Ask the Attorney Column - September 2015 ( My husband and I purchased a new home in March and we are having several issues with it. At first the builder seemed receptive to making the repairs, but has since stopped returning my calls. Do I have any recour

30-Aug-2015

The following article appeared in the September issue of the Community Chronicle Newspaper as part of a monthly column titled "Ask the Attorney" authored by Donnie O'Pry of the O'Pry Law Firm.

 My husband and I purchased a new home in March and we are having several issues with it. At first the builder seemed receptive to making the repairs, but has since stopped returning my calls. Do I have any recourse?

Congratulations on purchasing a new home. Moving into a brand new house should be an exciting time and not one that is filled with stress. However, it can be very frustrating if your builder is more interested in moving on to the next home rather than making sure the one that was just sold is functioning at it should.

Fortunately for you, Louisiana law does provide a remedy to the new home purchaser in the form of the New Home Warranty Act. The New Home Warranty Act provides a mandatory warranty for purchasers and occupants of new homes in Louisiana. Under the Act, every builder in Louisiana warrants that the home will be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year after the purchase of the home. The Act also provides extended warranties for other categories such as a two year warranty for all plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling and ventilating systems and a five year warranty for major structural defects. However, the warranty does not extend to fences and landscaping.

If you wish to make a claim under the New Home Warranty Act, you must give your builder written notice of the defect by certified mail within one year of your knowledge of the defect. The written notice must give the builder a reasonable opportunity to repair the defect before the homeowner attempts to undertake any repairs or sues for breach of warranty. If the builder fails to undertake the repairs within thirty days after receiving the notice, the homeowner may bring an action against the builder for breach of warranty. The Act specifically allows the homeowner to recoup all costs of the lawsuit, as well as attorney fees.