Rice-Madden Measures Offer Protection To New Homebuyers

TRENTON – A package of bills sponsored by Senators Ronald L. Rice and Fred H. Madden to offer more protection to new homebuyers was approved in the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today.

“In 2005, the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) uncovered major problems with poorly built homes,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “The number of residents with nightmarish experiences of negligent workmanship in their homes has been overwhelming and this legislation will make sure that homes built in this State are safe.”

The Committee Chairman, Senator Rice said, “This legislation will increase government oversight and provide safeguards for those purchasing homes in New Jersey.”

The first bill, S-1824, would establish a Bill of Rights for buyers of new homes. Under the bill, every builder of a new home would be required to include a copy of the “New Homebuyer Bill of Rights” which states all the rights of new homeowners in easy to understand language.

“Homebuyers deserve to know their rights up front before making a purchase,” said Senator Madden D-Camden and Gloucester. “By requiring all new home contracts to contain a copy of the Homebuyer Bill of Rights, people looking to purchase would be able to read the important document before they sign anything.”

The second bill, S-1825, would enhance the protections of owners of new homes by strengthening “The New Home Warranty and Builders’ Registration Act.” The bill would expand on the list of items that would be covered under warranties and the duration of warranties.

“This legislation will help make sure that homebuyers really get what they pay for,” said Senator Madden. “By increasing the life of home warranties and expanding the types of defects that are covered, we are providing much needed increased protection for homebuyers.”

The third bill, S-1826, would allow homeowners to hire private inspectors in the event that their local code enforcing agencies are unable to inspect their homes in a timely manner.

Senator Rice noted that, “Due to staffing limitation, local agencies sometimes find it difficult to complete all necessary inspections quickly, especially when there is a sudden surge in the volume of construction work in a town.”

“The home buying market is constantly changing, and when purchasing a home time is of the essence. This legislation would work to make sure that home inspections are done properly and in a timely manner,” Senator Madden said.

The bills now head to the full Senate for consideration.

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