By: Duane Craig
Approximately 70 residents in a housing development in Manatee County, Fla., want their homebuilder to buy back their homes because of structural defects, water intrusion, mold and sinking floors, according to this article.
Two former employees of the builder, KB Home, claim they advised management of the problems and recommended that home sales be stopped until the causes of the defects were discovered and corrected. Those employees were subsequently fired and they each brought lawsuits against the company in 2007 and 2009. A local, licensed contractor who inspected one of the residences said architectural plans had not been followed and the lumber used to build the home was contaminated with mold before it was ever installed. The mold contamination then spread throughout the structure. One homeowner had to move out of his house on more than one occasion so that repairs could be made. He is especially angry at the builder, now believing the company knew about the problems all along.
These cases at Willowbrook townhome community have prompted the Manatee County Board of Commissioners to support legislation at the state’s level that would remove mandatory arbitration clauses from contracts dealing with home sales and construction. The clauses effectively remove the option for homeowners to pursue civil lawsuits and often tie them up in mediation proceedings that exhaust their resources, according to this editorial