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Anybody know how long I have to wait before I can sue someone for Breach of Contract?


Last fall (end of October) I closed on a new house in a relatively new subdivision. Against my wishes (and better judgement) I was railroaded into closing before the sod was laid in the yards. They hadn't even poured the concrete for the public walkways. However the contract has some statement on it that the closing will take place once the residence is habitable.

"Residence shall be conclusively deemed completed at such time that it is ready for occupancy, and if at such time certain details, not sufficient in Seller's judgement to prevent comfortable occupancy, remain incomplete, sale shall nevertheless be closed, but a written list of such details on Seller's form shall be prepared and signed by Seller and Purchaser evidencing such details, which Seller shall, at its cost, promptly complete as quickly as possible, weather conditions permitting."

We noted the lack of sod on the written list at closing. They signed it.

In addition the contract states:

"In the event seller is unable to complete the sodding and/or seeding of purchaser's lot for any reason, it is herein agreed that seller will not under any circumstances escrow money to secure completion. This does in no way relieve seller from his responsibility to seed and/or sod purchasers lot on a timely basis and in a workmanlike manner."

They were laying sod in the subdivision until late December, but did not lay ours. Also, now that spring is here in the mid-west, I've seen sod trucks around the area, but still no sod.

I've called the builder, but can get no response.

Do I have a case for Breach of Contract?
Do I have any other avenues for forcing the builder's hand?
They already have my money (well the bank's money).
I've tried to contact an attorney who deals in contracts, but I've gotten no response there either.

If this isn't really the place for this type of question, I'd appreciate if someone could point me somewhere else.


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I'm not an attorney nor do I play one on TV. When my parents had a problem with trailer broker regarding breach of contract it turned out the DA was interested also. This particular broker had been a problem for years, but very few people wnated to testify so the DA could do nothing until he had people who wanted to testify. When my dad said sure you can supena (sp?) me the DA took the case. Short story made long you might want to talk to the DA too. He can tell you the conditions for breach of contract, and if he wants the builder because of numerous other problems you get the case handled, and don't pay for the attorney. Kind of a LBYM post too.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into it, cause the builder seems to be having some sort of cash flow problems in the midst of all of this.
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Hi MJ,

I'm sorry to hear of the problems you're having, and you certainly need to get some "revenge" here--though, in this case, the only avenue that I see is a legal one.

My suggestion would be to consult a real estate attorney on this issue. If the builder is not living up to his agreement because he's filed for bankruptcy protection, at least you can get on the list of creditors.

Good luck!

...but I still am...

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One thing that you can try if the builder is still building and selling houses in the neighborhood; Put a large sign in the yard that says something like "Be sure (builder name) sods or seeds your yard. I've been here a year and mine is not done yet."

This may cut down on the number of sales that your builder makes until they fix the problem. It would work best of you are on one of the main entrances.

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I'm not an attorney (yet) but I play one on TV!
Just kidding! The legal definition of a breach of contract is:
Failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise which forms the whole or part of a contract. Prevention or hindrance by party to contract of any occurrence or performance requisite under the contract for the creation or continuance of a right in favor of the other party or the discharge of a duty by him. Unequivocal, distinct and absolute refusal to perform agreement

I think you should hop over to your local libray and look up Parts 6 and 7 of the U.C.C. (Uniform Commercial Code) Article 2 to see the rights and remedies are available to you.

tFfkar (the Fool formerly known as racerboy)
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