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Title 11 Implied Warranties On Condominium Units

Section 11-131 of the Maryland Condominium Act provides significant warranty protections to the purchasers for new condominium units. Section 11-131 (a) codified the ruling in Starfish, and established that new home warranties under Section 10-203 “apply to all sales by developers” of condominiums, and that “a newly constructed private dwelling unit means a newly constructed or newly converted condominium unit and its appurtenant undivided fee simple interest in the common areas.” Specific warranties are applicable to certain specified components of both individual units and the common elements, and they are the obligation of the condominium’s developer.

Section 11-131(c) provides “an implied warranty on an individual unit from a developer to a unit owner” that is expressly in addition to the warranties provided by Section 10-203. This addition implied warranty is limited to specifically identified components, commences with the transfer of title to that particular unit, and extends for a period of one year. The warranty makes the developer “responsible for correcting any defects in materials or workmanship in the construction of walls, ceilings, floors, and heating and air conditioning systems in the unit,” and further warrants that “the heating and air conditioning systems have been installed in accordance with acceptable industry standards.” The stated standards are “[t]hat the heating system is warranted to maintain a 70°F temperature inside” and “[t]hat the air conditioning system is warranted to maintain a 78°F temperature inside” when the outdoor temperature and winds are “at design conditions established by the Energy Conservation Standards Act … or those established by the political subdivision” in which the condominium is located.