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Is there a lemon law for your house?

You buy a home, and it’s a major investment. You take out a 30-year mortgage. Clearly, you expect the property to last. You want to start a family in the home. You may live there for the rest of your life.

Quickly, though, you start having problems. The roof leaks. The HVAC system breaks down. The house seems to have settled poorly. You have cracks in the walls and the ceiling. The pipes leak in the walls. Certain circuits do not work when you turn on multiple electrical devices at the same time.

If this was a car, you may have protection from a lemon law. Is there a similar law for your home?

There is not. You do not, unfortunately, get the same type of protection.

That said, you may have options. If it’s a new home, does it have a warranty? Do you think that the builders made mistakes that led to clear defects? You may have ways to get the company to fix the issues or pay for you to have someone else fix them.

If it’s not a new home, do you think that the sellers tried to hide these issues from you and the home inspector? They have a legal obligation to disclose damage that they know about. They may not have to repair it, but, if they knew about the problem, they had to tell you so that you could take it into account when making an offer.

These situations can get fairly complicated, especially when both sides tell a different story. Make sure you know what options you have.

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