Is there a law to protect home owners against improperly built homes?

We are the second owner on a 6 year-old home. We purchased the house 4 years ago and since then have had the basement flooded due to an improperly installed perimeter drain. We also had to have the drive way dug up and replaced due to poor drainage (water draining into our garage). Now we are looking at replacing our front porch which was not built to code. We have spent ten’s of thousands of dollars replacing improperly done work by the builder. Someone notified us that there is a “10 year” law for home owners in NH to protect against builders. What are our options and does a law exist?

Asked on September 21, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The best person to ask about laws in your state is a real estate attorney in your area.  But let me at least give you some guidance as to the types of questions that you need answers to.  First, was the house inspected prior to purchase by a licensed and bonded inspector?  Well, then, thoses problems - if not "new" problems - were probably apparent and should have been caught at inspection.  If they were you may have a cause of action against the inspecotr here depending on your state contracts law. Also, was a title search that gave the information as to the property done (permits pulled for porches done, etc.)?   That is another avenue to pursue.  There is always a breach of contract issue against the builder but you were ot the original purchaser.  The question then becomes can you, under New Hampshire law, "step in to" the shoes of the prior owner?  Good luck with it all.


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