Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hi! LegalGems here. I have extensive consumer law experience and will use this to assist you with your issue today. One moment please as I review your question in more detail.
Was a warranty sold to cover the items that are defective?
And what would you estimate the cost of repairs for all items to be?
The house came with a warranty for a year. And the year will be up Friday. We have been dealing with these issues since they delivered the home. It has been on going. We were giving a estimate for the roof for $6500 and they did repair half of it. For the carpet and tile we do not have a replacement price because we assumed the company would make the product good. As far as the AC they say there is nothing wrong with it. We've had 3 AC technicians out.
So if the warranty covers all of the products mentioned above (which it sounds like it does), and the company fails to honor the warranty, the legal cause of action is called breach of express warranty. Failing to fix it during the warranty period generally results in liability. Small claims allows suits for up to $10K, so I'm not sure if the requested repairs would fall within that amount. As for the AC, a third party tech's opinion would be the evidence that would be presented to counter their tech's statement that nothing is wrong with it. For breach of warranty, the damages recoverable are generally the actual repair cost, or replacement cost if repair is not an affordable option.
http://library.law.smu.edu/Research-Tools/Research-Guides/Texas-Law-%28300%29/307-Small-Claims-Court---Texas However, before filing suit (particularly if the amount is over $10K), it is best to send a demand letter. This not only possibly resolves the issue without the necessity of litigation, but judge's also look favorably upon a party's attempt to negotiate an out of court settlement.
Any statements from the state inspectors that acknowledges the defect is also good evidence.
Well we've had state inspectors out, he said that the carpet is a cosmetic problem not a manufacturers problem. Therefore, the state cannot make the company that built the home replace the carpet because it meets said standards. It would be up to the company to replace the carpet and tile. these issues have been ongoing since the delivery of the home, it has been continually addressed with the company and basically they have said that they are done. Im just needing to know legally I have rights to pursue this in order to have my home fixed at no cost to me.
If the carpet is deemed defective, then that would be a warranty issue. If it is unsatisfactory because it is the wrong color/quality, that would be breach of contract. If the seller misrepresented what you would be getting, so to speak, that would be misrepresentation and considered an Unfair and Deceptive Business Practice. If you have any documentation where the seller acknowledges the carpet/tile is substandard or not what was purchased, that would help substantiate the claims.
Here is a statute that governs the sale of manufactured homes: http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/mh/docs/Law-20010901-20030531.pdf but general contract laws also apply, so if the contract was breached (by the seller refusing to provide goods that conformed to the contract) a breach of contract action could be brought.
A representative from the Carpet Manufacturer came and inspected the carpet, his reported indicated that the wearing of the carpet was normal. Although I disagree brand new carpet should not wear out in less than two months. The issues with the tile were caused by the builder and the repair persons and they have worked on it several times and still it is not fixed. They claim we caused the damage even though it was there from the beginning. Do you feel that if I retained a lawyer to pursue these matters would I have a chance to force the company to make their product good.
If you can prove the defect. So for example, with the carpet, if you had either a licensed home inspector, or a carpet installer, come out and look at it - if they provide a statement that this is not normal wear and tear, as the carpet is already showing serious signs of usage after only 2 months - that would help show that the carpet was either defective or was of such a low grade/quality that it cannot even bear standard wear and tear for 2 months. As for the tile- again, if a third party can attest to the fact that improper installation is causing the problem, then that would be a basis for negligence and breach of contract. If you hire an attorney, s/he will generally first write a demand letter outlining the situation and attaching copies of the statements referenced above. A demand for either compensation to repair/replace the items, or a request that the seller remedy them within a certain time frame is usually the approach taken. Then if no amicable solution is reached, the attorney would file a suit, using the statements and pictures as evidence.
The house is under warranty for a year, the year will be up on the 20th of this month, will I still be able to pursue this even though the warranty will be up because this has been since the house was delivered?
I have reported all these things as they have happened.
As long as there was a pending report then yes. Their refusal to repair it will not negate the warranty, otherwise delay tactics would defeat the very purpose of the warranty.
Here's a referral to the state bar's referral department: http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Lawyer_Referral_Service_LRIS_
THank you for your help, I will be contacting the people that you suggested I speak to, to help gather my evidence. I appreciate your time.
You are welcome. I hope it resolves quickly because it is upsetting to buy a new house and then have these unanticipated problems. Take care.