Horrible Experience with Lennar's less than 1.5 year old Brand New House
NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS -- I bought Lennar's home and it was closed November 23, 2005. We had a number of warranty issues with this property, due to poor construction well below Lennar standards. The warranty department was unresponsive, or slow at best, and bordered on hostility at times. They demanded that we sign off the unrepaired open items when the normal warranty period expired. These issues culminated in a refusal of the first Tenant to renew their lease and strained relations with the next Tenant to the point we had to release them from their contract. I am suffering significant loss due to these problems.
Warranty issues included an inoperable dishwasher that took forever to get repaired, ill-fitting doors that were hung so poorly that one could insert a finger in the crack and see sunlight from inside a closed door, and other issues discussed below.
The present issue at this time is the air conditioning system. Problems with the A/C surfaced in the pre-closing walk-through on November 11, 2005 when it was noted that the A/C does not cool. The home is a rental property and was occupied in December 2005 and the A/C worked until August, 2006. It failed on August 15 2006 and we reported the issue on the Customer Care/Warranty process on the Lennar web site. We got no response until Lennar acknowledged the request on August 22, a week later.
We emailed Lennar once again on August 28, 2006 (still under warantty) that the A/C did not work. Lennar's system says a representative from Christian Plumbing and Air Conditioning went to the home on August 29, but the Tenant says no such repairperson ever showed up, and because we had rekeyed the house there is no way Christiansen could have accessed the house without the Tenant there to let them in. On October 10, we reported that the repairs reported in August had not yet been done and the work was accomplished until a week later on October 17. The technical details of the A/C problems can be sent, unfortunately can't be attached here.
The same problems resumed and our request for repairs of January 2, 2007 was not answered until January 9, 2007 when the Lennar warranty rep said it was out of warranty without regard to the variable parts/labor warranty periods on the A/C. On March 3, 2007 the new Tenant complained bitterly about the A/C. Christiansen Plumbing and Air Conditioning responded six days later that the defrost board was out, with parts under warranty but labor was not, and finally did the work on or about March 16, 2007.
This did not remedy the problem so we had to send our own A/C technician, A K Air, Inc., who found a Freon leak and re-welded the copper pipes to the outside unit. He also found the defrost board out of order again, as well as a number of other issues. The unit needed a new compressor, possibly because it had been running on low Freon and lack a Freon filter dryer, which permitted trash and debris to circulate freely in the system. It may also need replacement of the 4-way valve. The Freon filter dryer was missing. Since the zoning controller was not working, he changed the system from a dual zone to a single zone, and realigned the zoning controller for a single zone.
It was the opinion of our A/C technician that the crew that originally installed the A/C were poorly trained. The welding of the copper Freon pipes to the exterior unit was rough and leaked. The unit had no Freon filter dryer, which exposed the system and compressor to damage from bits of trash and debris in the roughly welded system – the poor workmanship of the installation suggests it is likely the copper pipes had a lot of trash and debris in them. The defrost board was defective and the zoning control board was not properly installed. It is not clear that the 4-way valve is installed or working correctly, and it can’t be tested properly until there is a proper compressor to provide the needed pressure. In either event, the 4-way valve may have been factory installed or it may have been shipped with the York unit to be installed in the field – their factory rep says York works both ways.
Overall, the warranty service system was inept at best and was possibly conniving. Constant delays of a week or more to respond to simple repair requests appear more like efforts to drag feet until the warranty expires than an effort to cure construction problems.
We are asking for a full reimbursement of the $4,369.99 it cost us to replace the system, plus the approximate $425 to replace the 4-way valve if it is found damaged after the system is replaced and pressure is available to test the 4-way valve.
After, we bought a brand new house. Should we expect to spend close to $5000 for repairing cost only in the beginning of its second year? PLEASE HELP! Please let us know what we can do! and we will do it!