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We purchased a newly built house in SF in late 2016. In

We purchased a newly...

We purchased a newly built house in SF in late 2016. In march 2017 the city sent a bill to the builder at the builders address for $900 which represented the annual charge for the MSE (minor sidewalk encroachment). The builder apparently disregarded the bill. This past week we received a bill for $1800, representing this year's $900 and the past due from the prior year. The builder should have paid $241 of the $900 last year. Moreover, this liability/obligation was never disclosed. Can we take legal action to recover the $900 for a period of years going forward?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

No, I did send an email to the builder asking for the $241. That's it so far and he has yet to respond to even that

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the house located?

San Francisco

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

The same thing occurred to our next door neighbor

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
whats happening?
Answered in 30 minutes by:
5/10/2018
Olivia Kent
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,628
Experience: Executive Director at Neurogenx Nerve Center of Princeton
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Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. My name is ***** ***** I'm an attorney. Please note this site is general information for educational purposes only. No course of action is proposed and the information provided does not constitute legal advice. You might be offered a phone call, but you are under no obligation to accept; the phone call requests don’t come from me - they’re offered by the website - but if you do want a phone call I’d be happy to do that as well. I'll be happy to help you in any way I can.
.
Give me just a moment to review what you've written.

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Yes, you can take legal action. The single most effective way for you to get paid would be to sue in small claims court. You might want to send them a certified letter return receipt requested, demanding payment prior to filing suit. It's always smart to try to negotiate since you might be able to reach a resolution without any litigation at all. The same goes for your neighbors. In theory, since it applies to more than one of you, you could start a class action but I don't know that you'd want to do a class action on your own (and then small claims court wouldn't apply) and I'm not sure that given the amount at stake an attorney would be willing to take on contingency.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
We are first obligated to go to arbitratipn
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
We are first obligated to go to arbitration

in that case you'd go to arbitration.

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They CAN'T stop someone from suing but if you have an agreement stating that you must arbitrate first, that would be different.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thx

It's my pleasure. If I can ever be of assistance in the future, you can reach me directly by going to: https://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-droliviak-jd-md/?rpt=3800 or asking for me directly by putting THIS QUESTION IS FOR OLIVIA before typing your question.

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If it's not too much trouble, could you take a moment to submit a rating so that I receive credit for working with you; there should be a stars based system that you can check off to submit the rating. 5 STARS is always appreciated but definitely not required. And if you have any additional questions I'd be happy to answer them!

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
If I accept payment of $241 for the period in which the property was in the builders name, am I precluded from pursuing prospective annual costs of $900 due to non disclosure?

No, the only way you'd be precluded is if you signed something saying this is payment in full.

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Or something stating that the payment is being accepted in satisfaction of the debt. Does that make sense? :)

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Perfect sense
Thx

Happy to help :)

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I see that the question still remains open (we see our ratings as they come in) so if you wouldn't mind, I'd really appreciate if you could submit a rating. That's the only way we receive credit.

Olivia Kent
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,628
Experience: Executive Director at Neurogenx Nerve Center of Princeton
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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