Business

Leaking roof at new home

Tell Claudienne

Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, November 03, 2019

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Dear Claudienne

I have often read your column and am greatly appreciative of the assistance you have rendered to people who often feel despondent.

Regrettably, I am now in a similar situation and would like your help in getting some redress.

In June 2016, I purchased a two-bedroom house in New Harbour Village III, Old Harbour, St Catherine from Gore Developments Limited (GDL).

In September of the said year, an assessment was done by GDL for any defects and the period of liability was capped at September /December 2016.

In November 2017, I observed that the roofs in the kitchen and one of the bedrooms were leaking.

I sent an e-mail (attached)to GDL asking for assistance to have the roof repaired. Though I discovered the leaks outside the liability period, I felt cheated as I believed I had paid for a sound structure.

I did not receive a response from GDL and my attempts to follow-up by phone were unsuccessful.

I have attended community meetings hosted by the New Harbour Village III Benevolent Society and have heard many people express similar concerns. Some people were fortunate to have the developer address the matter but in some cases they were dissatisfied as they still experienced leaks after the repairs were done.

In October 2018, an online survey was done by the New Harbour Village III Benevolent Society among residents to determine the extent of the problem.

Earlier today (September 27, 2019) the residents received the following e-mail from the New Harbour Village 3 Benevolent Society.

The email reads as follows:

Dear Residents,

Late last year several residents had varying complaints regarding their homes which included roofing issues. As a result, the association had conducted a survey and the results were analysed to address the respective issues from the management committee level and where necessary, through Gore Developments Limited (GDL). Regrettably, the results relating to the roofing issues were not communicated to GDL until earlier this month due to numerous queries from residents regarding the outcome of the survey.

Since being in receipt of the communication of the survey results, GDL has queried whether the residents who reported the issues in the survey had reported directly to them. Given that the association was unable to definitively respond to this query, GDL has requested that each affected resident report directly to them via e-mail to remedial@goredevelopments.com and copy nhv3citizens@gmail.com.

The Association sincerely apologises for the delay in communication and any inconvenience it may have caused. We look forward to continue serving you as we strive to improve our community.

I am at my wits' end and I feel cheated. In purchasing a home I didn't anticipate that I would need to have my roof redone after living there less than two years.

I now have leakage in both bedrooms and the kitchen. I am literally mopping up buckets of water when it rains. It is only a matter of time before the water begins to damage the closets and cupboards as some of the leaking areas are directly above them.

Please,can you help me!

AM

Dear AM

When Tell Claudienne initially contacted Gore Developments Limited (GDL) they said you had not contacted them about your leaking roof. However, after they found the e-mail you sent them in November 2017 complaining about the leaking roof they apologised for the oversight.

A senior executive of GDL told Tell Claudienne that you would be contacted immediately and we note that you were requested to provide them with evidence of your claim preferably in the form of a video recording. In that e-mail to you, on October 2, 2019, the company also stated the following:

You should know that pursuant to the Agreement for Sale of Land and House Construction Agreement the defects liability period has long expired but in the interest of good customer relations and entirely without prejudice, we have agreed to investigate your concerns. Importantly, we will not be investigating any complaints about leak(s) where the unit has been or appears to have been altered, extended, modified or changed.

Thanking you.”

After you sent them pictures that showed the leaks the company informed you that they would visit your house in the week of October 14, 2019, to assess the situation.

On October 22, 2019 you informed Tell Claudienne that after visiting your home, an officer of GDL had informed you that the company would provide the materials for the repairs to be done to your roof but that “I would be responsible for the labour charge”.

An extract from the e-mail you sent to Tell Claudienne on October 22, 2019, on learning that GDL would only provide the materials to fix the leaks, stated your frustration with the situation as follows:

I am really at my wits end and am beginning to wonder if this drawn-out process is meant to frustrate me into silence.

This is a long-standing issue among the residents. People have been complaining of leaking rooks since 2016 and a survey was done by the Citizen's Association.

I know of cases where the developer has repaired the roofs of home owners (provided both material and labour) outside the liability period so I am flabbergasted as to the suggestion that they will only provide materials for the repair. This after they have acknowledged their foul-up in 2017 where they claimed my e-mail went unanswered because of their oversight.

My 'home' is an undeveloped structure, I have made no additions or improvement so I can't understand why I am being punished for a roof that started leaking a little over a year after buying what is considered a 'new house'.”

The e-mail in its entirety, that you sent to the column on October 22, 2019, was forwarded to GDL.

Your next e-mail to Tell Claudienne on Thursday, October 24, 2019 read as follows:

Thanks seem woefully inadequate!

A big thank you for the assistance once more!

I got a call from Mr C G just now and he has agreed to fix the leaking roof.

This will include the provision of material and labour to complete the task.

The tentative date is Monday, October 28, weather permitting.

I will provide an update as soon as possible.”

Your latest e-mail to Tell Claudienne on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 states:

As promised a representative from Gore Developments Limited, Mr NH came by yesterday (October 28) to repair the roof. He ran out of materials so another worker came this morning to complete the activity. I wasn't home yesterday but I'm here today while the work is being done. Regards.”

We wish you all the best.

Have a problem with a store, utility, a company? Telephone876- 936-9436 or cell 876-484-1349 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or e-mail:edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com. Please include a contact phone number.


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