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Questions about Home Warranty Policy

A home warranty is a contract that is signed between a home owner and a company that will cover certain kinds of costs that are associated with replacements and repairs of appliances and systems in a house. Coverage offered by a home warranty differs across warranty companies.

Listed below are a few questions about home warranties.

We recently purchased a home with a home warranty and started having problems with the septic system. The seller’s disclosure statement shows that the septic system was working fine and our contract says that we bought the house the way it is. In light of this, can we take any legal action against the seller?

If your home warranty covers the septic system, you can easily get it replaced or repaired pursuant to the warranty. In the event that the warranty does not include the septic system and your contract says “as is” then you may not be able to take any legal action against your seller. Unless you can furnish proof that he/she intentionally misrepresented the condition of the septic system and made a false claim about it, you may not be able to fight the warranty.

When I bought a home, the seller did not tell me that the heat pump and furnace were not working properly. The home inspector and the heating company inspected them and passed them as well. The home warranty I have was purchased by the realtor. Now that the two items are not working, home warranty says that they will not fix it or replace it as it was a pre-existing problem. What can I do?

Based on the facts of your case, you could file a suit against the seller, the realtor and the inspector for breaching the sales contract. The inspector and realtor could have a provision called errors and omissions coverage and may offer a partial settlement. If you hire an attorney, you could send demand letters to all of them and if the matter is still not settled you could file a lawsuit for damages and legal fees.

You do have a right to follow up on this matter and point out that there wasn’t full disclosure and the premises were not inspected properly. You could also include the heating company in your demand letters and lawsuit if required.

The landlord of my property is an investor and doesn’t want to manage the property and undertake any repairs. He wants the tenants to pay the deductible on the home warranty and only carry out repairs on what is actually covered by the home warranty. What can we do?

Your landlord has an obligation towards his tenants to undertake the repairs. You could take him to court and sue him for his breach of obligation. If you do this, you could pay your rent to the court so that in the event that you win, the rent will be returned to you instead of being paid to the landlord.

For more information on how to deal with the landlord, refer to page 36 in http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/catenant.pdf

What warranty is a builder required to give on a new single family home in Nevada?

The complete text of the statute which provides the warranty is given below.

NRS 40.672 Defect in new residence: Duty to repair; deadline for repair; extensions; disciplinary action for failure to comply. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 40.670, if a contractor, subcontractor, supplier or design professional receives written notice of a constructional defect not more than 1 year after the close of escrow of the initial purchase of the residence, the contractor, subcontractor, supplier or design professional shall make the repairs within 45 days after receiving the written notice unless completion is delayed by the claimant or by other events beyond the control of the contractor, subcontractor, supplier or design professional, or timely completion of repairs is not reasonably possible. The contractor, subcontractor, supplier or design professional and claimant may agree in writing to extend the period prescribed by this section. If a contractor or subcontractor fails to comply with this section, he is immediately subject to discipline pursuant to NRS 624.300.

There are also other statutes that need to be provided and they can be found here: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-040.html#NRS040Sec640

Home warranties do not cover all the repairs that are made in a house. That is why it is important for homeowners and tenants to read their home warranty contracts closely to avoid misunderstandings in the future.
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