Frequently Asked Questions

How does South Carolina law protect home purchasers?

South Carolina protects home purchasers from defects in a number of ways, with only an overview of the most important ways covered here. First, the law provides that anyone who sells someone a new home, townhome, or condo guarantees that the home is suitable for someone to live in. The law recognizes that the majority of home buyers are not contractors, architects, or engineers and are unable to assess the quality of construction work. Those who sell new homes though are in the business of building and selling homes and are knowledgeable about construction problems. The law says that if a home is not suitable for people to live in, regardless of whether the seller could or could not have done a better job building it, the seller is liable to the homeowner. This guarantee applies even if a homeowner did not purchase a home directly from the original seller.

Second, the law provides that anyone who works to build a new home, townhome, or condo guarantees that they performed their work properly. This means that everyone from the general contractor who builds a home down to the subcontractor who installs the flooring guarantees to the homeowner that they did their work properly, and if they did not do their work properly they are liable to the homeowner and must compensate the homeowner. Similarly, the law provides that if an architect or engineer provides a design, the architect or engineer guarantees the design. A homeowner can recover compensation from a contractor, subcontractor, architect, or engineer for faulty work or a faulty design even if the homeowner purchased the home from a former owner rather than from the builder.

Third, just like how the law says that if someone drives their car negligently and hits you, the person is liable to you; the law provides that if a builder is negligent in constructing a home, the builder is liable to the homeowner.

Fourth, the law provides that if there is a problem with a home, regardless of whether the problem was caused by the original construction or caused later, a home seller must disclose the problem to a purchaser of the home. If the seller fails to disclose the problem, the seller is liable to the purchaser. Typically a home seller informs the purchaser of any problems the seller knows of through giving the purchaser a written disclosure statement.

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