What is Failure to Disclose in Real Estate Law?
The term failure to disclose is when a seller has refused to disclose essential information about a property to a buyer. Disclosure since some property flaws can significantly lower the market value of a residential or commercial building. Disclosure also ensures that all parties are entering into the deal fairly and with full knowledge of the true condition of a given property.
How do I begin a construction defect lawsuit?
- Contact Schoech Law Group, PC.
- Organize a group within your community that also has construction defect concerns.
- You pay nothing up front. All attorney fees and expert costs are paid after a settlement or award.
- Read, sign and return the Contingency Fee Agreement that is provided by Schoech Law Group, PC.
- Keep a copy of your signed agreement with your important documents.
How much money do I have to pay to retain Schoech Law Group, PC?
- If Schoech Law Group agrees to handle your case on a contingency, nothing. Cases are handled under a Contingency Fee Program.
- The Contingency Fee Program is a “no recovery, no fee” agreement. Schoech Law Group advances the costs of expert investigation and litigation fees until after the homeowner receives a settlement or award at the end of the case. Attorney fees, expert fees, and costs are paid out of such awards.
- No other contributions are required of clients throughout the litigation.
- Legal fees and costs are paid to Schoech Law Group only from settlement or judgment proceeds.
- If Schoech Law Group agrees to handle your case on an hourly basis you will be required to pay a negotiable deposit at the time of retention.
What kind of experts are used by Schoech Law Group?
- Civil Engineers (Site / Drainage)
- Soils Engineers
- Mechanical Engineers
- Sound Engineers
- Stucco Experts
What type of property is protected under California law?
Single family residences, townhomes, and condominiums, as well as income-producing properties such as apartments, commercial shopping, and industrial structures.
What is a construction defect?
It is a condition caused by faulty design, materials and/or workmanship in a home or income-producing property you own.
How do I know if my property has defects and warrants a lawsuit?
There are a wide variety of construction defects which we will discuss and evaluate with you during your no-cost consultation. The following lists some of the typical defects which we litigate:
- Water or dirt intrusion through leaky windows
- Roof leaks and ceiling stains
- Interior drywall cracks or stucco cracks
- Cracked foundation and slabs
- Plumbing, mechanical, or electrical system failures
- Drainage problems
- Soil erosion/settlement
- Stucco cracks
- Septic system failures
How old can my house be to make a claim?
You have up to ten years from substantial completion of your home regardless of whether you are an original or subsequent owner. Within this time, you may have as little as three years from the date you reasonably should have become aware of the construction defect to file a claim. Legal counsel should be sought immediately. Also, if you own a new home which closed escrow after January 1, 2003, you are subject to a new law and special claims procedures.
My developer said not to worry, but the defects are getting worse. What should I do?
Failure to act within the legally prescribed time periods may cause you to forfeit any right of recovery from your developer. As a result, you should act promptly whenever you notice problems.
Should I be satisfied with developer repair attempts?
Prompt and complete repairs can be provided by your developer, but be wary of “patch and pray” attempts. Your developer and sub-contractors are responsible for the construction defects in your home. Compensation is usually paid by insurance companies, therefore bankruptcy or going out of business does not generally eliminate developer responsibility.
I am not the original owner. Do I still qualify to join the lawsuit?
Being a subsequent owner does not prohibit you from participating in the litigation process if you have a valid claim. Contact us for more information.
I bought my house as a short-sale / foreclosure, can I still recover for construction defects?
Yes. You can still recover damages for construction defects even if you bought your house as a short sale or foreclosure as long as you are the current owner of the home. The ten-year statute of limitations remains the same regardless of change of ownership or the manner in which you gained ownership?
Is this a class action lawsuit?
No. The cases are considered complex civil litigation where a group of homeowners must sign up individually, and they receive monetary compensation and/or repairs based on defects found in their home by our forensic expert. Each homeowner receives a different settlement and/or repairs. Although these lawsuits may appear to be a class action, they are actually filed as a complex civil litigation lawsuit in which individual claims on behalf of multiple clients are brought together against the same defendant/home builder.
What is SB800?
Senate Bill 800 (SB800), also known as the “Right to Repair” law, applies to homes where the purchase agreements were signed subsequent to January 1, 2003. This law favors the builder and allows them to make repairs to the construction problems prior to pursuing monetary compensation from the builder. The process of SB800 is a complex repair process and homeowners should speak with our staff for more information regarding the process.
Will the lawsuit reduce my home’s value in the event I sell or refinance my home?
No. Joining a lawsuit may help you preserve the value of your home by recovering monetary compensation and/or repairs from the builder. By joining a lawsuit and conducting repairs, homeowners are left with a more marketable piece of property than if they had not joined. If a homeowner who is aware of defects decides not to join a lawsuit, they are in a potentially worse situation marketing their home down the road. The homeowner would have no recovery from the builder, and thus no repairs performed to defects that may reduce the value of a home.