In May 2014, I had my own inspections done after a frustrating one-year home warranty repair visit from Lennar. There was something happening in this house, and I was ready to find out what was going on.
The initial home inspector noticed an unusually strong odor on the roof coming from the vent stack. Although Lennar claims this was inspected, they never sent someone on the roof to inspect this specific item. During a comprehensive home inspection completed by Lennar earlier this year, Rick Hudak did not have a way to get on the roof the first inspection. For the second inspection, he did not have the person inspect this item while up on the roof. That company was specifically looking for roof leaks and also the broken roof tiles.
This was part of the confusion that played out during the Lennar conference calls to go through all the construction issues and inspection reports. This was one of the items we were going to revisit during additional inspections and before Lennar basically went silent.
Here is the history on this issue that’s gone on for 4.5 years.
Here’s the summary from all of the Lennar construction issues I keep in a spreadsheet.
*Note: For simplicity, the Lennar and WCI Communities names here are used interchangeably as Lennar took over WCI in February of 2017.
2013-2014 – First issues were reported to WCI. The initial responses were from Joel Fedora who is now a Vice President of Construction with Lennar.
Late-2014 – Towards the end of the year, I retained Amanda Buffinton (at the time a shareholder at Bush Ross) to start working the legal side of the issues, because nothing was getting resolved. The first Lennar in-house legal response happens around this time.
July 2015 – The case expands and WCI moves the case from in-house to outside legal. The outside legal responses are from this time.
September 2015 – Amanda Buffington files a 558 complaint against WCI/Lennar to start the process of filing a construction lawsuit.
October 2015 – Lennar’s outside legal sends a response to the 558 complaint. Their response was completely untrue. It’s the same attorney who provided the first outside legal response in July 2015.
Vent stack odor issue description
Strong odor from the vent stack over the laundry (noticeable from more than five feet away, not typical) indicates possible drain blockages or bacterial issues accumulating under the home and needs further inspection.
Original response to the vent stack odor issue from Joel Fedora
WCI will have a plumber look at this issue and address if warrantable.
Lennar in-house legal response to the vent stack odor issue
WCI will schedule RT Moore to inspect using a sewer viewer camera and repair it if not installed properly or an obstruction is found.
Amanda Buffinton legal response to Lennar about vent stack odor issue
Accepted. However, if no obstruction is found and WCI determines that installation is proper, Mr. Fannin reserves his right to demand that WCI determine and alleviate the cause of the strong odor emanating from the vent stack area. Further, due to the number of problems that exist in the laundry room area, Mr. Fannin requests that WCI and/or its contractors to review this area comprehensively to determine if all of the issues are interrelated. Additionally, Mr. Fannin recently discovered that the smell occurs during/after a rain.
Buffinton response to Lennar outside legal (prior to filing the 558)
No change in WCI response. Mr. Fannin accepts WCI’s proposed solution, but reserves his rights. Overall, Mr. Fannin will have the final authority over any resolutions that affect aesthetics. WCI did not provide a response regarding reviewing the area comprehensively. Mr. Fannin requires that WCI review the issue comprehensively and potentially connected to other issues including plumbing. This could explain the drip noise coming from that vent and as recorded on two occasions (Mr. Fannin has video evidence). It is the same vent.
Final WCI outside legal response to 558 complaint
After inspection, no odor was detected; therefore, no action to be taken on this item. (NOTE BY KRIS FANNIN – WCI NEVER WENT ON THE ROOF)
Lennar executive’s response on 5/22/2017
No issue found.
Here is my note to this response that was never answered:
This was not inspected.