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Steinlaw
Steinlaw, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience:  Consumer law attorney, author of California Debt Blog, Businessweek.com top foreclosure attorney
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We bought a house in Arizona (personal, our primary home) last

Customer Question

We bought a house in Arizona (personal, our primary home) last September. The roof was poorly constructed with many leaks and bubbles and we had to repair for the bank to give us the loan.
THe home had been a foreclosure from the builder - nobody had lived in the house.
But we couldn't lodge a complaint with the Registrar of Contractors before buying the home.
So we got 3 estimates, pictures, then repaired the roof and then bought the house. We are now looking for the roofer to reimburse the repairs since it was such a bad job.
We don't have the original contract between the builder/general and the roofer, but we are the first owners of the house. ANd we have an affidavit from a real estate agent that worked with the roofer saying the roofer told them they put the roof on the house.

The house was built approx. 3 years ago. Any guidance for us when we go to the hearing with the Administrative Judge/ROC?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Steinlaw replied 4 years ago.
Could you be more specific in your question, please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
We have the hearing this Thursday, and the contractor is saying the house was built in 06, he has no record of working on the house, he has no records of the warranty and they expire after 2 years, and he will not assume any responsibility for the roof.

We aquired the house from a bank - it was foreclosed through the lender and don't have any records of who was contracted to build the roof but word of mouth of several neighbors and a real estate agent who had the original listing is going on record (affidavit) saying he indeed did the roof.

The question is can we hold him accountable and have him reimburse all or part of our expenses fixing the roof since the roof was improperly installed and damaged when we (the first occupants ever) moved into the house.
Expert:  Steinlaw replied 4 years ago.
I am sorry you are going through this.

From what you are writing, my impression is that you are going to lose. The burden is on you to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he did this. The neighbors testimony is hearsay and is not admissible. This goes for the real estate agent as well, even though it is an affidavit. You can try to get it in as a statement against interest, but you then need the agent there in person to testify and be cross examined. The agent also needs to be able to testify as to when this was said, by whom, where, etc....

Your best bet may be to ask for a continuance so you can go pull public records as well as subpoena the builder's records. You could also subpoena the roofer's records. If you can find a public record or a record via subpoena, you would be able to win. But, without that, you have a difficult, if not impossible case.

Good luck.
Steinlaw, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience: Consumer law attorney, author of California Debt Blog, Businessweek.com top foreclosure attorney
Steinlaw and 10 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you very much. This has helped already.

We found the general contractor that built the house, and he is providing an affidavit that indeed this roofer did the roof for our house. Unfortunately he does not have the contract, including the warranty for the roof.

So our follow up question is whether there is any standard in the industry in regards XXXXX XXXXX length of time for roofs.
The house was built in 2006, we were the first people to ocupy the home and moved in in 2009.
The roofer is now saying that he sometimes does 2 year warranties and sometimes 5, but its up to us to prove that the roof was still under warranty when we moved in last year.
If we can't find the contract, and any proof of warranty, do we have any chance of prevailing since we were the first occupants of the house with a 'roof full of holes'? Is there anything else we can use to hold this roofer accountable for a sub-standard installation?

Thanks!




Expert:  Steinlaw replied 4 years ago.
The industry standard is going to be somewhere between 2 and 5 years. Other roofers could tell you. However, the statute of limitations is 8 years, which sets a good standard for you! I would argue that if you can sue him for 8 years, he should warranty it for that entire time. See ARS Section 12-552(A) and (B)

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