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Residential Construction Defects: What all Homeowners Should Know

We are currently experiencing a construction boom, both in the residential and commercial sectors.  This article focuses on the influx of residential construction defect litigation in Texas and a brief step-by-step approach for homeowners to follow if they are considering going after their builder for a defectively constructed residence.  First, it is important to note that a suit against a builder by a homeowner is not limited to the original homeowner.  Subsequent purchasers have the right to sue the original builder so long as it has not been more than 10 years since the substantial completion of the original construction of the property.  In order to determine whether you are within the 10 year statutory period, obtain a copy of the Certificate of Compliance filed by the builder when the property was completed.  Assuming you are within the requisite 10-year period to bring suit, a homeowner must follow several crucial steps before filing suit against the builder.  Failure of a homeowner to follow these steps may result in an abatement of the proceeding, or worse, the suit being dismissed by a judge in its entirety.

Before a homeowner can sue a builder over a construction defect, the homeowner must give the builder notice of the defect and a reasonable opportunity to cure as set forth in the Residential Construction Liability Act (RCLA) in the Texas Property Code.  Below is a summary of the steps a homeowner is required to follow in order to comply with the RCLA:

Step 1:  Send a notice letter to the Builder, preferably by certified mail and regular mail;

Step 2:  Allow the Builder to conduct an inspection, if requested by the Builder.

Step 3:  Receive a written offer to repair and/or repurchase property at fair market value from Builder;

Step 4:  Respond to the Builder’s reasonable offer to repair and/or repurchase property;

In short, a homeowner must first provide the Builder with notice of the alleged defect, give the Builder a reasonable opportunity to fix the issue, and if the Builder fails to cure within the reasonable period, a homeowner may then move forward with filing a suit against the Builder for residential construction defects.  For a more in-depth discussion of the requirements necessary to comply with the RCLA, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss the process with you in more detail.

Kyla Wilder

Phone: 281-367-1222

Fax: 281-210-1361

[email protected]

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    Dear Sir or Madam:

    We purchased a D.R. Horton home August 2015. We listed the home for sale on HAR March 4, 2018. We had11 showings and an executed contract on March 18, 2018. The inspection report came back and the contract was rescinded due to construction -slope of the roof didn’t drain water properly, and the water ran into the wall with possible mold.

    We will now have to disclose the problems…. and will have difficulty recovering the damaged property and our lifetime investment. Please, contact me for advisement….

    D.R. Horton has bought back two homes in the last year in our subdivision. The outcome that I would like is buy the home back, plus pay improvement expenses, closing cost, moving expenses, and attorney.

    Sincerely,
    Kristie Wakefield

    Mrs. Wakefield,

    Please reach out to our firm by calling 281-367-1222 so we can best assist you with this matter. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Sincerely,
    The Strong Firm P.C.

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