Items not covered by Louisiana New Home Warranty Act

Question:

Are there any items in a new home not covered by the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act?

Answer/Recommendation:

According to La. R.S. 9:3144(B), unless the parties otherwise agree in writing, the builder’s warranty shall exclude nineteen (19) items.

The following are some of the excluded items Listed in La. R.S. 9:3144(B):

  1. Fences, landscaping, driveways, walkways, or any other improvement not a part of the home itself.
  2. After the first year, the concrete floor of a basement and the concrete floor of an attached or unattached garage that is built separate from a foundation wall or other structural element of the home.
  3. Damage to real property which is not part of the home covered by the warranty and which is not included in the purchase price of the home.
  4. Any damage to the extent it is caused or made worse by Negligence, improper maintenance, neglect or improper operation by anyone other than the builder or any employee, agent, or subcontractor of the builder.
  5. Any loss or damage which the owner has not taken timely action to minimize.
  6. Any defect in, or any defect caused by, materials or
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    work supplied by anyone other than the builder, or any employee, agent, or subcontractor of the builder.

  7. Normal wear and tear or normal deterioration.
  8. Loss or damage resulting from war, accident, riot and civil commotion, water escape, falling objects, aircraft, vehicles, acts of God, lightning, windstorm, hail, flood, mudslide, earthquake, volcanic eruption, wind driven water, and changes in the level of the underground water table which are not reasonably foreseeable.
  9. Any damage caused by soil movement which is covered by other insurance.
  10. Insect damage.
  11. Any loss or damage which arises while the home is being used primarily for a nonresidential purpose.
  12. Any condition which does not result in actual physical damage to the home.
  13. Bodily injury or damage to personal property.
  14. Any cost of shelter, transportation, food, moving, storage, or other incidental expense related to relocation during repair.
  15. Any defect not reported in writing by registered or certified mail to the builder or insurance company, as appropriate, prior to the expiration of the period specified in Subsection A of this Section for such defect plus thirty days.
  16. Mold and mold damage.

 

(The above list is a shortened version of La. R.S. 9:3144(B). For the complete list outlined in La. R.S. 9:3144(B), please email me at rye@tutentitle.com).

If any items outlined in numbers one (1) through nineteen (19) above are not completed to the satisfaction of the client prior to closing, then the builder may not be responsible to remedy any deficiencies with those items at a later date.

Thus, if you represent clients purchasing a new home, it is highly recommended that you and your clients do the following:

  1. Perform a final walk through of the home several days (or maybe even a week) prior to closing;
  2. Make a detailed list of all items of the home and surrounding area that were contracted for between buyer and builder, but which are not completed to the client’s satisfaction;
  3. Have the parties confirm in writing which items will be completed/fixed/repaired by builder prior to or within a reasonable time after closing.

 

For any questions concerning this email, please contact me at rye@tutentitle.com.

H.L. “Rye” Tuten, III, is a Title Attorney and Owner of Tuten Title & Escrow, LLC. Formerly assigned by RICE Insurance to defend real estate agents throughout Acadiana, much of his more than nine years’ litigation experience is with real estate concerns.