Richard Stein – Realtor®, Douglas Elliman, GREEN, SFR, CBR, eCertified®

Local Agent, Worldwide Marketing – Douglas Elliman Real Estate formerly Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Homebuilder Settles Building Defect Accusations in Florida

The homebuilder PulteGroup has reportedly reached a settlement in Florida over allegedly building homes that failed to meet the state’s building codes.

Homebuilder accusations in Florida

© Monty Rakusen – Cultura/Getty Images

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says a two-year investigation found that the builder failed to disclose to some Florida buyers that their homes did not meet the state’s building code. Pulte was accused of “unfairly denying” some homeowners’ claims for repairs by refusing to perform an adequate inspection of the properties—a violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, according to the state’s attorney general office.

According to the complaint, Pulte originally said the homeowners failed to maintain their properties. But the state’s investigation found the problems were due to construction defects, not the lack of maintenance.

During the investigation, Pulte spent $64 million to repair some of the homes in question in Florida as well as more than $10 million to upgrade its building materials, improve its construction techniques, and provide extra training to its employees and trade contractors in Florida to address the issues homeowners had raised.

Under the settlement, Pulte must repair any other homes up to 10 years old to meet the state’s building codes. Pulte also must pay $4.7 million for restitution. That includes out-of-pocket expenses that were incurred by homeowners who were forced to repair some of the construction defects themselves.

Pulte has yet to release a public statement regarding the accusations or the settlement.

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