Senate Bill 5550, known as the Homeowners Bill of Rights, would protect buyers of new homes against such things as defects in materials and workmanship (for two years), defects occurring because of water leaks (five years) and structural defects (for 10 years). Given the heat in our real estate market now and the particular bind consumers would find themselves in -- what with a 30-year mortgage and all should the home's construction be faulty -- you'd think this would be a common-sense piece of legislation, one which passed the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee in March. At least one person strongly disagrees.
Democratic House Speaker Frank Chopp opposes the bill, saying that he's concerned that things like the cost and availability of liability insurance for builders haven't been properly discussed in the proposal. As such, he's in no rush to pass the bill. Chopp has been accused of giving in to the pressure from the Building Industry Association of Washington, and his position on SB5550 has prompted seriously outcry from the House, with at least one representative threatening to resign.
The House speaker should get off the dime and let lawmakers vote on this bill; we think it would mean new consumer protection for home buyers.