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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 29, 2020 04:58 PM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Residential construction protection package
Construction Package
In addition to the legislation which would require a surety bond and an extension of the statute of limitations for new construction to protect homeowners and their neighbors from shoddy construction practices, I will also be introducing the following package aimed at addressing the concerns of homeowners all through my district on home safety including:

Establishing a Residential Construction Catastrophic Loss Fund – This legislation requires all developers to pay a fee based on a sliding scale on project size as a condition of granting the permit for construction.  This fund will be managed by the Commonwealth and charged with paying for losses and damages incurred by poor construction practices harming the neighbors or those who purchase new construction or “flipped” homes.

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Document #1

Introduced as SB1361

Description: A Residential Construction Lemon Law – as we have seen from the automotive industry, too often lawsuits are added to the “cost of doing business” and the only way to ensure that proper attention is paid to quality and safety is to ensure that purchasers have a remedy in law for a defective product. This legislation will create such a guarantee which will provide that if there are a number of defects in new construction within the first year from purchase, the owner will be entitled to a full refund of the purchase or the full amount of the costs to repair.
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Document #2

Introduced as SB1362

Description: Legislation which requires home flippers to register as contractors and abide by those same codes as others who make their living rehabing and constructing residences.
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Document #3

Introduced as SB1363

Description: Neighbors bill of rights – This legislation creates a “Builder’s code of conduct” which advises homeowners of their rights and the laws surrounding construction including limitations on the hours to construct, rights to clean and safe access, and rights to hold construction officials liable for any damage or disobedience to the law.
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Document #4

Introduced as SB1364

Description: Enforcement of construction codes – Enhances the continuing education requirements for code enforcement officers to include education on illegal construction practices and adds the Attorney General as an entity capable of providing continuing education. The legislation will also require continuing education for residential building code inspectors include education on proper installation of stucco.
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