Legal Question in Construction Law in Minnesota

I purchased my new construction home in Oct 2005. Since then I have has my builder/contractor out for several issues he has either agreed to reapirs or made a claim they are not his to fix. He has yet to follow through on any of the repairs. Just this week the biggest issue outstanding was the final grade of the property to allow proper water flow to the storm sewer. This major issue is causing excess water to flow and stay in my yard. This also causes too much water in the soil making it very soft and causing a major frost heave in the winter. The frost heave has caused the concrete piers to lift and has caused my deck to warp and the wooden post have begun to fall as well as the concrete slab otuside my lower level door to lift ruining that door as well. I have contacted the builder to get this resolved and have yet to hear anything. In my opinion this is considered structure and should fall under the 20 year provision in the warranty. I have other outstanding issues he has failed to repair as well.

Asked on 2/16/11, 4:30 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Vincent W. King Vincent W. King, PA
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One critical thing is to send written notice to him immediately. Minn. Stat. 327A.03(a) and 327A.02, Subd. 4 contain the notice requirements. Here are the links: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=327A.03 and https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=327A.02. The written notice may preserve your rights under the warranty statute. As for other causes of action, the statute of limitations can be as short as two years under certain circumstances, so quick action to toll the statute -- either by serving a lawsuit or getting him to sign a "tolling agreement" -- is critical. It appears that there is property damage here, so he may have insurance coverage available to address at least some of these issues. Plus, his subcontractors need to get involved. The issues are complex and the deck is stacked against the homeowner. I hate to say it, but you really do need a lawyer who practices in this area, and soon.

Standard disclaimer: The comments above are based on limited facts and should not be considered legal advice. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. That said, good luck to you and let me know if I can be of further assistance.

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2/16/11, 6:12 pm

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