[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Northport 8-3-1976 by L.L. No. 9-1976 (Ch. 45 of the 1966 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the provisions of Article 37 of the General Business Law of the State of New York. It is the finding of the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Northport that there is a need to protect the down payments made by contract vendees (future residents and homeowners of the Village of Northport) on the purchase of a newly constructed home. This chapter is designed to provide the aforesaid protection and to ensure that said down payments are not lost by the default of builders of new homes.
Editor's Note: See L. 1975, c.643, § 1; General Business Law § 779.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Occurs where title to the home is not transferred to the vendee because of the failure of the vendor to substantially perform those provisions of the agreement between the vendor and vendee where the vendor undertook to build or construct a home for the vendee or where the vendor becomes insolvent.
- Communication of an actual notice to the vendor of requests made therein.
- Any moneys given as down payment by the vendee to the vendor as required by the vendor prior to the commencement of the work to be performed pursuant to an agreement between the vendor and vendee where the vendor undertook to build or construct a home for the vendee.
- A new dwelling intended to be used primarily as a residence.
- Any individual or individuals who have contracted with a vendor for construction of a home on land not owned at the time of such agreement by such individual or individuals.
- Any person, firm, corporation or association engaged in the business of erecting or constructing homes.
When a vendor undertakes to build or construct a home for a vendee and such vendee is required to pay a deposit to such vendor, the vendor shall post, with the Treasurer of the Incorporated Village of Northport, a bond in the amount of such deposit or deposits to secure the payment of said deposit(s) to the vendee upon the vendor's default.
In lieu of posting a bond as provided in this chapter, the vendor shall place the deposit or deposits paid to him by the vendee in an interest-bearing or escrow account with a bank, as defined in the Banking Laws of the State of New York. Such deposit or deposits, together with interest accumulated thereon, shall remain the property of the vendee, except as otherwise provided herein.
All applications for a building permit for the construction of a new home, as defined herein, and all subdivision maps bearing the final approval of the Planning Board of the Incorporated Village of Northport shall have endorsed thereon the following legend:
Upon the application for a building permit made to the Code Compliance Director of the Incorporated Village of Northport by a vendor, as defined hereunder, the Code Compliance Director shall ascertain if the applicant has entered into an agreement with a vendee or vendees, as defined hereunder, for sale of a home. In the event that such an agreement has been entered into, the Code Compliance Director shall determine if the applicant has complied with the provisions of § 180-3 of this chapter before issuing a building permit. In the event the Code Compliance Director determines that the applicant has not complied, he shall not issue a building permit pursuant to Chapter 106, Building Construction, of the Code of the Village of Northport unless and until he is satisfied that the applicant has complied with § 180-3 hereof.
In the event the Code Compliance Director ascertains, upon application by a vendor for a building permit, that an agreement for sale of a house has not been entered into, the Code Compliance Director shall endorse upon any building permit he issues, the following legend:
Notwithstanding any provision of Chapter 106, Building Construction, of the Code of the Incorporated Village of Northport, the Code Compliance Director is herewith authorized to revoke a building permit issued pursuant to Chapter 106 of the Code of the Village of Northport if he determines that there has been a violation of this chapter.
Upon transfer of title of the home to the vendee, the bond posted pursuant to this chapter shall be released, and any funds held in escrow pursuant to provisions of this chapter, together with interest accumulated thereon, shall become the property of the vendor, unless otherwise agreed between the vendor and vendee.
Upon default by the vendor, the vendee may demand return of his deposit or deposits from the vendor. If the vendor has placed the deposit or deposits in an escrow account pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, he shall physically transfer the account to the vendee or pay the balance of said account to the vendee within 14 business days after the day on which the demand was made. If the vendor has posted a bond pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the vendee may initiate action for payment thereon if his deposit or deposits have not been paid to such vendee by the vendor within 14 business days after the day on which said demand was made.
Failure of the vendor to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter is a misappropriation of funds and action may be brought by the vendee against the vendor for the return of any moneys advanced. In addition, such vendor shall be liable for criminal action pursuant to the provisions of Subsection B of this section.
Failure of the vendor to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a misdemeanor.
Nothing in this chapter shall impair, limit or reduce the statutory common law or contractual duties or liability of any vendor in the construction of a home, nor shall these provisions apply to any local law or ordinance which requires the posting of public improvement bonds.