Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Nevada

legal recourse w/large developer from loss of rental income

I purchased a new home in Las Vegas NV from a large developer in 2004. We had a walkthrough of the house in Jan. and was told verbally the ''warranty'' items would be fixed w/i 2-3 weeks. I notified the developer flew to LV in March and many other times (total time flown to LV in 2005 is 8+) but nothing was done. Things dragged on until the beginning of Feb. 2006 before they finally finished everything. We have lost revenues due to the property not being in rentable condition due to no working phone line, garage door doesn't lock (safety issue), bathroom door knob missing, (replaced knob w/o lock), construction debris left in the house (another safety issue), and a whole slew of other problems. Though the company insists that it's rentable, we disagree. (In 2005, we had potential tenants that wanted to rent the house, but due to the above conditions not being corrected/fixed in time, it fell through.) Right now, we just rented the property out for $1,150/mo. So the loss of revenue is $16,100 for the 14 months that it was not rented out. Do I have any legal recourse? I live in CA. I would like to get my lost revenues + an additional year of warranty since nobody lived in the house to use the warranty for the appliances.

Asked on 2/17/06, 1:02 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: legal recourse w/large developer from loss of rental income

Unless the developer-defendant agrees to be sued in California, I'm 95% sure jurisdiction of this matter would be in Nevada and Nevada law will apply.

There is almost certainly a very lengthy and detailed written contract; it will surely have provisions covering jurisdiction, venue and applicable law. It will also surely contain some provisions detailing the developer's liability for late completion or readiness for occupancy. These provisions likely would prevail over any oral promises made after the contract was signed.

Therefore, you need to have a Nevada lawyer read the contract in order to get a semi-dependable answer to your question.

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Answered on 2/17/06, 3:43 pm

Sharon Green Sharon Green, Lawyer

Re: legal recourse w/large developer from loss of rental income

You will have to file suit in Nevada because the action relates to real property and must be brought where the property is located, unless there is a written agreement to the contrary. The issue is clearly -- was the house rentable? No working phone line may be something the telephone company, not the builder, would have to fix; the other issues -- garage door doesn't lock, bathroom door knob missing, construction debris left in the house -- are all things a finder of fact could readily decide you should have fixed yourself. While you would have had to come to Las Vegas and either do the work yourself, or hire a handyman, I do not believe you would recover $16,000 for such claims. More likely the finder of fact would feel that you should have taken care of it yourself and billed the developer. (Claims of this magnitude would go to arbitration in Las Vegas.)

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Answered on 2/22/06, 10:04 pm

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