Vandeventer Black LLP: Sale of Condomimiums a Consumer Purchase Under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act

Vandeventer Black LLP: Sale of Condomimiums a Consumer Purchase Under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act

By Neil Lowenstein,

The Virginia Consumer Protection Act notes it purposing as the promotion of "fair and ethical standards of dealings between suppliers and the consuming public."  Among the constricts in that Act, it is unlawful for a supplier in a consumer transaction to misrepresent that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, style or model. The Act defines a consumer transaction as "[t]he advertisement, lease, license or offering for sale, lease or license of goods or services to be used primarily for personal, family or household purposes."  The Act defines a supplier as "a seller, lessor or licensor who advertises, solicits or engages in consumer transactions."

In the case of ABi-Najm v. Concord Condominium, LLC, 280 Va. 350, 699 S.E.2d 483 (2010) [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers], the Virginia Supreme Court considered the question of whether the purchase of units in a condominium complex was a consumer transaction for purposes of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, and concluded, yes, the purchase was a consumer transaction. The case therefore was allowed to proceed on the question of whether the seller made misrepresentations as part of the sales to the condominium purchasers.  The Virginia Supreme Court further held that the claims were not lost by the "doctrine of merger" because of the deeds for the purchases, and that nor were they barred by Virginia's "economic loss" rule because the claim under the act involved a legal duty separate from the duties arising from the contract of sale.

There is some thought that this case establishes a department from earlier law, but regardless it is a significant case of note to those selling or buying condominiums.

View more from Virginia Construction Law News and Notes.

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The information in this blog is for general information about the topics discussed only; it is not legal advise and is not intended (nor should it be construed) to suggest any similar outcomes in any other cases. Individual case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case. No exchange of information associated with this blog in any way establishes (nor shall it be construed to establish) an attorney-client relationship. 

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