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12 N.J.A.R. 1

Stack Construction v. Hadzovic/Hoti/New Home Warranty Program--Bureau of Homeowner Protection
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Citation: 12 N.J.A.R. 1
Decision Date: 1989
Synopsis: Petitioner appealed a determination by the Bureau of Home- owner Protection that the lack of an adequate water supply to a home constructed by petitioner was a deficiency required to be corrected by the builder. The matter was transmitted to the Office of Adminis- trative Law for a hearing. When the home was built in 1986, a well was drilled at the direction of petitioner. Although the driller recommended making the well deeper, petitioner directed that he stop at 348 feet. Respondents Hoti and Hadzovic purchased the home from the original owners in 1988. They experienced inadequate water supply, which was not im- proved by pressurizing the well. The administrative law judge assigned to the case concluded that the water supply system was subject to a two-year warranty under N.J.S.A. 46:3B-3b(2) because it is part of the plumbing system. Since respondents filed a notice oœ claim within a two-year period from initial occupancy, they could rely on the warranty provision of N.J.A.C. 5:25-3.2(a)2ii. The administrative law judge also concluded that the builder was responsible for the defect because he knew deep wells were needed in the vicinity of the house, but declined to make respondents' well deeper. The defect was not a result of natural conditions beyond the builder's control. Rather, the inadequacy of the water supply was a consequence of petitioner's own acts which he reasonably should have foreseen would result in such inadequacy. The judge ordered petitioner to correct the defect and provide the property with an adequate supply of water. Upon review, this initial decision was adopted by the Com- missioner of Community Affairs. Joseph C. Stack, appearing pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:1-5.4(a)5 for peti- tioner Ellen Casey, Deputy Attorney General, for respondent (Peter N. Perretti, Jr., Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney)
Rule(s) Cited: 5:25-3.2(a) 5:25-3.5(k)3