Monday, December 29, 2008

Homeowner protection legislation on tap for 2009

The Olympian’s Brad Shannon provides a good overview of the issues around homeowner protection in this weekend’s paper. Rep. Brendan Williams has been one of the more visible players on this issue and has already dropped a bill. In Shannon's words:
Williams already has filed House Bill 1045, which follows a home-warranty approach championed in 2008 by retiring Rep. Pat Lantz, D-Gig Harbor. Lantz's bill was patterned after a warranty rule for condominium purchasers that lawmakers passed in 2005, which Williams is using as a selling point.
But Williams’ approach, which provides homeowners with four-year protections for most defects and 10 years for latent defects and water damage, is only one that lawmakers will be considering.

Rep. Larry Springer and a handful of other Democratic legislators are putting together legislation that will likely include ideas such as a new ombudsman at the Attorney General’s office or arbitration options for homeowners seeking compensation for damages valued less than $50,000. As Shannon reports:
Springer said his focus is specific.

"We're really talking about roofing, siding, doors and windows, framing, and foundations. We are not interested in granite countertops," he said.

"We're really interested in water penetration and structural soundness," Springer said.
Whatever your opinion on this, Shannon outlines many of the pros and cons of the various proposals that is helpful for the average homeowner trying to wrap their head around this issue.