|Sellers Disclosure Statement||TREC 1 to 4||Pre-Inspection|
|Code of Ethics for Realtors||Section 7||TREC Repeal PDF file||Log|
|Legal Forms Zip File||Lemon Law||Standards||Standards PDF File|
|Forms||Forms PDF file||September 1, 2000 Report||September 1, 2000 Base|
This Consumer Protection Bill was unfortunately killed in the State Legislature by lobbyists attempting to protect the interests of the building industry. The greater Houston Builders Association is attempting to peruse local inspectors to support the rights of home builders over the rights of the home owner. The fact remains that most home builders don't know the building codes and unfortunately there is NO license for home builders in the State of Texas. Anyone can call themselves a "home builder" or "general contractor". Most that do outsource the actual work to immigrant (non-English speaking) general laborers who do not know the building code nor can read house plans. Supervisors of these general laborers often are NOT at the jobsite during the actual work. Information about the proposed / dead legislation follows.
Thursday, March 08, 2001
By Julie Clairmont
Inman News Features
Texas home builders are feeling pretty sour about a bill filed by state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio on Feb. 16.
Referred to as the "home lemon law," the Texas Homebuyer Protection Act would require builders to buy back a house from the homeowner if a construction defect wasn�t corrected after three tries.
Backers of the bill say it would improve the quality of homes, provide a more effective complaint process for homeowners, and give them more protection than new home warranties, which they claim are woefully inadequate.
"It can clean up the housing industry the same way the car �lemon law� cleaned up the automobile industry," said Janet Ahmad, president of Texas�s Homeowners for Better Building.
Texas builders, however, say consumers are already protected through the state�s Residential Construction Liability Law. That law requires builders to cover reasonable repairs on a home, gives the homeowner a means to dispute the builder�s offer, has a cap equal to the price of the home and allows for attorney fees if the matter goes to court.
"We think it�s very adequate," said Lyle Johansen, executive vice president of the Texas Association of Builders.
But Ahmad called the existing law "a horrible mechanism that makes homeowners jump through so many hoops."
"It wears them out, and they can still end up spending thousands of dollars to get a problem fixed," she said.
Ahmad founded Homeowners for Better Building in the late 1970s after having had a bad experience with a home of her own.
"My house was falling apart," she said. "It had all sorts of building code violations."
Ahmad said she filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau and a homebuilder�s association�s grievance committee, but all to no avail.
Backers of the "lemon law" bill also believe home warranties, such as the Residential Warranty Corporation Warranty used by Texas-based Centex Homes, are unenforceable and severely limited, and provide protection only for major structural defects. Calls to Centex regarding its home warranties were not returned.
"Homebuilders have become confident that they can build homes that are substandard because they cannot be held accountable for unfair contractual advantages," said Ahmad.
The Texas Builder Association is opposing the proposed "lemon law."
"It�s unnecessary, and it would actually repeal the Residential Construction Liability Law," said Johansen.
Bills that would require builders to be licensed have failed numerous times in Texas, said Ahmad. She is hoping the "lemon law" bill, which has not gone to committee yet, will have a better chance.
"I think it does, because consumers can understand it," she said.
Copyright 2001 Inman News Features
Diligent Inspections represents the interests of families purchasing homes. You need to have your property inspected before closing to safeguard your interests. The inspection report and review give you a change to have your "eyes open" in relation to the property conditions. Call (281) 480-3388 now to set up an appointment.