What are my rights if 1 year prior to the purchase of my home, the previous owner hired contractor to do approximately 100k worth of stucco work that I now find out was incorrectly done?

It’s 3 years later (after I purchased it) and there is at least 10-20k worth of stucco damage and leaks in house. Insurance adjusted said that stucco contractor did a horrible job and flat out avoided doing the most basic of things necessary to retain the stucco work (installed no flashing around windows, caulking used instead of a sealant, no drainage options installed, etc. When leaks began, I contacted the contractor and was told the work had a 6 month warranty. However, since this is not due to wear and tear but it appears the job was done incorrectly in the first place, do I have legal options?

Asked on October 30, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There probably are no options for you to recover compensation in this case, though given how much is at stake, you are advised to consult in detail with a litigator (lawyer who handles lawsuits) bringing all documentation with you; it's worth double checking whether you have options. That said:
1) The contractor was not hired by or contracted with you, and so you were not in a contract with them. Therefore, you cannot sue them for breach of contract, since only a party to a contract may enforce it.
2) The statute of limitations, or time within which to sue, for property damage is only 2 years in your state, so it would be too late to sue for having negligently or carelessly done damage.
Also, the statute of limitations for breach of contract is 4 years in your state, so even if you had a contract with them, depending on the exact timing, you may have run out of time to sue.

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