What course of action do we have regarding new home construction delays?

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What course of action do we have regarding new home construction delays?

We signed contract to build a house 9 months ago; it was supposed to be completed 4 months ago. However, it is still not completed and we don’t get any updates from the builder; work isn’t being performed at the work site. We signed a standard agreement for the sale of new construction and we also signed a specs list for the house. The builder ordered incorrect windows and it took 3 months to get the correct ones but now even with the right windows the construction is not moving forward. Is there a way to make the builder communicate with us and proceed with construction?

Asked on February 26, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the builder for "breach of contract," or violating the terms of your agreement. If you believe that the builder lied in the first place about what he would, could, or was able to do, you could sue for fraud also. In this lawsuit, you could seek to terminate the contract (get out of it), get your money back, and possibly get other compensation (e.g. living expenses, if you had to rent someplace to live because the home is not done); or not terminate the contract, but get compensation for costs (like living expenses) you have incurred, and/or seek "specific performance," or a court order requiring the builder to complete the work within some specified period of time. You should consult with an attorney to better understand these options, the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled, and the cost and time involved in a lawsuit. A lawsuit is the only way to get compensation and/or force the builder to honor its obligatons.


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