Thousands of homes in Florida and throughout the United States that were built between and may contain tainted drywall imported from China. The presumed defective drywall, much of which has been blamed on Chinese manufactured product shipped to the United States during a shortage following Hurricane Katrina, is thought to be emitting a toxic gas both inside the home and within the walls. The Chinese drywall contains high levels of sulfur, which produces a rotten egg smell and s believed to be destroying electrical wiring, copper fittings, plumbing, mirrors, air handler and potentially the cause health issues. The tainted Chinese samples contained traces of strontium sulfide while American drywall samples did not. Hence the reason why Florida and Louisiana seems to be one of the hardest hit areas.
|Published (Last):||22 May 2018|
|PDF File Size:||14.12 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||16.95 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Six years after the scourge of defective Chinese drywall in Florida homes first surfaced in the public eye, some homebuyers continue to unknowingly purchase homes that have not been fixed and paying the price. Florida has the highest number of drywall homes among 44 states reporting the problem, along with the District of Columbia, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. Estimates range from about 12, to 20, homes affected. Lee County is the focal point of the problem in Florida.
About 2, homeowners in Lee have asked for property tax relief because their homes have been tainted by the drywall since September , when Ken Wilkinson, county property appraiser, began to offer it.
In comparison, Collier County had only about homes reported as having defective drywall, according to its property appraiser's office.
The drywall, imported mostly between , smells foul and emits sulfur compounds that corrode air conditioning coils, electrical wiring, metal appliances, electronics, jewelry and plumbing fixtures. Residents with the drywall complain of health issues from nosebleeds to respiratory problems. There are guidelines for remediating homes set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and more stringent guidelines from federal Judge Eldon Fallon, who presided over thousands of drywall cases in multidistrict litigation in New Orleans.
Neither protocol is mandatory. As a result, some contractors just fix a home until they believe it is repaired well enough, removing drywall, repainting, but not replacing fixtures or wires that are corroded by sulfur compounds the drywall emits.
Jason Nicko, president of Abisso Remodeling, said most of his business is remediating Chinese drywall. He moved to Southwest Florida more than two years ago and said he encountered homes that "undoubtedly" had drywall when he was looking to buy. I can tell walking in the front door," he said. The sellers said the homes had been inspected and were clear of the drywall, but wouldn't allow him to test, Nicko said.
Even if the home is sold "as is," a seller by law has obligation to disclose anything that affects value of the property. There is no law a seller has to do an inspection. If something wrong surfaces, the buyer has to prove the seller knew about it. Homes basically have to be taken down to the studs and rebuilt. The couple was aware of this because friends Richard and Patti Kampf of Cape Coral accompanied them on their search. The Kampfs' home had Chinese drywall and was remediated.
They eventually led a grassroots group of drywall homeowners who advocated for government help. The Grovers placed offers on two foreclosed homes. The houses were being sold "as is. He doesn't believe it's a disclosure document, just a "buyer beware document," he said. The Lee County list stands at 1, who have requested tax relief due to drywall, said Tom Pokorny, county IT and data service administrator.
A total of 1, homes have been remediated, or 52 percent. An additional properties did not respond to the annual county query asking whether they continue to have defective drywall, so they have been taken off the list, Pokorny said. Another properties are exempt from being listed because they belong to people in law enforcement or the judiciary.
But they have to pay taxes on the value of the land the home sits on. The tax break is not automatic. You have to be able to prove it by meeting county criteria. The verification process and documents needed are outlined on the drywall page of the property appraiser's website. Condo owners also have reported defective drywall. They get less of a tax break because condos have no land value; the land is owned commonly. The county bases the tax break for condo owners on difference between sale price of a condo without defective drywall, and one with defective drywall.
The current tax break is 23 percent, Pokorny said. Homeowners need to have an inspection for the drywall to protect themselves, said Allison Grant, an attorney who has represented about 1, drywall clients across the state, including about in Southwest Florida. Prospective buyers also can search public records to see if the owner filed a lawsuit because of drywall, or see if tax relief was given. Some investors are looking to flip homes, and banks are ridding themselves of foreclosure inventory, she said.
Gloria Tate, a real estate agent with Raso Realty in Cape Coral, said she's sold a couple of homes that were remediated for defective drywall and recertified by the city. The fact was disclosed to the buyers, with no subsequent complaints, she said.
But some homes on the market with drywall are not listed as either having drywall or suspected as having drywall in general disclosure comments in the Multiple Listing Service, she said.
The fact may instead be listed in a confidential disclosure only real estate agents can see. The only reason she believes some may hide it is that homes with drywall sell for a much lover price, so people are more apt to inquire about them, she said. The agent can then tell the prospective buyer the home may have drywall, and offer an alternative listing.
Tate said her sister just lost her home with drywall to the bank after living in it for eight years. Wait about two weeks.
If the wire turns black, that indicates possibility of defective drywall. Close the lid and place it in an area where it is exposed to heat and humidity, such as a garage or lanai.
Wait about two weeks and see if the copper turns black. Home buyers need to remain aware of Chinese drywall Mary Wozniak mwozniak news-press. Many property owners had to pay companies to rip out drywall, creating scenes like this one from The house was built with Chinese drywall and Heinemann's decided to hire Abisso Cleanse, a company that specializes in Chinese drywall removal and house purification, to have it removed.
Tainted Chinese Drywall in Florida is a problem for homeowners, builders, and Realtors®
As real estate licensees, we are required to provide certain written disclosures at various times during the course of a real estate transaction. With all of the legal issues facing licensees, disclosures are intended to protect the buyer, the seller, and the agent. These disclosures should begin at the time a listing agreement is executed between the seller and the real estate brokerage firm. Although it may be considered time consuming, a complete Seller's Real Property Disclosure Statement is one of the best ways of keeping everyone honest. This statement basically covers every feature and important element of the home.
Home buyers need to remain aware of Chinese drywall
Six years after the scourge of defective Chinese drywall in Florida homes first surfaced in the public eye, some homebuyers continue to unknowingly purchase homes that have not been fixed and paying the price. Florida has the highest number of drywall homes among 44 states reporting the problem, along with the District of Columbia, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. Estimates range from about 12, to 20, homes affected. Lee County is the focal point of the problem in Florida. About 2, homeowners in Lee have asked for property tax relief because their homes have been tainted by the drywall since September , when Ken Wilkinson, county property appraiser, began to offer it. In comparison, Collier County had only about homes reported as having defective drywall, according to its property appraiser's office.