Are Builders Required by the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act to Fix the Driveway After Closing?

Question

I represent the Buyers.  My clients really like a new construction Home.  Just one problem:  the driveway is starting crack/break off on one side where the grass meets the driveway.

Should my Buyers purchase the property, wait for the cracking/breaking to stop and then request the Builder fix the driveway pursuant to the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act?

Answer

Your question highlights one of the Exceptions to the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act.

The Exceptions to the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act are found at Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:3144(B).  These Exceptions outline areas for which the Builder is not responsible to repair/fix after closing unless the Builder agrees otherwise in writing.

According to Louisiana Revised Statute 9:3144(B)

“Unless the parties otherwise agree in writing, the builder’s warranty shall exclude the following items:

(1)  Fences, landscaping, including but not limited to sodding, seeding, shrubs, existing and new trees, and plantings, as well as off site improvements, all driveways and walkways, or any other improvement not a part of the home itself.”

Essentially, this means the Builder would not be required by the Act to fix the driveway after the closing date.

Therefore, it might be wise to consider one of the following options:

  1. Have the Builder repair/fix the driveway prior to closing; and/or
  2. Have the Builder agree in writing to cover any driveway repairs after closing

 

It might also be wise to familiarize yourself with the other Exceptions listed in Louisiana Revised Statute 9:3144(B) to make sure you get the Builder to agree in writing to fix other items in the house after closing that might not otherwise be covered.