Florida Supreme Court extends implied warranty of habitability to neighborhood infrastructure, but a Florida statute limits the effect of the decision — by Steve O’Hara

In Maronda Homes, Inc. v. Lakeview Reserve Homeowners Ass’n, 2013 LEXIS 1430, 2013 WL 3466814, 38 Fla. Law Weekly S573 (Fla., July 11, 2013), the court held that the implied warranty of habitability (fitness and merchantability) applies not only to new homes but also to neighborhood infrastructure improvements (roads, drainage systems, etc.) that provide essential services to the homes. The court also held that section 553.835, Florida Statutes, which was enacted while the case was pending and in reaction to the lower appellate court decision to the same effect, cannot be applied retroactively. The statute limits such implied warranties to new homes and to structures or improvements on or under the home’s lot provided the structure or improvement directly supports the habitability of the home. Under the court’s decision, the statute does not apply to causes of action accruing before July 1, 2012, which was the effective date of the statute.

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