So who would you blame MORE in this scenario....

Real Estate Agent with John L. Scott

The house we home tend in Boise is amazing, 4400 SF, views of downtown Boise, wonderful place for us. And FREE since we own our Home Tending company. It's on the market and overpriced, so we've been fortunate to be here since NOV. 2008 with little showing interruption.

However, we recently found out the builder routed the sewer lines to the wrong place and waste water as well as dirty dishwasher and clothes washer water was going into the storm drain and heading toward the river. They had to shut off our sewer and we are without some of the basics until they can fix this MON and TUE.

The owner who lives out of the area doesn't want to pay for the repairs since she wasn't the one who hooked up to the wrong thing. The builder is blaming the city because the inspector approved it prior to closing. So who is responsible for the cost of this? Our home tending contract states the seller is responsible for all repairs over $50 but meanwhile, while seller and builder debate who has to pay, we are stuck without usage of the bathrooms!

We are forced to agree to a payment plan with the company who will fix it all up to the tune of $5k. Or else find another home to home tend, which is possible, but not what we'd ideally like to do. I am just hoping the city is forced to bear the cost since they approved it this way. What would you all do if you were in this position?


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Julie Heyer
Right Home Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Gilbert AZ Realtor

Bummer! I'd definitely blame the builder and then make the city share the repair bill for signing off on it. It was a joint error. It will take a while, and likely some type of legal negotiations to get someone to own the repair. While they're working that out, you would likely be more comfortable living somewhere else. Like a hotel, friend's house etc.

Good luck!

Julie in Sunny AZ.

Sep 12, 2009 08:09 AM #1
Holly Weatherwax
Associate Broker, Momentum Realty - Reston, VA
A Great Real Estate Experience

Personally, I would think the builder.  Even if it was approved incorrectly, a reputable builder should be aware that the scenario is not correct. If they built a home with a faulty foundation, even if it was approved, wouldn't the builder ultimately be responsible?

Maybe the builder and the city can reach some sort of agreement...I doubt it will be quick. I wouldn't pay for it if I were you, since you may never get your money back an it CERTAINLY isn't your fault.

Interesting situation.

Sep 12, 2009 08:09 AM #2
Tom Schoenbeck
Keller Williams Realty at the Beach - Rehoboth Beach, DE

Jason,  Considering you have been fortunate enough to live rent-free in this wonderful home for 10 months now, I think you should strongly consider bearing the payment of the 5,000 in order to stay there. You might talk to the seller, who should certainly understand, they need this repair done in order to ultimately sell their home. Perhaps you could strike an agreement with them to reimburse you when the home settles.  That way, you get to stay there and the seller gets the necessary repairs without immediate expenditure. The seller also has the right as the home owner, to file suit against whichever, or both, parties they feel is responsible.

Sep 12, 2009 08:13 AM #3
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

HI Jason. I have to agree with Tom. Keep us posted on how this turns out and what you decide to do. Its a tough predicament to be in. Good Luck!

Sep 12, 2009 08:28 AM #4
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

In our opinion, it is clearly the builders fault for doing (what I am presuming was not code at the time) regardless of a inspection pass or not.  That being said, the owner is obligated by your contract pay for repairs over $50, whether she then has to go after someone else or not.  You reaped the benefit of living for free there, but that was a signed contract between you and the owner without the knowledge of the problem.  Make sure that if you make payments to the city that you are entitled to reimbursement from whoever is ultimately responsible.

Sep 12, 2009 10:30 AM #5
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