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Old 02-18-2005, 11:10 AM   #1
MeddlingKids
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Default I have to be a jerk today

I always try to resolve situations in as calm and amiable way as possible, but this situation requires me to transfer into harda** mode. Here's the situation:

Two weeks ago, I noticed a wet area in the corner of my bedroom about 10 square feet. The drywall was wet and the baseboard was splitting off the wall, making me believe there was some sort of leak coming from inside the wall. The developer sent somebody out who simply took a picture of it, and said she'd have somebody come out to take another look. Well, they only have one person they contract, and he's on another job which was supposed to be finished Wednesday, after which he can come out and work on mine. Well, it's Friday, almost two weeks later, and no action has been taken and no phone calls have been placed to me.

Now, the area has spread to about 35 square feet in the bedroom, and it has also leaked into the bathroom, getting under the tiles and causing mold in the grout and warping on the cabinets. This is going to be a large project to ensure all mold is gone and foundation is properly cleaned, carpet replaced, drywall fixed, etc. So this is what I'm going to do when I call the developer this morning:

1. Tell them they have 24 hours to come out and start addressing the problem
2. If they don't show up, I will hire a contracter to begin work
3. When the job has been sufficiently completed, I will send the bill to the developer
4. If they do not pay the bill, they will be taken to court, where they will easily be hammered (I won't say this unless they decide not to pay the bill)

Anyway, thought I'd share my fun little situation. I'll post an update after I call in two hours.
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Last edited by MeddlingKids; 02-18-2005 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:17 AM   #2
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Sounds like fun. Hope it works out for the better.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:17 AM   #3
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Make sure you get some nice digital shots of the water damage. Document all your conversations with the developer and contractors. Get written estimates from your contractors as well. You'll want all that stuff if this goes to court.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:19 AM   #4
AC Lerok
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if you own the property, isn't stuff like this your responsibility? i don't know how condos work, so pardon my ignorance . . . do you have a maintenance contract for the interior that is part of your association fees or something?
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:19 AM   #5
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Do you have rental/homeowners insurance. Call your agent so they can come assess the damage.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:20 AM   #6
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So you own the house? I guess I don't understand why you can send the bill to someone else if work needs to be done to your house.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:21 AM   #7
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If you are not on the first floor, have you talked to your neighbor below you to see if he/she has any water damage on their ceiling or walls?
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:23 AM   #8
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Even if he is in a house, many newer homes have warranties for all maintenance for 5-10 years. We have such a contract. It means the developer is responsible for this.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:25 AM   #9
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If it's a condo association, frequently the exterior of the house is covered by the developer/ association... so water leaks through the exterior and into the interior are often their responsibilty.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mh_WRX
Even if he is in a house, many newer homes have warranties for all maintenance for 5-10 years. We have such a contract. It means the developer is responsible for this.
does that coverage ride with the property, or is it void if the first owner sells? were i a developer, and i ain't, i wouldn't want to be on the hook to the second owner for whatever the original owner may have done to the property.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:30 AM   #11
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New construction typically carries a warranty. I know of one family that had their entire house rebuilt from the foundation up under warranty due to severe "settling". Was a Chicago builder, family lives in Orland Park. It took some threats, but it got done right the second time for free.

Good luck, and I might advise you not to antagonize the folks out of whose pockets the repair expenses must ultimately be paid. Even though they ARE dragging their asses, and you're becoming more frustrated as the damage increase, they probably will get around to addressing the issue, and the worse it gets, the more they'll have repair to new condition. Inconvenience and hassles aside, I'd rather have a thorough rebuild of a larger area that could uncover the real source of the problem than a smaller scale patch job.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:32 AM   #12
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The developer is responsible, since the condo is 1 year old and within the warranty period. The problem is outside the drywall, and is a developer issue.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themtx
New construction typically carries a warranty. I know of one family that had their entire house rebuilt from the foundation up under warranty due to severe "settling". Was a Chicago builder, family lives in Orland Park. It took some threats, but it got done right the second time for free.

Good luck, and I might advise you not to antagonize the folks out of whose pockets the repair expenses must ultimately be paid. Even though they ARE dragging their asses, and you're becoming more frustrated as the damage increase, they probably will get around to addressing the issue, and the worse it gets, the more they'll have repair to new condition. Inconvenience and hassles aside, I'd rather have a thorough rebuild of a larger area that could uncover the real source of the problem than a smaller scale patch job.
That makes sense. I can already tell they're planning on attempting the "quick fix" on this issue. They said they'd come out and clean the carpets, patch the drywall, etc. She doesn't have a clue how big a problem this is going to become if not fixed quickly.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC Lerok
does that coverage ride with the property, or is it void if the first owner sells? were i a developer, and i ain't, i wouldn't want to be on the hook to the second owner for whatever the original owner may have done to the property.
it's transferable for a fee
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mh_WRX
it's transferable for a fee
ah, ok. i didn't really have to worry about this stuff, my place is 7 years old and fee-simple, which i think is realestate-ese for "mow your own goddamn lawn."
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Old 02-18-2005, 02:33 PM   #16
MeddlingKids
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What does the warranty cover, exactly? If the builder used really crappy wood for the basboards, which are splitting at the bottom in some spots, would they not cover it?
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Old 02-18-2005, 02:56 PM   #17
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MeddlingKids - from what I read you have several options: Homeowners Insurance should cover this issue ( if it is covered under your homeowners policy and the insurance company refuses to fix it, such a situation falls under a 1st party insurance bad faith which a suit that can be filed which in general pulls in 6-10 digit settlements). If you don't want to go with the your homeowners insurance you can badger the contractor to fix it or you can hire someone else to fix it and then have the the party at fault to reimburse you (this does have a downside since there could be out of pocket expense but could be recovered easily) via demand to contractor or civil complaint.

We work with a lot of remediation companies through out California so if you want a couple contacts let me know
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Old 02-18-2005, 03:04 PM   #18
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Read your condo association's by-laws to see what parts of the structure you are responsible for. Your own insurance would only cover your personal property and said parts of the structure. If the affected areas are the association's responsibility, get their insurance info and make a claim.
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Old 02-18-2005, 03:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeddlingKids
I always try to resolve situations in as calm and amiable way as possible, but this situation requires me to transfer into harda** mode. Here's the situation:

Two weeks ago, I noticed a wet area in the corner of my bedroom about 10 square feet. The drywall was wet and the baseboard was splitting off the wall, making me believe there was some sort of leak coming from inside the wall. The developer sent somebody out who simply took a picture of it, and said she'd have somebody come out to take another look. Well, they only have one person they contract, and he's on another job which was supposed to be finished Wednesday, after which he can come out and work on mine. Well, it's Friday, almost two weeks later, and no action has been taken and no phone calls have been placed to me.

Now, the area has spread to about 35 square feet in the bedroom, and it has also leaked into the bathroom, getting under the tiles and causing mold in the grout and warping on the cabinets. This is going to be a large project to ensure all mold is gone and foundation is properly cleaned, carpet replaced, drywall fixed, etc. So this is what I'm going to do when I call the developer this morning:

1. Tell them they have 24 hours to come out and start addressing the problem
2. If they don't show up, I will hire a contracter to begin work
3. When the job has been sufficiently completed, I will send the bill to the developer
4. If they do not pay the bill, they will be taken to court, where they will easily be hammered (I won't say this unless they decide not to pay the bill)

Anyway, thought I'd share my fun little situation. I'll post an update after I call in two hours.

Make sure you take pictures of the area before you if you need to, you have proof in court.
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Old 02-18-2005, 03:22 PM   #20
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Make sure to get an indepedent (licenced) home inspector to look at it and prepare a report. In case you need to go to court, having an expert witness will bode well for you. Inspectors love to point out problems. Might cost a few bucks, but you can pass the bill along to the developer.

I can't believe how stupid this developer is. Mold is a major lawsuit in waiting. Their allowing this to be drawn out is idiotic and almost criminal considering the potential health implications.
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