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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my home suffers from defects?
If you have any type of water intrusion into your home, suchxcvx as from roofs, windows or doors, chances are that those components were installed improperly. Excessive cracking of stucco, drywall or concrete is also typical of defective construction. Plumbing leaks are a very common complaint as well.
How do I calculate the statute of limitations?
The easiest way is to count back ten years from the current date. If your home was built before that date (more that ten years ago), you may be out of luck. Also, if you notified the developer more than three years ago of a particular defect, that could be problematic as well. The best way to figure it out is to call or e-mail us. We can quickly determine it for you.
Can I file a claim if I am not the original owner?
Yes. Ninety-nine percent of the time we will able to represent you against the Developer regardless of whether or not you are the original owner. The best way answer this question is to call or e-mail us. We can quickly advise you..
What if the developer continues to make repairs?
We tell our clients that if the developer is making proper, permanent repairs, let them continue to do so. However, it is critical that the repairs are proper and permanent. If you are not sure if their repair is an adequate one, give us a call or send us an e-mail. We will advise of what to do.
What if the developer refuses to make repairs?
All to often, homeowners get a negative response from the developer. We advise our clients to keep a written record of their requests to make repairs and log any conversations with the builder. Very often there is not much you can do to force the builder to make repairs other than filing a claim. If they absolutely refuse to make any repairs, give us a call or send us an e-mail. Every situation is different.
How many homes need to file a case for it to make economic sense for everyone?
We have found that we need at least fifteen to twenty homes in order for it to make economic sense. In other words, by the time we take our fee and subtract the costs advanced, there needs to be enough settlement funds so that homeowners can make the needed repairs. We have found that with fifteen to twenty homes, the fees and costs are spread adequately so that the homeowners can net the adequate funds to make repairs. This rule of thumb does not apply to homeowner associations.
What will it cost me to retain your firm?
It will cost you nothing upfront. We take our fees and subtract costs advanced when the case settles or a judgement is obtained.
Who pays for the experts?
We advance the fees of the experts and subtract that number from the gross settlement when the case settles.
If my home is chosen for intrusive testing, what areas of my home will be tested?
Typically, on the exterior, we will open up a few areas on the roof as well as a few small sections of stucco. On the interior, a small section of drywall is usually opened up below one or two windows so that those windows can be tested. Our structural engineer may open up a few small sections of drywall to check structural connections and shear walls if that is an issues in the case. Our plumbing-mechanical expert may open up a wall behind a shower to check of installation deficiencies. Very often we find windows and showers that are leaking in the wall cavity, unbeknownst to the homeowner.
If I file a lawsuit, what happens if I decide to sell my house?
If you sell your home, you can either retain your rights or assign your rights in the lawsuit to the new buyer. Claim dismissal may also be an option.
If I do sell, what do I have to disclose to the new buyer?
Any time you sell your home, lawsuit or no lawsuit, you need to disclose the known defects and issues with the house.
If I live in a HOA, who is the Plaintiff?
The Plaintiff is the Association and the Association’s Board of Directors retains us.
Does a Board of Directors in a HOA need the member’s permission to file a claim?
Usually, no. The Board of Directors is responsible for acting in the best interest of the association members. If that means filing a claim to protect the members’ interests, they almost always have the authority to do so under the CC& R’s. However, we do advise Boards to keep the homeowners in the loop at all times.
How hard is it to refinance my home during pending litigation?
There has been so much construction defect litigation over the last ten years or so that banks understand the construction defect litigation process and realize that it can be beneficial to the homeowner as well as the banks interest in the home. We typically help in the process by advising the bank of the situation and working with them to achieve a favorable resolution. We would estimate that 98% of homes in our cases have no significant problem refinancing.
How long will the lawsuit take?
Our claims usually take between twelve and eighteen months.
Do I make repairs during the pendancy of the lawsuit?
We ask that you don’t make repairs unless the repair is an “emergency” (i.e. an active roof leak) or life-safety is an issue.
How do we get updated during our claim?
We send out monthly update letters to advise our clients of the status of the claim.
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The information contained on this website may provide general legal information but is not intended to give legal advice or counsel on any specific legal matter. It does not create an attorney-client relationship and should not be relied upon in lieu of legal counsel.