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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38171
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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We are trying to sue our builder over two bath tubs that

Customer Question

We are trying to sue our builder over two bath tubs that were badly scratched in our brand new construction house we just bought. We tried to follow the traditional paths, before we bought the house and asked him to fix the issue.
he only buffed the tub and made the scratches shiny. the scratches are on both tubs, and they literally everywhere on the tub. We are guessing they put drop clothes in the tub and there was dirt under them, which scratched the tub.
We have send him certified letter seeing we can settle this out of court, but he has not responded. Unfortunately I think we are going to have to take him to court. We have gotten written estimates to replace the tub at $20,000.
Now, we need a lawyer to represent us to the court so we can subpoena the builder. We even have a demand letter stating our situation. We just want this to be resolve in list expensive cost to us as we just bought a house.. Our house is in seattle Washington.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Have you actually had an attorney contact the builder on your behalf?

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And you went ahead and closed on the property with the damaged tubs, correct?

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Do you have any written communications from him where he acknowledges the damages?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Have you actually had an attorney contact the builder on your behalf?No action has been taken at this time.And you went ahead and closed on the property with the damaged tubs, correct?. yes we did close otherwise we were going to lose the house.Do you have any written communications from him where he acknowledges the damages?The only acknowledgement of the damage was the builder sent one of his employees over to the house to try to fix the damage. We told the employee and our agent we were not satisfied.We tried to tried to communicate with them several times but they have refused all our attempts to communicate.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, at this point, the builder thinks that since you agreed to close, that you won't take any further action against them.

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So you have a couple options here.. You can go ahead and hire a local real estate attorney to sue them for breach of contract and for property damages for the replacement of the tubs since they were negligent in not making sure they were protected during work.

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Or you can have a local attorney send them a "demand letter" basically threatening to sue them if they don't make the repairs or replace the tubs. Often when a builder gets a nasty letter from an attorney, that will "encourage" them to fix or replace things rather than getting sued, having to hire an attorney to defend, getting dragged into court, and losing. They end up paying their attorney as well as your damages so it is much cheaper to settle with you.

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Unfortunately, I am not allowed to represent customers from the site or recommend anyone personally under my agreement with JustAnswer. However, these are a couple sites that we attorneys actually use if we need foreign counsel in a state where we aren't licensed. Further, customers have consistently reported good results with these sites:

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www.martindale.com

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www.lawyers.com

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They screen their attorneys based on geographic location, area of practice, time in practice, cost and customer reviews.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your quick response. Unfortunately these are things we already know about. We investigated these options before contacting you, and we were trying to find a less expensive option because we just bought a house and it used a great deal of our money.Do you have any advice on a less expensive route to pursue this type of litigation?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately your only other cheaper recourse would be to file in small claims court where you wouldn't have to hire an attorney to represent you. But your limit is only $5,000 in small claims court so you wouldn't be able to recover your entire damages if it costs $20K.

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An attorney isn't going to take this kind of case on a contingency fee basis because even if you win, the builder could decide to file bankruptcy and then the attorney doesn't get paid. So an attorney is going to require money up front to take the case.

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You could contact your local Legal Aid office and see if they could help you with filing your own lawsuit in a higher court. But you are held to the same standards as a licensed attorney if you are representing yourself in a higher court and if you aren't used to being in court, it could turn a winning case into a losing one on a technicality or procedural mistake you weren't' aware of..

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There aren't any "secret" ways that attorneys have to get someone to pay for damages that they cause someone and we rely on the same things as everyone else...threats of legal action and then actual legal action to sue if the threats don't work.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hi, i was hoping that using this service would help me find a solution that I didn't know myself. Unfortunately, the answers you gave me was information I already knew. I was wondering if we can request our money back.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, as an expert on the site, I have no idea what customers already know, so I start from the bottom up.. And I can only provide you with options in accordance with the law, but not make something up that would circumvent the law..

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However, JustAnswer has a 100% money back guarantee. So if you aren't happy with my service or JustAnswer in general, then you just need to contact their customer service department and request a refund and they will happily provide it.

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thanks

Barrister