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Organizing your community to bring public attention to builder’s bad deeds and seeking assistance from local, state and federal elected officials has proven to be more effective and much quicker for thousands of families. You do have choices and alternatives.  Janet Ahmad

Washington - Latest News
Washington State Senate Passes Homeowner Bill of Rights
Sunday, 11 March 2007

Senate OKs bill to boost homeowner rights in disputes
The Senate passed a bill Thursday that gives homeowners new rights in defective-workmanship disagreements with contractors, but the measure still faces an uncertain future in the House. Substitute Senate Bill 5550 creates a new home warranty effective in 2008, which will be after a study group made up of builders, insurers and others has reviewed the reasons for construction defects in new homes. The measure passed the Senate on a 30-19 vote mostly along party lines. "The days of 'caveat emptor' are over," said Sen. Brian Weinstein, D-Mercer Island and the prime sponsor of the bill, referring to a "buyer-beware" doctrine. He said homeowners testified in committee hearings about problems with foundations, leaking pipes, unsealed crawl spaces and, most of all, moisture damage.

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Home warranty measure advances
Saturday, 10 March 2007

Fearing lawsuits, builders oppose bill
Nearly a decade after such a bill was first proposed, the state Senate on Thursday voted to require longer, better warranties on new homes, and to make it easier for the buyer to sue builders over defects.
"Owning a home is a quintessential American dream, but for too many people, it has turned into a nightmare," said Sen. Brian Weinstein, D-Mercer Island. "It is only fair that manufacturers and sellers of homes have to stand behind their work."

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OUTSTANDING! Washington State - The Battle to Regulate Builders Heats Up
Thursday, 08 March 2007

Part I of Herb's Story - Your pricey home may not be backed by a warranty
"Homebuyers in our state have little or no rights," says State Senator Brian Weinstein, D-Mercer Island. "If the home is defective, if there's structural problems, water damage, anything like that, they have no rights." "What we're doing is ensuring that the American dream of owning a home doesn't become a nightmare," Rep. Williams says in a news release. If approved and signed into law, builders in Washington state would be required to provide a minimum warranty...Those who support the bills to give home buyers better protection insist there is a problem. They point to a report from Criterium Engineers. The company inspects homes in 35 states, including Washington. Their 2006 Quality Survey says 17 percent of new homes have significant problems.

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Worthless 3rd Party "2-10" Warranties
Thursday, 08 March 2007

Problem Solvers: Your pricey home may not be backed by a warranty
It's the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. But builders in Washington are not required to back their work with a warranty. Now, some state lawmakers are trying to change that... Fill in with Exclusions - In most cases Builder Warranties Don’t Cover - Non-load-bearing walls - Plaster or Flooring or sub-flooring - Brick, stucco, stone, or veneer - Any type of exterior siding roof shingles - Heating, cooling or ventilation -Plumbing, electrical or electrical - Appliances or fixtures, doors & cabinets - Paint or stain...RWC Warranty: “Failure to complete construction of the home or any portion of the home… is not considered a defect.”  The homeowner agree to arbitrate any dispute and to pay for that arbitration.  You also agree to give up your right to sue the builder – that limits your options. Watch the Problem Solver Report

 
Washington State Legislator want guarantees for new-home buyers - "Homeowner's Bill of Rights"
Sunday, 04 March 2007

Washington Legislature: Buyer-rights battle builds
Weinstein, a sometimes-abrasive Mercer Island lawyer who specialized in asbestos litigation, is in a bitter public clash with the powerful home-building industry. And what a few weeks ago looked like go-nowhere, campaign-fodder legislation – a "Homeowner's Bill of Rights" – now looks like it actually has a chance of passing. More than half the state Senate, including Majority Leader Lisa Brown, has signed onto Weinstein's proposal to require transferable warranties of up to 10 years on new homes. Builders would be liable for all costs of repairing a defect.

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Seattle Times Editorial on homebuyer protection
Tuesday, 13 February 2007

The house that Carmela built
Now think of the poor schmuck who buys the place and has to deal with the consequences of inferior materials and the contractor's general ineptness. Washington residents in that boat shared a litany of dream-turned-to-nightmare stories in a recent Senate hearing on a bill to protect consumers better. In Washington state, a consumer who pays top dollar for what is likely their single-largest purchase but gets low quality has little recourse, especially for defects, such as water damage, that show up years later. Sen. Brian Weinstein, chairman of the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection and Housing, is sponsoring bills that give buyers more guarantee of quality and impose some minimum standards for training and licensing of contractors.

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Washington State Homeowners' bill of rights
Sunday, 11 February 2007

Legislator confronts builders on homeowner rights
As chairman of the Legislature's new Consumer Protection and Housing Committee, the Mercer Island Democrat has introduced a package of bills that would create a "homeowners' bill of rights."...Weinstein's legislation would create a new home warranty, which would require a builder to follow building codes, permits and regulations and would define violations as a defect. Contractors would have to warrant new homes for two years for defects in materials or workmanship; three years for electrical, plumbing and heating systems; five years for water penetration and 10 years for structural defects. It also would allow owners to recover costs of repairing defects from the builder, and extend the time a homeowner could sue a builder from six to 10 years. Another bill would require that contractors be tested, licensed and undergo continuing education.

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Washington State: The importance of an adequate home warranty
Tuesday, 06 February 2007

Home Warranty: Trust, but verify
The boom in housing construction brought home ownership to more people, created jobs and spurred economic growth. As beneficial as that was, the longer-term good would be a bit more impressive if home buyers had greater assurances of quality work. Sen. Brian Weinstein is engaged in an important effort to provide greater consumer protections for buyers with several bills, most notably SB 5550. That measure would create a statutory warranty on new homes, greatly increasing buyers' assurance that residences in which they are frequently putting most of their assets will be free of major defects.

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