Today, guest blogger Eric discusses the ramifications of new construction warranties in California, under California Civil Code §§ 895 through 945.5 – specifically, remediating construction problems in newly constructed homes.
The Code actually gives a complete, verbatim list of actionable construction defects is located in Section 896. The list includes water intrusion, structural (cracks in foundation, etc.), and plumbing and sewer systems problems If your new home has these types of problems, what can the homeowner do?
The initial question to ask is WHEN did you buy your home. This recently revised area of law governs actions for residential construction defects only in newly constructed homes originally sold on or after January 1, 2003. Thus, if you bought your home after this date this change in the law applies to you.
If this area of law applies to you, it provides you with a number of significant building warranties and protections. An example of one of these warranties is that a builder shall provide a homeowner with a minimum "one year express warranty, limited warranty covering the fit and finish of [:]…cabinets, mirrors, flooring, interior and exterior walls, countertops, paint finishes, and trim, but shall not apply to damage to those components caused by defects in other components governed by the other provisions of this title." However, before filing a lawsuit for breaching one of these warranties or for constructing a building with actionable construction defects, one must adhere to an extensive pre-litigation process. These pre-litigation procedures are spelled out in Civil Code §§910-914, 917-928.
Additionally, please note that the statute of limitations for defects and length of warranties can vary. Therefore, it is imperative to consult an attorney as soon as you realize that your newly constructed home has defects so that you are not precluded from seeking damages from the builder.