A CASE STUDY
– Arizona Dwelling Act – Builder Requirements Arizona Statutes
– Requirements for Grading & Engineering
Blueberry Hills, LLC | Lakshmi Anathwarthan and its members
Strawberry Hills, LLC | Lakshmi Anathwarthan and its members
Path To Dream Home, LLC | Lakshmi Anathwarthan
Terra Vista Construction | Arizona ROC# 335092 | Lakshmi Anathwarthan
In this case study, we will be looking at a number of issues homeowners faced purchasing a new construction home in Arizona from Realtor/Builder “Laks” Lakshmi Anathwhrthan. A number of the builder’s construction defects and design failures were uncovered via public records searches and confirmed by consultation with county building officials and verified with professional engineering guidance as well as contractors, including excavators and water line installers.
Consistent with its legislative intent, the PDA PURCHASER DWELLING ACT in the State of ARIZONA requires a fair and effective process by which residential contractors receive a reasonable opportunity to cure alleged construction defects before they must defend a construction defect lawsuit. By the same token, purchasers are also afforded a vehicle to achieve correction of alleged construction defects before resorting to the court system.
In Arizona, builders are required to provide a written warranty to their clients for any new home construction or major remodeling projects, which includes warranties related to site work, grading, and stormwater management.
The Arizona Homeowner’s Warranty Law specifies that the warranty must cover certain defects for specific periods of time as follows:
1. Site work and grading: The warranty must cover any defects related to soil compaction and grading that affect the structural integrity of the home for at least ten years.
2. Stormwater management: The warranty must cover any defects related to the installation of drainage systems that affect the structural integrity of the home for at least ten years.
The specific sections that address the warranty requirements for site work, grading, and stormwater management are ARS 12-1361(B)(4) and ARS 12-1361(B)(5). These laws set forth the minimum warranty requirements for residential builders in Arizona and provide homeowners with legal recourse if these requirements are not met.
Additionally, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC) provides guidance and resources for homeowners and builders on their website, including information on the Homeowner’s Warranty Law and how to file a complaint with the ROC if necessary.
The Arizona Purchaser Dwelling Act was enacted to provide a process for homeowners to notify builders of alleged construction defects and give builders an opportunity to repair the defects before litigation can be initiated. As of my last update in September 2021, the Act was established in 2002, and it’s codified in the Arizona Revised Statutes at Title 12, Chapter 13, Article 2 (A.R.S. § 12-1361 and following).
A number of uncovered builder code circumventions and violations by the builder left homeowners without a water supply after 12 months of moving into a new construction property in the state of ARIZONA.
Code Enforcement in the county outlined the status of the home’s lack of water supply as a potential Life Safety Issue.
Per The Arizona Dwelling Act builder was notified of issues and remedies to the life safety issue on the property and the urgency of the matter; at this time, the matter is unresolved despite the homeowner’s best efforts to work directly with the builder offering notice of the issue and numerous remedy proposals to avoid civil litigation.
Code Violations by Builder Lakshmi Anatwarthan
Builders Prior Knowledge
Builder received letters from the county advising property is in a 100-year flood plain and additionally, the requirements for obtaining grading permits and subsequent proper engineering requirements that would have avoided the Life Safety Issue of a stoppage of water supply.
The below-issued notices to builders from the county where on all issue building permits. Builder had knowledge of the following.
2. A remote drainage evaluation (using County aerial and topography) of your property was completed by a Coconino County Community Development Department Engineering Division staff member. This evaluation involved an analysis of on-site and adjacent off-site topography, and an estimation of likely stormwater runoff through your lot and its significance. The purpose of the drainage inspection is to identify any drainage conditions that pose either a probable or an imminent hazard to proposed or existing structures on your lot. This letter is to inform you that this parcel is impacted by the 100-year floodplain per best available data (IEA). Ponding depths are one foot (1′) in area of proposed structure.
The builder states,” There is no fault in the grading and it has exceeded Coconino county expectations and all the relevant codes,”
Public records requests In fact, confirm multiple codes have been identified as not meeting the minimum requirements.
All combined, the above builder code violations, builder design failures, and construction defects were all contributing factors that led to a sinkhole and compromised a water cistern and in turn, became a life safety issue with no adequate water supply at home that builder refused to remedy properly