New homebuyers are typically hopeful that the home they bought is free of any defects. Unfortunately, even the most diligent buyer may find that their new home has issues they did not expect. Homebuilders may be required to fix any of the defects listed under Cal. Civil Code Sec. 896. These defects may relate to:
- Cracks in the foundation
- Plumbing and sewer issues
- Water leaks
- Roofing and structural issues
- Electrical issues
If you notice a possible defect in your new home, consider taking the following action:
- Check for defects ASAP: The defect must also be discovered no later than one to 10 years from the day the home was completed or from the date escrow closed, depending on the specifics of your case. You must also file your lawsuit before the requisite deadline.
- Hire an inspector: Have an inspector or other expert inspect your home and provide a report detailing the defect.
- Reference the warranty: Check if your defect is covered under the builder’s limited warranty, which generally lasts for one year after the close of escrow. This gives the builder the opportunity to fix the defect before you move forward with your lawsuit.
- Prevent further damage: Under California law, homeowners have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage once they find a defect.
Repairing defects can be costly, which is why many homeowners file lawsuits against the parties responsible for building their homes. An attorney specializing in real estate law and litigation can help determine what steps you should take if your new home does not live up to your expectations.