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Homebuyers can sue builders for hidden defects, AZ Supreme Court rules

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 3:12pm

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that homebuyers will be entitled to sue builders for hidden defects for up to eight years after a home is built.

In the ruling, the court said the “implied warranty of workmanship and habitability” law recognizes the fact that home buyers are not experts in all things that are required in constructing a house. 

Justice Ann Scott Timmer wrote that homebuyers rely heavily on the builder’s knowledge of construction quality as they are skilled in the profession. That, Timmer said, creates an inequality in bargaining power between the parties. 

The ruling throws the case back to trial court. It was initially thrown out due to the buyer suing four years after construction, even though they signed a one-year warranty. 

Timmer added that the buyer in question agreed to the contract without representation, and without warranty negotiation, leaving them in a take-it-or-leave-it situation.

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