Clause in contract may prevent legal options for homeowners

Video Courtesy of Channel 8 News, Tampa

Reporting By Shannon Behnken

Published August 26, 2012

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Homeowners in the Willowbrook neighborhood are learning their hands may be tied after a clause was found in their contract with the builder, KB Home, they may restrict their legal options.

 

Homeowners in the Willowbrook subdivision found out that their hands are legally tied. The contracts with KB Homes the builder of these homes call for arbitration, with an arbitrator named by KB Homes

 

A clause in their contract with the builder KB Homes restricts their legal options.

 

About sixty homeowners in the Willowbrook neighborhood are complaining about leaks, mold and collapsing balconies. Manatee County building inspectors say minimum 21 of the

homes are unsafe. The residents say the problems go much further than balconies, but their sales contract restricts their legal recourse.

 

Arbitration always puts the consumer at a disadvantage: Its taking away your right to a day in court before either a jury of your peers or a judge. And instead of a judge and/or jury its replacing that option with somebody that the company thinks would be good to decide the case.

 

The only way around the arbitration requirement is a class action lawsuit attorneys say homebuyers would have to bind together and ask a judge to allow such case.

   

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