by Mish

An arbitrator has certified a class action against national homebuilder Ryland Homes, including approximately 6,000 homes Ryland built across Florida since January 2000, for plaintiffs who claim serious leakage issues during summer storms.

Estimates to fix the leaks are expensive and Ryland’s efforts to address the leakage problems are unsatisfactory, the plaintiffs say.

The plaintiffs allege houses Ryland built won’t keep water out during rainstorms, although often there is no apparent source for the leaks. Water simply appears on the baseboards of exterior walls.

More than 70 owners of Ryland-built homes are listed as parties to the case and also say they represent “all others similarly situated.”

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Various engineers have proposed ways to fix the leaks, the homeowners say. Even the cheapest of those suggested repairs would cost thousands of dollars per house.

More than 100 homeowners complained to Ryland through mid-2004 about leaks during summer storms. During the 2004 hurricane season, the problem reached epic proportions, the homeowners say.

Ryland – which has acknowledged having more complaints than any other builder in the Orlando area – fielded more than 1,000 calls in August and September 2004. Still, many homes continue to leak, despite limited repairs provided by Ryland, the homeowners allege.

The plaintiffs in the arbitration asked Ryland to fix the leaks in their houses in the fall of 2004. When Ryland refused, they hired Frank Rapprich, an Orlando lawyer. Rapprich sent legal demands to Ryland, and the company again refused to fix the leaks.

I have two Questions for would be Ryland Homes Buyers.

  1. Why should anyone want to buy a home from someone who will not fix major problems?
  2. Why should anyone want to buy a home in the first place from a builders having large numbers of problems, even IF those problems were taken care of?

Mike Shedlock / Mish/

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