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SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Governor Gray Davis recently signed a measure that substantially alters the construction defect law. Senate Bill 800, authored by Senate President Pro Tempore John Burton (D-San Francisco) sets standards for new housing construction and makes violations of those standards the basis for defect litigation. The new law also creates a mandatory prelitigation procedure that gives the homebuilder the opportunity to repair alleged defects, mediate, or make a cash settlement before the homeowner can file an action in court. "This confirms the importance of homeowners' safety," said Rachel Miller a consumer attorney based in Newport Beach, Calif. "Families with unsafe or poorly constructed homes will now be covered under an expedited process." SB 800 applies to the original sale of new residential units on or after January 1 of this year. Some standards of the bill include hardscapes, retaining and site walls, exterior pathways, irrigation and drainage. The SB 800 statue of limitations is 10 years, except for standards where a shorter period is specified. The new law does not distinguish between latent and patent defects. It also provides that a builder may be excused from liability if the defect is caused by the homeowner by virtue of his or her failure to follow the builder's or manufacturer's recommendations. For more information on this bill and details on what is covers visit hello

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December 8, 2019, 8:43 am PDT

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