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Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 54713
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I am having major isssues with my brand new home. Currently

Customer Question

I am having major isssues with my brand new home. Currently we are experiencing seperation from ceiling and wall ( up to 3/4" in some areas) I am told this is do to expansive soil and improper irrigation. In california am I responable for grading my property that kb homes built on?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon Matt. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping.

The problems with regard to your new home are not the result of your soil and irrigation; rather, they're related to construction issues....specifically, likely due to a defective foundation. And, your builder is liable for this. What you want to do is raise the stakes on your builder. First, get an estimate from another contractor to evaluate the problem (because your builder is going to be biased toward a half-way fix) and for the cost to fully remediate the problem. Then, send your builder a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the situation and demand the builder either fully fix the problem at their own cost or pay you what it will cost you to have the other contractor finish the job properly. Inform the builder that they do not comply with your demand within a short specified period of time, you will have no choice but to file a suit for your damages. BUT, be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as gross negligence, deceptive trade practice, and fraud causes of action, which will entitle you not only to your damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. Even if you have to file the suit, that's likely all you will need do. In my experience, he will settle this without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages and the judgments being on the record.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help. As far as you know am I responsible for the grading of my property I have done nothing to change the pre existing grade?
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

You're very welcome....it's my pleasure to help. You are not responsible for the initial grading and drainage. ONLY IF: i) you had dramatically changed the drainage; AND ii) it's actually the drainage that's causing the issue would the builder have a valid defense. But, you have neither!

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