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The 101 on California’s Right to Repair Law
Did you discover a construction defect on your property? Don’t fret – there’s a law to protect you.
California’s Civil Code §§ 895, also known as the Right to Repair Act or SB800, went into effect in 2003. Overall, this act governs construction defect claims for original construction in California. It specifies the rights and requirements for a homeowner to pursue damages for construction defects in their home. It covers new construction single family homes, condominiums and common interest developments, not conversions. Previously, developers were only able to be held liable for construction defects that caused damage.
In Civil Code §§ 896, it details specific time frames within which construction defect claims for homes sold after January 1, 2003 may be brought. Most claims, especially serious defects (roofs, foundations, windows, soils, etc.), have up to a 10-year limitation period from the date of completion to file a construction defect claim. The time frame (statue of limitations) starts from the date your house was recorded as finished and not the date you bought the house. Be aware of the construction defects that are less than 10 years including: electrical (4 years from close of escrow), plumbing (4 years from close of escrow), sewer, (4 years from close of escrow), paint and stains (5 years from close of escrow). For a single-family home, the term “close of escrow” means the date of the close of escrow between the builder and the original homeowner; for a community association, the term “close of escrow” is the date of substantial completion, or the date the builder relinquishes control over the association’s ability to decide whether to initiate a claim. If you have any questions, or are unsure of a specific time frame, do not hesitate, contact us immediately! If you delay, you may lose your opportunity to pursue damages.
In this act, the law requires a homeowner to give the builder/developer/contractor notice before filing litigation. It also provides guidelines concerning the builder’s “right to repair” the defects and provides time limits in which the builder must respond to a claim (14 days) and the time allowed for inspections (14 days) and the repair of the property (30 days).
For more information and the full definition of this act, click this California Civil Code 895 page, and for details on specific construction defects click the California Civil Code 896 page. If you have any questions regarding this, contact us immediately!
To learn more about construction defects, click our construction defect litigation page. If you have any questions or are unsure how to proceed, please contact us today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
If you’re a homeowner, association or builder seeking representation in construction defect litigation, our team at Naumann Law Firm in San Diego can help. We have more than 35 years of experience handling significant construction defect cases. To contact us, call 844-492-7474 or visit our San Diego construction defect contact page. We also work with clients in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino.