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7 On Your Side: Home warranty alert

Photo of a snake slithering through an HVAC pipe at a home in Waldorf, Md.{ } A home builder made repairs to correct the problem.{ } Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 (ABC7 photo){ }

Seven On Your Side is checking back with four new home owners, who in 2016 were struggling to get their builders to correct what they claimed to be issues that popped up before their home warranties expired in their homes.

ABC 7 News reached out to each builder, D.R. Horton and Lennar, even though all of the home warranties expired. Two home owners issues were quickly addressed, including Lennar covering an HVAC pipe where a snake and mice were entering a house in Waldorf, Maryland and DR Horton re-grading a flooded backyard in White Plains.

DR Horton told ABC7 News:

D.R. Horton has been in communication with Ms. Mercer, and we have a meeting scheduled with her next week to address her concerns. The satisfaction of our homeowners is a top priority, and we are committed to superior customer service and providing families with quality homes and neighborhoods across the United States.

Lennar responded:

At Lennar, we proudly stand behind the homes we build. We take seriously any concerns expressed by our homeowners. We have tens of thousands of satisfied Lennar homeowners across the nation. We have specific guidelines for dealing with customer issues. We work with homeowners and our trade partners to inspect a problem, recommend a solution and make repairs. It is important to understand that homebuilding is not assembly-line work. Mistakes happen. Lennar is committed to ensuring that any faulty workmanship by our company or our trade partners is corrected under warranty.
One example of this commitment is our response several years ago to the industry-wide problem of defective drywall made in China. We know of no other builder that addressed the issue as promptly and comprehensively as Lennar. We remediated about 1,000 homes with Chinese drywall at a cost of about $80 million. In each case, we relocated the homeowners, photographed their homes, moved and stored their possessions, stripped the interiors of the homes to the studs and rebuilt the entire interior with new wiring and plumbing connections. We then returned all of our homeowners’ possessions to their original locations based on the photographs. We took those actions without knowing whether we would recover the expenses from the drywall suppliers.

Tonie Crusoe's flooded backyard took nine months to repair, but Lennar got it done.

Remember Miriam Brooks house in White Plains? Covered with blue pieces of tape pointing out issues with her builder, Lennar.

A year later, Lennar has corrected multiple issues, but some blue dots remain and her driveway is now a problem.

Lennar just told ABC7 News “Lennar has a long track record of making every effort to keep our homeowners happy and to resolve any issues under warranty. In this case, we have made more than a dozen visits to the home this year to address numerous issues.”

Miriam Brooks now says "At this point I wish they would just buy the house back."

Here's how you can protect yourself. Double check that all the promises the builder makes are in your contract. Plus, address any issue quickly before your home warranty runs out. Some contracts don't allow you to sue a builder.

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