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Question to any lawyer experienced in CA SB800 (right to…

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Question to any lawyer experienced in CA SB800 (right to repair). If a buyer signed SB800 addendum at closing choosing to go SB800 route should problems arise, does the SB800 survive closing? Can he how, 3 years later, say that SB800 does not apply and the seller is not a builder? I can attach the form signed for review
Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: CA Real Estate
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
12/7/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: CA Real Estate
Satisfied Customers: 13,287
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today.

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. What specific questions did you have? I have an idea about your situation, but I don’t want to make any assumptions.

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Thank you very much for your patience. The short answer to your first question is yes, it survives closing. In fact, the statute of limitations for most things is 10 years for latent defects. In addition, he cannot three years later say that the seller is not a builder if the seller was in fact a builder.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Ok, the seller is a real estate broker and an attorney who bought, refurbished and sold a bunch of houses. Whether seller is the builder or not is what the fight is about. So, my question is, looking at the addendum I sent you, will that, just by itself, without any additional evidence of the builder status of the seller, be enough to force the buyer into the SB800 process?
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I am the seller and I am trying to get the buyer to accept the SB800 process whereas, naturally, he wants to go negligence route and get his attorney's fees. Am I right to assume that once they accept that I am a builder, attorneys fees are out the window and their attorney will, most likely, ask them for a retainer?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Hi, bear with me one moment...

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Thanks for your patience. Yes, you're right, once they accept that you are the builder, then attorney's fees are out the window.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
ok, but see my previous issue, is the addendum we signed, enclosed as attachment, enough to establish I am a builder?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Let me take a quick look again, bear with me...

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Still reviewing, one moment...

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Ok, I had to take a look at few things, but here's what I found:

Under the code, "Builder" means a builder, developer, or original seller and applies to the sale of new residential on or after January 1, 2004. California Civil Code Sec. 911, 938.

If you don't fall under one of those three categories, then you won't be covered under SB800. Do you fall under one of those three categories as defined under the code?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I know Section 911, 938 by heart. My sole question is if the buyer argued for the applicability of SB800 at sale and signed the addendum (please check it out) electing to go SB800 route, is that enough to bind him to SB800 process now, 3 years later that he is trying to wiggle out of SB800? I remodeled and sold a lot of residential units as owner build this subject one from scratch as owner-builder, developed another 10 unit condo that same year but after the sale. Without that addendum, I may or may not be a builder, but my argument would be that the signed addendum tipped the scale. Any insight?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

So, I have reason to believe that only a court could make that decision as to whether they'd be bound by SB800. They would probably argue that because you aren't a "builder" as defined by the Code, then the agreement is null because it is illegal. For instance, you cannot enter into an attorney-client fee agreement with someone who is not an attorney. That makes the agreement illegal if a person is not legally recognized as an attorney consistent with California law. With that said, this question you ask may be too nuanced for me to answer in this forum without doing additional legal research, which is a bit beyond the scope of our conversation here. I'm very sorry.

What I will do is opt out of this discussion and let another expert who may have more time or expertise in this situation provide you with an answer. If they've dealt with this before, then they can give you a valid 2nd opinion that may be able to assist you in a way that I can't. Thank you again.

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