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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Suing for Builder Fraud

    I bought a new home in a subdivision of Texas back in 2001. Among other things I specifically asked the salesman if the house would be water softener ready to which he replied "yes". After installing a softener a few years ago I've now come to find out that the lines leading to it only soften water for the water heater and one outside faucet. Effectively 90% of the house is not running through the softener and I continue to get calcium build up. I rented a mini excavator and dug up the main line leading into the home and found that it ran directly to the right side of the house and then loops back to the garage on the left side (were the water softener loop is). Its plumbed in a manner were the softener "loop" is literally the last pipe on the run. Talking to a few neighbors that have softeners Iíve discovered that the even numbered houses are plumbed correctly and all odd numbered houses are not with respect to whole house water softening. The reason why is that odd numbered homes in this division have the service from the street coming from the right side of the house and the plumber, Iím assuming, wanted to save on piping and ran the lines to the closest faucet first.

    Iím interested in legal advice on:
    1. Is this legal in terms of building codes for Texas?
    2. Will this hold up in court as de-frauding myself and the others in my neighborhood? Especially since this was a question that I specifically asked about during the sales process and would have had serious reservations about the home if the answer was no?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Suing for Builder Fraud

    1. That's a question to run past the local building department or a local builder. Without researching building codes, I expect that you're going to find that there's no requirement that a house have softened water, and thus that there's nothing that would require a builder to soften the water for an entire house as opposed to part or none of the house.

    2. I expect you'll have a difficult time with the statute of limitations, nine years after-the-fact. Absent some basis to toll (extend) the statute, the limitations period ran several years ago. I suggest discussing your options with a real estate lawyer, including how the "discovery rule" might apply to a claim of fraud. But I'm skeptical that you could establish this as fraud rather than negligent oversight of a careless subcontractor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,661

    Default Re: Suing for Builder Fraud

    Quote Quoting degree451
    View Post
    2. Will this hold up in court as de-frauding myself and the others in my neighborhood? Especially since this was a question that I specifically asked about during the sales process and would have had serious reservations about the home if the answer was no?


    You bought the house in 2001 and just installed the softener a few years ago. You say if you could not have a softener in the house then you would not have bought the house. Why did you wait seven years to install the water softener if having a water softener is what sold the house?

    With that statement and if the salesman states in court that you never asked him anything about a water softener who do you think the judge will believe?

    Then it took you a few years to find out the softener was plumbed in wrong? You can tell if a house has soft water or not by the feel of the water, the taste of the water and how it cleans.

    Who installed your water softener, you or an experienced plumber? Whoever it was should have tested the water for softness after they completed the install, if they did you would have found out right away (or at least the next day) not years later that you weren't living with soft water.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Suing for Builder Fraud

    If its not up to code, then it will be your cost to fix...I think the SOL is too late

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