LARGO, Fla. – D. R. Horton, Inc. has been sued by a homeowner’s association in Largo for myriad construction defects. The top-volume homebuilder in the U.S. is headquartered in Arlington, Texas.
It is also the subject of a class action lawsuit filed in March by homeowners based in Youngsville, Louisiana. Both states experience high levels of humidity.
On August 26, Whittington Court Townhomes Association, Inc., filed a legal complaint describing a list of construction and site defects in Phase 2 of the property which contains 11 buildings and 73 residential units. It is located at 12775 Seminole Boulevard.
On April 12, the Association, responsible for maintenance and repairs on the affected property, issued D. R. Horton a Notice of Claim, describing its development, design, and construction defects.
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Based on an engineering forensic examination and analysis, these alleged defects include roofing, window, wall, and flooring problems, along with site work negatively impacting the property’s drainage performance. The lawsuit also states there was “insufficient clearance from large trees and buildings.”
Count 1 of the Largo lawsuit alleges “Violation of Florida Building Code Resulting in Property Damage.” Other counts are negligence grievances and a “Breach of Implied Warranties Resulting in Property Damage.”
In Louisiana, D. R. Horton’s City Manager for its Louisiana West Division rendered her version of why Youngsville homeowners were experiencing defects. On a recorded call published by KLFY News 10 in Lafayette, the representative said this:
“It has nothing to do with us…it’s the code we have to build to. We build to federal mandate code and we are regulated by federal law, but that code is not designed for very humid markets, and even the man who wrote that law even said that it’s not designed for very humid markets. But we still have to adhere to what the rest of the country has been mandated to do.”
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David Sweet of MIT Consulting in Tampa, a water restoration firm, was asked how the hurricane season might impact homes where there is non-compliance with Florida building codes. He explained, “High winds and the different angles of entry typical with wind-driven rain produced during tropical storms or hurricanes exploit every single defect present.” But he continued that based on the Whittington Court Townhome Association lawsuit and its description of defects, even normal, everyday rain could cause progressive damage. He stated that construction defects typically progress slowly and remain hidden under non-severe weather conditions. They may not show up for 20 years.
The Free Press previously reported on a lawsuit against another D. R. Horton project called Town Homes of West Bay Cove.
Located in Tampa’s Town ‘n Country area, defects allegedly forced several homeowners and renters to find alternative places to live.
Burnett Law, P.A. of Tampa also filed and won a lawsuit in 2017 against the homebuilder. The issue again was the homebuilder’s non-compliance with Florida’s building codes. On their website it states, “Burnett Law, P.A.’s, trial attorneys have obtained similar favorable results on numerous cases since the firm decided to take on the builders and force them to start building homes pursuant to the Florida Building Code and applicable trade standards.”
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There are roughly 36 D. R. Horton residential communities built throughout Tampa Bay. One suggestion for new home buyers is that they hire their own construction inspectors to oversee construction.
Whittington Court Townhomes Association’s attorneys are Diane A. Sada, Ryan L . Pardue, and Nicholas B. Vargo of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C., Tampa.
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