Do I have a claim against my home builder?

We recently discovered 6 months after moving into
our newly constructed home that the builder failed to
install smoke detectors on the main floor of the
home. How did this pass inspection? Do we have a
claim?

Asked on January 16, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You do not have a viable claim. Smoke detectors are very inexpensive items which can be picked up a Home Depot or the equivalent and quickly "installed" by the homeowner. While the builder should have put in the detectors, and the home should not have received a certificate of occupancy without them, in a lawsuit, you can only sue for the loss or costs you incur. Given how inexpensive smoke detectors are, you'd spend more time and money on the lawsuit than it is worth.


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