Last month, we dove into how mandatory disclosures protect Oklahoma homebuyers. Many of these disclosures are outlined through the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act, but you’ll notice a long list of exceptions to this law. One of those exceptions – “transfers of a newly constructed, previously unoccupied dwelling” – means that disclosures may be limited when you’re working with a builder on a new home or purchasing a spec home in the Sooner State.
So, are there mandatory disclosures for new construction and how do you go about recovering financial damages when you buy a brand new home in Oklahoma only to discover significant defects or problems?
Mandatory Disclosures for New Construction in Oklahoma
Perhaps not surprisingly, Oklahoma law does not outline any mandatory disclosures for new construction. The lack of mandatory disclosures does not mean home buyers or homeowners are without recourse if problems arise, as most new construction is covered by limited warranties that apply to the materials and workmanship. This creates a more reactionary environment, but it is still fair to expect that a new build should be free from the same potential defects that could be present (and must be disclosed) in a previously occupied home in Oklahoma. When that is not the case, there may be warranty or other contract claims available.
Tort Claims Related to Residential New Construction in Oklahoma
While the most common legal theories in new construction cases are breach of warranty and/or breach of contract, there are situations where tort or statutory theories may be appropriate. This includes the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act, negligence, and even fraud.
Moreover, while warranty periods for new construction may be limited (e.g., 1 year) and the required procedures may be strict (e.g., notice, opportunity to cure, arbitration, etc.), tort theories may provide alternative avenues for relief that are available for longer periods of time. Either way, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately if problems arise.
Navigating the various contracts, parties, and legal theories involved in construction projects requires experienced, careful legal counsel. At HB Law, we have represented owners/buyers in numerous cases involving new construction projects, large and small, including many that were laced with elements of fraud and deception.We want to protect Oklahomans who are pursuing the American dream of owning a home, and we understand the stress that comes with buying a new home with defects because we work with clients frequently who face this dilemma. Contact our team today if you have a significant issue with your new home and believe you may need to pursue claims against the builder or contractors.
HB Law Partners
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