After WCI (now Lennar Homes) conducted inspections on my new construction home in 2015, we had one question they never answered. WCI then lied on their official legal response. Here’s what happened.
In August of 2015, WCI Communities (now Lennar) did an inspection as a part of the 558 construction litigation process in the State of Florida. As the construction issues continued to multiply, the case quickly got big.
I had been dealing with new-home construction issues for over two years. It took almost a year to get to the 558 process. I’m not approaching FIVE long years in the house.
What is the 558 process?
The 558 is a required process before an official lawsuit can be filed against a builder. In my opinion, it’s a way to give more time to the builder and put more expense onto the homeowner.
In the State of Florida, you must officially file a ‘558’ stating all the outstanding construction issues. The builder then receives the opportunity to inspect and then respond. The response is basically:
Yes, we will fix it and this is how.
No, we won’t fix it and this is why.
Why is the 558 process ridiculous?
Guess what? I had been going through the ‘unofficial 558 process’ for more than two years at this point. Yes, more than two years. Now, the State of Florida required me to officially go through the process again before I could file a lawsuit against WCI Communities/Lennar Homes.
I just wanted a home. Shouldn’t be a lot to ask for from a home builder right? Now more nearing into it, I can tell you it’s the most exhausting process ever. The State of Florida gives a detailed description of the 558 process.
There were 54 identified construction defects (there are now more than 80), many of them at an impasse. Litigation would begin on any issues that couldn’t be resolved and based on responses to the 558.
My attorney at the time advised me to let WCI conduct the inspections before we filed the 558. That turned out to be bad advice.
WCI/Lennar initially wanted days for the inspection. That turned into four hours. Before the inspections even occurred, WCI indicated that they needed two days for the repairs. How did they know how long the repairs would take before inspecting the construction problems? As you can imagine, we were all confused.
The WCI/Lennar inspections were scheduled for Tuesday, August 18, 2015, from 12-4 PM.
After the one hour and fifteen-minute inspection by ONE WCI representative (Jamie Moore) for close to 60 issues, WCI came back with this response:
Also note, this email came to me directly and not legal. Here is Jennifer Sipperley’s email to me.
Here is my response to WCI/Lennar on August 21, 2015.
The biggest question we had was:
“Which items were going to be repaired?”
When all of this first started back in 2013, I made a spreadsheet of all the construction problems and each response to them. One interesting point is that many of the responses change over time.
At the time of the 8/18/2015 Lennar/WCI inspection, many of the items were at an impasse. You can see that in column F of the construction issues spreadsheet I have been maintaining since I first moved here.
We never received a response.
Official 558 filing against WCI/Lennar Homes
After never receiving a response to the above simple question, the 558 was filed on September 8, 2015.
WCI/Lennar response to the 558
The next response we received from WCI Communities was on October 23, 2015. Most of the responses were a variation of:
“WCI offered to inspect this item but the Homeowner canceled the repair/inspection.”
Here is the official response. Excuse the last page, as for some reason WCI/Lennar’s outside legal attached a page relating to an unrelated case.
That never happened. This response is completely untrue.
In my opinion – and backed by this bizarre chain of communications – WCI never had any intention of repairing my Westshore Yacht Club home. I also believe that WCI had no intention of going to a lawsuit.
Lennar officially took over WCI in February 2017. I started working with Lennar towards resolution. Before Lennar became completely silent, I kept insisting for an explanation of the October 2015 response.
So what was their intent?
More to come.