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Warranties on Household Items May Not Transfer to You When You Buy the House

realtor showing an empty houseWhen someone buys a home, he or she probably assumes warranties on items in the home (appliances, the pool, the shed, the furnace, etc.) will transfer to him or her. However, many buyers and sellers are surprised to learn these warranties often do not transfer.

This is actually very common, according to Schmidt Kramer partner Scott Cooper, who was recently interviewed for a FOX43 story on this issue.

“You almost can’t anticipate the warranty not being transferable,” Cooper said.

The article talks about one homeowner in Elizabeth Township who started to notice problems with the pool, including cracks in the concrete. She knew she had a lifetime warranty on the pool when she bought the house, so she called the pool company, but they told her the warranty only applied to the original owner.

FOX43 spoke to the pool company and they said it is not their business practice to transfer warranties from one homeowner to another. The company said buyers should do a pool inspection before buying the home.

What to do if a Company Will Not Transfer a Warranty

 Even though the warranty may say it only applies to the original owner, Cooper says homeowners should still sue to try to obtain warranty coverage.

You can argue it is against public policy to sell a warranty that cannot be transferred. Just about any warranty should be transferable because it is what buyers paid for. “It really goes with the product, it doesn’t go with the person,” says Cooper.

When you are in the homebuyer process, be sure to ask questions about warranties and whether they can be transferred. You should also get a home inspection and special inspections of other things, like pools or fireplaces. Results from these inspections could help you obtain warranty coverage.