Rights

A home construction site

You’ve just built a new home or remodeled your existing residence, but the builders simply did a poor job. What are your options in New Jersey?

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act

For homeowners in New Jersey, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act provides specific remedies when contractors provide shoddy or substandard services or violate specific statutory requirements. Under the law, if a home improvement contractor fails to live up to the terms of an agreement or violates statutory requirements under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the contractor may be liable for treble damages, or three times the amount assessed by the jury, as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred. A technical violation may also be a valid defense to a contractor’s claim for money.

A homeowner in New Jersey may seek compensation for any defect or deviation from the terms of a construction contract, including:

  • Any design, architectural or engineering failures
  • Building code violations
  • Substandard plumbing, electrical or heating/cooling installation or design
  • Leaks in basements, windows, roofs and doors
  • Structural defects in walls, foundations, roofs, doors or windows
  • Mold and mildew

Further, if the contractor fails to comply with New Jersey Consumer Fraud statutes and regulations, related to specific contractual provisions and business practices, a homeowner may obtain treble damage relief. Therefore a homeowner is wise to consult with counsel when dealing with a home improvement gone bad.

The New Home Warranty and Builder’s Registration Act (NHWA)

Put into law in 1977, the NHWA requires that a builder register with the state before construction of a new home. The NHWA requires that a warranty apply to any new home for one year—the warranty covers workmanship, materials, mechanical systems, electrical and plumbing installations, appliances and fixtures, and major structural defects. The mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems are warranted for two years and major structural defects are covered for 10 years. Do not delay in making a claim as the time periods are critical.

Contact the Law Office of Jared M. Lans

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