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legalgems
legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10484
Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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I just bought a new home. The back of the lot had standing

Customer Question

I just bought a new home. The back of the lot had standing water. I checked the drainage plan and it appears that the drainage was not installed as per plans. I had the builder rep come out and look at the problem and now the will not respond to my request for a follow-up (it has been 3 weeks). Is this an issue that the builder should fix under warranty or is this something that i am responsible for as the home owner.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Washington State
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I requested a warranty fix
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think that should be enough info
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  legalgems replied 3 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 3 months ago.

So this is a new home, correct?

Was any drainage issues disclosed prior to the sale?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
we bought from the builder in a development. The house closed last September. With heavy rain this winter the back 8 feet of the lot was filled with water full width of the.lot (70 feet). Each lot has its own drainage plan that was approved by the county. The plans show a drain at the back of the lot that is to tie into the roof drains and go out the the street via the storm drain. Once the water at the back of the lot fills the swale then it starts flowing through the drain line. if the back drain was one foot higher then it would most likely drain with first filling the swale. The swale is deep enough that it could be raised a foot and solve the problem. That is what a am requesting of the builder. Is the builder responsible for something like this under the warranty
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
There was no disclosure s concerning drainage issues. Drains were installed based n plans but don't seem to be working correctly unless such drainage allows for standing water before water flows through the system
Expert:  legalgems replied 3 months ago.

Yes, a builder is responsible for any latent defects in the property. This is based on 2 different legal theories:

1. contract law; every contract has an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which in real estate transactions involve full disclosure of known defects. Breach can result in the defendant being liable for the cost of repair, and any additional damages (flooding damage) so long as plaintiff attempted to mitigate damages. The idea is to put plaintiff in the position s/he would have been in but for the breach.

2. negligence- when a builder is hired to build a residence it is expected they will use due car and not perorm substandard work. The idea is that if work is substandard the builder must rectify it so it complies with local codes, and local standards of work.

3. express warranty-any express warranties would apply.

Construction defects have certain requirements that other cases don't have - please see the notice requirements here:

http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=64.50.020

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Expert:  legalgems replied 3 months ago.

Good day. Just checking in to see how the above worked out. You can always reach out to me hear on Just Answer and I will do my best to get the requested information for you. Thank you!