In February of this year, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the Homeowner Protections Act of 2015. The legislation reformed the state’s construction defect law in the following ways:
- The new statute of limitations on lawsuits is now just six years, down from 10.
- Homeowner associations may not file a suit on behalf of the homeowners in their communities.
- There are now specific descriptions of defects required for a lawsuit.
According to a report from the Reno Gazette-Journal, a study found that the number of lawsuits filed in Nevada citing construction defects per new home is 38 times higher than the national average. The new law aims to cut down on the number of claims, as former laws were too loose in defining what constituted a defect.
Despite its intention to reduce lawsuits, the legislation will not be able to reduce defective work. Homeowners in Nevada are wise to have a qualified inspector thoroughly examine a new house before signing any paperwork. Some of the most common defects include items such as mold, ventilation problems, inadequate fire protection and electrical problems.
In order to hold someone responsible for the problem, a homeowner will have to prove the cause of the defect is linked to negligence. For example, improper soil analysis could lead to a crack in the foundation. Using poor materials could result in structural failure.
A successful claim should cover the cost of any necessary repairs and compensate the homeowner for the loss of value the home might suffer. Additional damages could include temporary housing. The new law, however, disallows attorney fees from getting included in a judgment.