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State Senator

Matt Lesser

Representing Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield

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State Senate Passes Lesser-Supported Crumbling Foundations Legislation

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HARTFORD, CT – Today, the state Senate approved legislation to protect home buyers from unknowingly purchasing a home with a crumbling concrete foundation by a bipartisan 35-1 vote. State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown), who co-chairs the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, led debate on this legislation and said this bill will provide consumers with peace of mind when shopping for a home.

“This is an important new consumer protection to provide additional information to purchasers of homes about the history of the home,” said Sen. Lesser. “Nobody should be hoodwinked into buying a home known to have a crumbling foundation.”

State Senators Steve Cassano (D-Manchester) and Doctor Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) agreed this legislation is necessary to protect consumers from purchasing homes with crumbling foundations.

“Crumbling foundations have already harmed so many, and we need to make sure no one else is exposed to this problem,” said Sen. Anwar. “For this legislation to pass the Senate means we are making sure we protect homebuyers and limit any further harm.”

“Passing this bill is a great step towards addressing the pervasive problem of crumbling concrete foundations,” said Sen. Cassano. “Crumbling foundations have caused irreversible damage on people’s homes and livelihood. This bill ensures that people are lifted up and assisted as they repair and replace these deficient structures.”

Senate Bill 907 expands the scope of the “Residential Condition Report,” which an owner must disclose to a prospective buyer with any facts about the property, to the seller’s knowledge, about the presence of the harmful iron sulfide pyrrhotite in concrete foundations, if any testing was done to locate pyrrhotite, any degradation caused by pyrrhotite and any repairs due to deterioration.

When these iron sulfides are exposed to water and oxygen they swell causing cracks and structural damage. According to the Department of Housing, more than 35,000 homes are facing the potential for a failed concrete foundation. According to a report submitted by the Office of Legislative Research, homes in 36 towns are potentially affected by crumbling concrete foundations.

Under SB 907, four Residential Condition Report exemptions have been removed and require the seller to provide this report when the residential property will transfer pursuant to a court order, by a political subdivision of the state, by a deed in lieu of foreclosure or when the property is conveyed to the mortgagee.

By law, a seller must credit the purchaser $500 at closing if the seller does not provide the purchaser with a written Residential Condition Report. If enacted, this law will go into effect on October 1, 2019.

Prior to passing the state Senate, SB 907 passed the Insurance and Real Estate Committee unanimously on March 19.

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