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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116715
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I live in Louisiana and just had a house built by UnitedBilt

Customer Question

I live in Louisiana and just had a house built by UnitedBilt Homes. Local inspector passed house but you can see daylight through roof in attic, hot water heater is not up to code (according to my plumber) and there are a multitude of other problems with the construction that I have been told do not meet standards. UnitedBilt has a clause in contract that says we have to go through arbitration (and I can't afford this) and that Louisiana is a nonpunitive damages state and you cannot recover attorney fees. I have spent over a quarter of a million dollars to build my dream house (and they didn't even build it like I designed) and I can't live in it (we haven't moved in yet). What is my recourse?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, all you can do, without incurring fees for arbitration you say you cannot afford, is to file a claim under warranty with the builder to make repairs, because they are still in breach of warranty.
Also, under the warranty of rehibition, the builder is liable for doing workmanlike work and if they have not done so, then you have a basis to sue (through arbitration as the attorney told you about the clause) to get an award of the cost of repairs. You should get another expert contractor out to list all of the repairs required and the cost of making those repairs, so if you cannot get UB to fix the problems you have your evidence you would need for arbitration.
Unfortunately, you have no real choice other than to demand they make the repairs or you will have to sue and arbitrate pursuant to the contract you signed.