Cracks in Wall Could Be Homebuilders Liability According to Arizona Law

A couple purchased a new Flagstaff home last year from a homebuilder and received a one-year written warranty from the homebuilder. Shortly after moving into the new home they noticed a large crack in the living room. The homebuilder came and spackled over the crack. Then three months later the same crack reappeared, and again the homebuilder spackled over the crack. Once again, the crack has reappeared along with another crack on the opposite side of the room. The homebuilder is now saying that he has no liability to them because the home is no longer under the one-year written warranty. The homeowners are concerned the reoccurring cracks may mean that there is a structural problem in the home. Is there anything the homeowners can do?

First, the Registrar of Contractors can require a homebuilder to repair any construction defects discovered in the first two years after the purchase of the home. Second, if the homeowners are not satisfied after working with the Registrar of Contractors, I would recommend that they hire an engineer or other construction expert to determine the reason for this cracking in the living room. Third, all homebuilders by Arizona law impliedly warrant the proper construction of the home. Generally, a lawsuit for a breach of this implied warranty may be brought within eight years after substantial completion of the home. Therefore, if an expert determines that the cracking is caused by a structural problem due to faulty construction, the homebuilder should have liability now to the homeowner for the cost to remediate the structural problem.

Note: A homebuilder is not required by any law to furnish any written warranty, and can therefore limit any written warranty to a certain time period.

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