By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
A few weeks ago, I featured a news report from Daybreak HOA, South Jordan, Utah, where homeowners of relatively new homes face a huge special assessment needed for extensive repairs. (See Daybreak HOA faces $23M assessment, some owners at risk of losing homes)
Well, since the HOA has filed a lawsuit against home builders Holmes Homes and Hamlet Homes, both companies have gone on record denying responsibility for shoddy construction, and accusing Daybreak HOA of not maintaining their properties.
Daybreak homeowners file lawsuit accusing builders of cutting corners on construction
POSTED 8:19 PM, APRIL 12, 2017, BY TAMARA VAIFANUA
SOUTH JORDAN – Hundreds of families living in the Daybreak community are suing their homebuilders.
They claim builders cut corners on the construction of their homes and now they’ll be stuck with millions of dollars in repairs.
Crews have been making the rounds in Daybreak neighborhoods, temporarily fixing dozens of problems that have surfaced in 390 townhomes built within the last decade.
Inspectors allege extensive damage, including cracks in stucco due to improper installation of seals against water damage. From rotted trim, to roof and window leaks, consultants say shoddy work has put people at risk in their homes.
“On a scale of 1-10, 10 being it’s a pretty bad situation, I’d say this is probably a 10,” said Sean Gores with Gores Construction Inc.
Gores issued his findings to the builders, Holmes Homes, and Hamlet Homes.
Read more (Video):
Here’s an excerpt of what the builders say in their official media statements:
We have thousands of photos showing the proper construction of the townhomes involved in the litigation. Over the years, all buildings require maintenance. The homes identified in this townhome litigation include those that were built up to or over a decade ago.
…while very few of the items identified in the report were on Hamlet built Homes, most related to lack of maintenance. It is the responsibility of the homeowner’s association to maintain the exterior of the homes. Early evidence suggests that these homes exteriors were not properly maintained, leading to other larger issues as the homes aged.
It is worth noting, for those unfamiliar with construction defect lawsuits, that these are what I call Standard Denial Responses. Every homebuilder and contractor, in typical knee-jerk reaction to complaints of poor workmanship, attempts to blame property damage on homeowners, citing poor maintenance.
Homeowners wonder why they should have to replace roof and window flashing on homes that are less than 10 years old. Is that really normal maintenance? Sean Gores of Gores Construction, inspector for Daybreak HOA, does not think so. He blames home builder contractors for failure to closely supervise the work quality of their subcontractors. Gores says that portions of roofs and windows were not properly sealed to keep out rain and moisture.
That is a plausible argument. According to National Association for Home Builders, It Takes 22 Subcontractors to Build the Average Home. No wonder construction defect litigation is so complex. It takes dozens of people to build one house, each of those subcontract workers blaming the others for problems with the end product.
Now attorneys for the HOA and for both builders will continue to work with experts as they gather evidence to back up their legal arguments. The process could drag on for years, although a pre-trial settlement is always possible. In the meantime, as you can see from the Fox News video, homeowners will have to deal with invasive inspections and repairs needed to prevent further water damage.
And, of course, $23 million in assessment increases to cover the cost of extensive repairs.