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Gethers v. 60 Lafayette Avenue Corporation

A-2660-01T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2003) (Unpublished)

CONTRACTORS; CONSUMER FRAUD—A seller’s false representation that it would repair a house’s heating system after closing of title can be the basis for a claim under the Consumer Fraud Act.

A buyer sued a seller for violation of the Consumer Fraud Act for falsely representing to her, prior to the closing of title to her house, that the seller had repaired the heating system and replaced the hot water heater. The contract provided that the premises were being delivered with the heating and plumbing systems in working order. The contract also stated that the representations and warranties would merge with the deed and not survive closing of title. The seller claimed that it was not responsible for the condition of the heating and plumbing systems after closing. The lower court found that the contract was modified to include an agreement to repair the heating system and replace the hot water heater. Accordingly, in order to induce the buyer to close, the seller falsely represented to the buyer that the heating and hot water systems were replaced and operational. This was a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act. The Appellate Division affirmed.

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