Under Chapter 40, the builder is required to pay the homeowners’ attorneys’ fees. Cases can be handled without any up front costs to the client. The attorney can get paid by the builder after the homeowner gets paid. The great part of Chapter 40 is that the attorney fee is not taken out of the homeowners’ recovery.
In a personal injury case, if the injured person wins $100,00 and there is a 30% contingency fee, the injured person walks away with $70,000 and the attorney gets $30,000. Whereas, in a Chapter 40 case, if the homeowner is awarded $100,000, the home owner walks away with $100,000. Then the builder pays an additional $30,000 to the homeowner’s attorney. Additionally, the builder has to pay the homeowner’s experts.
*A concerned senior citizen sent in an email stating that her case against her builder was dismissed in small claims court due to the fact that she sent in the requests for work via the builder's "warranty work request" on the builder's web site. As it turns out, only registered/certified/return receipt mail will stand up in a Nevada court of law.
see above category, Canceling Purchase of a New Home due to Problems/Defects
Eminent domain refers to the government's right to take private land. Recently, this power has been abused by government officials.
Expansive soil is soil that expands when it gets wet. It then contracts when it dries. This expansion and contraction can cause the foundation, walls, and/or ceiling of a house to crack. Builders in Nevada are not required to do soil testing on each individual house lot; only 1 soil test is required for an entire community. Therefore, if the area tested is not expansive, that in no way guarantees that there are no lots with expansive soil in the entire subdivision. If a house is built on expansive soil, the builder is NOT required to make architectural modifications that will help prevent the sinking, cracking,and/or moving of a house built on expansive soil.
It is buyer beware in the state of Nevada when dealing with sinking houses built on expansive soil. If a buyer signs a document that states they are aware their house is being built on expansive soil, they have basically given up their right to sue or recover damages that may occur from the unstable soil. Therefore, once the condition of expansive soil has been exposed to the buyer, the buyer has NO legal recourse.
This refers to an attorney's ability to treat all homes the same in a class action lawsuit regardless of some individual differences in the houses/defects. This makes it easier for homeowners to band together and prompt builders to make repairs. This may be an issue in the upcoming Nevada Legislative Session in February, 2007.
This Richmond American homeowner discovered that his toilet was not bolted down correctly when someone stepped in toilet water. Unfortunately, when the toilet and OSB were removed, he also discovered that the floor joists were too far apart. The maximum joist spacing per code depends on the type of wood used and the amount of load on the floor (pounds per square inch). However, the absolute largest span allowed under the code in any circumstances is 24”. See R5032.3.1(1) of the 2000 IRC. This is a constructional defect."
This homeowner has 3 options: ask Richmond American to fix the toilet and the floor joists. File a complaint with the Nevada State Contractors Board, or file a lawsuit.
Incorrectly installed floor joists can cause things like sagging floors; in extreme cases, the bathtub or toilet may fall through the floor and land in your kitchen.
"Lulling" is a term used to describe a technique used by customer service representatives and/or builders. Basically, a homeowner reports a problem with a home. The builder responds by sending someone out to repair it and says "we'll get back to you.." The builder drags out the repair effort until the warranty is expired.
If you are a victim of "lulling," some problems/defects are covered by the Nevada Law even after the home warranty has expired. Contact the Nevada State Contractors Board or an attorney for information.
Renee Haynes. Homeowner located in Oregon whose children were affected by Aspergillus mold. 509/535-2502.
**If your child displays language delays and/or learning disorders after exposure to mold, a doctor can determine if mold antibodies have entered their bloodstream.
Think you're a victim of mortgage fraud or predatory lending? In Las Vegas call the Mortgage Division and ask for Brice. (..more info to come ..) Or, contact the local National Association of Mortgage Brokers and ask them to review your loan documents.
Houses built on expansive soil cannot be approved for government insured mortgages. If your house is sinking and/or cracking due to expansive soil and you have a government insured mortgage, your builder may have made a false representation to the mortgage company.
Avoiding Binding Arbitration due to a Government Insured Mortgage :
Hello, I'm the national secretary for Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings. One of the issues we see in most complaints is how home buyers are hamstrung by mandatory arbitration clauses in builder and warranty contracts. Arbitration prevents the customer from suing if the builder does not hold up their end of the bargain. Instead, disputes are heard privately by a supposedly neutral arbitrator. The problems are too many to post here, but one of the main ones is the potential for bias in favor of the industry, since arbitrators do repeat business with the industry, not the individual home owners. A home owner still needs to hire a lawyer for arbitration, too. It can be hard to find a good lawyer because these cases aren't profitable unless they are class action lawsuits, usually.
That said, there is one strong possibility to avoid the arbitration clause in a warranty policy if the buyer has a government insured mortgage. It is Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 203.204(g). (Citation: 24 CFR 204.204(g)) Be sure to give your lawyer that information if you have a govt insured mortgage and are being told you must arbitrate. He or she should be able to use it to your advantage. This is information I got from HADD when I first had my construction defect case, and I used it successfully myself. Some volunteer in the distant past had apparently found this regulation and it became part of the cumulative knowledge of HADD. The warranty companies know this but unless YOU know it and work to enforce it they will not necessarily follow it. Sadly, we don't know of any examples where it was determined if the regulation applies to strictly builder contracts; this is in regard to "warranties," which can be a 3rd party company. Your lawyer can advise you.
The builder's agent must show the buyer the soil report within 5 days after the initial signing of a contract. If the agent does not show the buyer the soil report in 5 days, the buyer has 20 days from the initial signing to cancel the contract with a full refund.
If a builder tries to retain the buyer's deposit once they have cancelled the contract due to not having access to a soil report or concerns regarding information in the soil report, contact the Real Estate Division.
Soil reports are kept on file for 1 year and then destroyed. Homeowners can see their soil report in the these offices.
For the City of Las Vegas
For Clark County
NRS 116.4115(2) states in relevant part: “With respect to a purchaser of a unit that may be occupied for residential use, no general disclaimer of implied warranties of quality is effective, but a declarant and any dealer may disclaim liability in an instrument signed by the purchaser for a specified defect or specified failure to comply with applicable law, if the defect or failure entered into and became a part of the basis of the bargain.”
In other words, a builder cannot limit the warranty to less than the statute of limitation (8 and 10 years) unless the builder specifically identifies the items not warranted. To be effective, the builder would have to say “I offer no warranty on the plumbing, walls, stucco, soils, electrical systems, HVAC etc.” If the builder does not do so (and no builder does so), the owner and all subsequent owners have at least 8 years to bring a claim for defects no matter what the builder says.
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