Following the wake of Hurricane Harvey, thousands of homes were in need of extensive and immediate repair. Before Harvey had even left the state, contractors descended on homeowners. Many of these contractors made promises they could not fulfill-sometimes intentionally-to get these homeowners business.
Now, almost a year later, more than 400 lawsuits have been filed in Houston alone-and more are being filed every week.
If you engaged a contractor for repair to your storm damaged home, it is important you understand certain things. The Texas Residential Construction Liability Act (RCLA) – Chapter 27 of the Texas Property Code – applies to claims in which there is physical damage to residential property – a residence, real property, or an improvement – arising from a construction defect. This is the law a post Harvey homeowner who suffers damages as the result of a contractor falls under.
While this law offers homeowners a means of recovery, there is one step most homeowners always fail to take-giving the contractor proper notice.
At least 60 days before a homeowner files suit against a contractor to recover damages arising from a construction defect, the homeowner must provide notice to the contractor by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the contractor’s last known address. The notice has to specify the construction defects.
After the contractor receives the written notice, the contractor has 35 days to inspect the property and may make a written offer of settlement within 45 days after receipt of the written notice. The offer may include either an agreement by the contractor to repair the defect or to have the defect repaired by an independent contractor partially or totally at the contractor’s expense or at a reduced rate to the claimant.
This law allows the homeowner to recover damages, while giving the contractor a chance to make it right. If a homeowner fails to provide notice, however, any claim will be delayed. So the sooner you send notice out, the better.
If you or someone you know has been taken advantage of by a contractor, it is important to find a skilled law firm with experience handling these cases. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the oldest personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys are standing by to assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884 for your free consultation.