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    Texas Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: HB 730 amended the Texas Property Code by adding Title 16 and amending chapter 27. Overseen by the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) the code asserts that a contractor is not liable for any percentage of damages caused by failure to take reasonable action to mitigate damages or take reasonable action to maintain the residence. It also limits damages, requires written notification and response for right of repair and defines warranty periods. Additionally, SB 754 states“(5-10 Sec. 27.107) a contractor may assert as an affirmative defense to an allegation of a defect made in a complaint filed under this subchapter that the defect is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the home.”


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    No state license is required, however, general contractors must get permits at the local level. Separate boards license HVAC, and plumbing trades.


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    Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas
    Local # 4524
    5816 West Plano Pkwy
    Plano, TX 75093

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    Builders Association of Greater Fort Worth
    Local # 4530
    70001 Blvd 26 Ste 323
    Fort Worth, TX 76180

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    Home Builders Association of Texarkana
    Local # 4566
    PO Box 7048
    Texarkana, TX 75505

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    Home Builders Association of West Texas
    Local # 4545
    4223 85th St
    Lubbock, TX 79423

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    East Texas Builders Association
    Local # 4542
    2023 Alpine Rd
    Longview, TX 75601

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    Home Builders Association of Grayson - Fannin and Cooke Counties
    Local # 4563
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    Big Country Home Builders Association
    Local # 4506
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    An Insurance Policy Isn’t Ambiguous Just Because You Want It to Be

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    South Carolina Supreme Court Finds that Consequential Damage Arise From "Occurrence"

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    FLOORING BUILDING CONSULTANT CUSHING TEXAS TEXAS RECONSTRUCTION EXPERT WITNESS CONSTRUCTION RELATED LITIGATION SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS TEXAS BUILDING CONSULTANT
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    The Flooring Building Consultant Cushing Texas Texas reconstruction expert witness construction related litigation support professionals, Texas Building Consultant Group at BHA, leverages from the experience gained through more than 7,000 construction related expert witness designations encompassing a wide spectrum of construction related disputes. Drawing from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to Flooring Building Consultant Cushing Texas Texas reconstruction expert witness construction related litigation support professionals' most recognized construction litigation practitioners, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, as well as a variety of state and local government agencies.

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    Real Estate & Construction News Round-Up 05/04/22

    May 23, 2022 —
    Construction payment apps are on the rise, the European Union proposes to block Russians from buying European real estate, warehouse vacancy rates hit a 27-year low, and more.
    • The Metaverse Group has made itself one of the most prominent virtual land owners, having invested more than $10 million into digital real estate purchases. (Katie Canales, Business Insider)
    • The European Union proposed to block Russians from buying European real estate in its six package of sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (Jorge Valero and Alberto Nardelli, Bloomberg)
    • Although smart office buildings are able to easily identify viruses, they are susceptible to hacks, raising privacy and cybersecurity concerns in the market. (Konrad Putzier, The Wall Street Journal)
    Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Pillsbury's Construction & Real Estate Law Team

    UK Agency Seeks Stricter Punishments for Illegal Wastewater Discharges

    August 07, 2022 —
    Bosses of U.K. water and wastewater utilities that are responsible for illegal, serious pollution should be jailed, said Emma Howard Boyd, head of the government's Environment Agency. She made the recommendation along with release of the agency’s annual report on the nine major companies, which recorded the worst environmental performance in a decade. Reprinted courtesy of Peter Reina, Engineering News-Record Mr. Reina may be contacted at reina@btinternet.com Read the full story...

    Amazon Urged to Review Emergency Plans in Wake of Deadly Tornado

    June 20, 2022 —
    Amazon.com Inc. should better prepare workers for extreme weather events, according to federal regulators who investigated a deadly tornado strike on a company warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. The storm ripped through the facility in December, killing six workers and injuring several others, prompting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to launch a probe. At the time, Amazon said the facility complied with all construction regulations and that proper safety procedures were followed when the tornado struck. But several workers told Bloomberg that training for such events was minimal and mostly entailed pointing out emergency exits and assembly points. An OSHA report released on Tuesday echoed those concerns. The agency said a bullhorn that was supposed to be used to tell workers to take cover was locked up in a cage and inaccessible. In interviews with investigators, some employees couldn’t recall ever participating in emergency drills and said they mistakenly took shelter in a bathroom on the south side of the building rather than in designated restrooms on the north side. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Spencer Soper, Bloomberg

    Fifth Circuit Certifies Questions to Texas Supreme Court on Concurrent Causation Doctrine

    August 07, 2022 —
    The Fifth Circuit certified unanswered questions on the concurrent causation doctrine to the Texas Supreme Court. Overstreet v. Allstate Vehicle & Prop, Ins. Co., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 13582 (5th Cir. May 19, 2022). The insured alleged that a hail storm damaged his roof. The roof was three years old when he purchased a policy from Allstate. An adjuster sent by Allstate valued the loss at $1,263.123, less than the policy deductible. Allstate contended that the roof damage was due to uncovered causes, namely a combination of wear and tear and earlier hail storms that hit the roof before the insured purchased the policy. The insured disagreed because the roof had never leaked before the hail storm, but only after the storm. The insured's expert inspected the roof and determined it had been damaged by hail. The district granted Allstate's motion for summary judgment because the insured had not carried his burden of proving how much damages came from the hail storm alone. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    Were Condos a Bad Idea?

    June 13, 2022 —
    Introduction Condominiums are a nice idea, but their execution has been less than perfect. Long before the fatal Berkeley, California balcony failure in 2015 or the 2021 Champlain Towers South collapse that killed 98 people in Surfside, Florida, we suspected that all was not right with the basic condo concept. Years ago, there were already signs this "cooperative" housing model was anything but. Whether due to owner apathy, internal disputes, or failure to fund future repairs, sustaining these projects for the long-term has been difficult, leaving their future in doubt. Can this be fixed, or is the concept inherently flawed? Every enterprise has an organizational "model" to run the business. For-profit corporations obtain revenue from the sale of products or services. The revenue of non-profit condominium corporations are the assessments paid by the owners of the individual units. While these assessments are “mandatory” in the sense they must be paid, they are also “voluntary” since the amount is left to the board of directors to determine. Condos are cheaper to buy, but the sales price may not reflect the real cost of ownership. They are "cooperative" because costs and space are shared, but internal disputes and funding shortfalls operate to shorten the life of these buildings in ways few owners understand. Internal Disputes Why is condominium life frequently not “cooperative?” Disputes. Disputes between condominium owners and their associations; among board members; and between individual owners and their neighbors. There are arguments over the right to put a flag on the balcony. There are arguments over swimming pool hours. The right to paint their front door some color other than everyone else's. The right to be free of noise, smoke, or view-blocking plants. And sometimes, the claimed right not to pay assessments needed to maintain the project—all notwithstanding the governing documents to the contrary. The right to use one's property as the owner sees fit is a concept imported from the single-family home experience but not replicated in condominiums where common ownership requires rules to avoid chaos. But a condominium association's most important concern should not be the color of someone's front door or when they can swim but sustaining the building and keeping owners safe. Maybe we care someone has painted their front door bright green, but should that concern have priority over finding rot that may cause a balcony to collapse with someone on it? Resolving conflicts and enforcing the governing documents have a reasonable success rate. Still, the effort required to do that often distracts the board from more critical issues—damage that can sink the ship. Directors can waste a lot of time re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic when, if they look closely, the iceberg is coming. Maintenance Lacks Priority Why can't we enforce the rules and do what’s necessary to sustain the building and keep occupants safe? Unfortunately, juggling both behavioral and sustainability issues has proven difficult for many volunteer boards of directors. Rule disputes are always in their face, crowding their agenda, while the damage that could lead to structural failure often remains unknown. Also, enforcing—or resisting—rules can involve a clash of egos that keep those matters front and center. Or, and I suspect this is a primary culprit, the cost of adequate inspections, maintenance, and repair is so high that boards cannot overcome owner resistance to that expense. While boards and management must sustain the project and protect people, raising the funds to do that is another matter. Directors must leap hurdles to increase regular assessments. Imposing large, unexpected, special assessments for major repairs can be political suicide. Unfortunately, few owners realize how deadly serious proper maintenance is until there is a Berkeley or a Surfside, and everyone is stunned by the loss of life and property. While those are extreme cases of faulty construction, inadequate maintenance, natural causes, or all the above, they will not be the last. We know that because experts have seen precursors to those same conditions in other projects. Our concern for sustainability arises from examining newer projects during construction defect litigation when forensic experts open walls to inspect waterproofing and structural components. It also comes from helping our clients with the re-construction of older buildings and dealing with many years or decades of neglect for which little or no reserves have been allocated. The economic impact of repairing long-term damage is huge. Rot lying hidden within walls slowly damages the structural framing. Moisture seeping into balcony supports weakens them sometimes to the point of collapse. The cost to repair this damage is frequently out of reach of most condominium associations. In newer projects, when experts find problems early, claims are possible. The Berkeley balcony failure occurred in an eight-year-old building[1], and there was recourse available from the builder. But with older projects, it is often difficult to hold anyone responsible other than the owners themselves. Is The Condo Model Flawed? Suppose this is true—and our experience representing condominium projects for over forty years tells us it is—then we are not dealing only with the inexperience of some volunteer directors but rather with a flawed organization model. Board members want to succeed but are constrained by an income stream that depends almost entirely on the will of the individual owners—essentially voluntary funding. Under most state laws, funding for condominium operations and maintenance is not mandatory[2], and relies instead on the willingness of the directors to assess owners for whatever is needed, and on the willingness of owners to accept the board’s decisions. When a board of directors can set assessments at whatever level is politically comfortable, without adequate consideration, or even knowledge, of long-term maintenance needs, systemic underfunding can result[3]. What the members want are the lowest assessments possible, and directors often accede to those demands. When these factors conspire to underfund maintenance, they will drastically shorten the service life of a building. They also make it potentially unsafe. Commercial buildings incentivize their owners for good maintenance with increased rents and market value. That incentive is not relevant to a condominium owner because the accumulating deficit is rarely understood at the time of sale and not reflected in the unit’s sales price. With a single-family home, deferred maintenance is more easily identified and is reflected in the purchase price. But condo home inspections are usually confined to the interior of a unit, and do not assess the overall condition of the entire building or project or review any deficit in the funding needed to attend to deficiencies. Thus, market value is not affected by reality. In most states that require that reserves be maintained for future maintenance and repairs, the statutes require nothing other than cursory surface inspections. Damage beneath the skin of a building is not investigated, and no reserves are recommended for what is not known. California recently enacted legislation that will require condominium associations inspect specific elevated structures for safety, including intrusive testing where indicated. But no other state requires this level of inspection, and few even require a reserve study to determine how much money to save for the obvious problems, never mind those no one knows about[4]. This situation leads to unfair consequences for those owners who find themselves unlucky enough to own a unit when the damage and deficits are finally realized. Damage discovered, say, in year 35 didn’t just happen in year 35. That deterioration likely began earlier in the building's life and lay hidden for decades. It is costly to repair when it finally becomes obvious or dangerous. No prior owner, those who owned and sold their units years ago, will pay any part of the cost of the eventual rehabilitation of that building due to past lack of adequate inspections and years of artificially low assessments. Instead, the present owners will be handed the entire tab for the shortfall from several decades of deferred maintenance or hidden damage—the last people standing when the music stops. Can this trend be reversed? As condominium buildings age and deterioration continues, the funding deficit increases dramatically. But to reverse that trend and reduce the deficit, someone must know it exists and be willing to address it. That requires more robust inspections early in the building's life and potentially higher assessments to stay even with any decay. Conclusion It would not be wrong to blame this on the failure of the basic condominium model. Volunteers rarely have sufficient training or expertise to oversee complex infrastructure maintenance, especially without mandatory funding to pay for it. The model also does not insist that board members have a talent for resolving conflicts. While condominium boards can leverage fines or legal action to enforce the rules, that lacks finesse and can create greater antagonism—a distraction from the more critical job of raising funds to inspect and maintain the building. Unit owner-managed, voluntarily funded, multi-million-dollar condominium projects were probably a bad idea from the beginning. But sadly, it is way too late to reverse course on the millions of such projects built in the past sixty years. Many are already reaching the end of their service lives, with no plan to deal with that. Robust inspection standards on new and existing projects and enforceable minimum funding for maintenance and repairs should be considered by state legislatures. But whatever the approach, the present system is not staying even with the deterioration of many buildings, and that is just not safe anymore.
    1. The collapse of the balcony in Berkeley occurred on an apartment building. But the construction of that building is similar or identical to the construction of most multi-story wood-frame condominiums.
    2. Boards of directors are empowered by statute or contract to assess members for operation and maintenance costs. However, there are few statutes that set minimum funding or otherwise require boards to exercise that authority.
    3. Even in states that require reserve studies, the physical inspections are inadequate to uncover some of the costliest damage. California’s reserve study statute—Civil Code Section 5550—only requires inspection of those components that are visible and accessible, leaving damage within walls and other structural components undiscovered and funding for the eventual repairs, unaddressed.
    4. In May 2022, in response to the Champlain Towers South collapse, Florida enacted mandatory structural inspections for buildings 30 years and older, repeating every 10 years thereafter. The law also includes mandatory reserve funding for structural components.
    Reprinted courtesy of Tyler P. Berding, Berding & Weil LLP
    Mr. Berding may be contacted at tberding@berdingweil.com

    U.K. Developer Pledges Building Safety in Wake of Grenfell

    April 19, 2022 —
    Crest Nicholson Plc intends to sign the building safety pledge set up in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire in 2017 to improve standards that may cost the U.K. developer as much as 120 million pounds ($157 million). The company’s best estimate of further liability as a result of the pledge would be 80 million pounds to 120 million pounds, according to a statement Tuesday. Since 2019, Crest Nicholson has recorded 47.8 million pounds of net charges from obligations imposed after the fire at Grenfell Tower in London in which flammable cladding materials contributed to the deaths of 72 people. The Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced in January the government’s intention to increase the legal obligation on developers to fix potentially dangerous buildings. Since then, Crest Nicholson has engaged in “intensive dialogue” with the government about the new guidelines, resulting in the decision to sign the pledge, the firm said in the statement. The new restrictions will be enacted in law through proposed amendments to the Building Safety Bill that is currently passing through parliament. Crest Nicholson is currently considering whether any further regulatory approvals are required in respect of the proposed laws, according to the statement. Read the full story...
    Reprinted courtesy of Ryan Hesketh, Bloomberg

    Critical Materials for the Energy Transition: Of “Rare Earths” and Even Rarer Minerals

    September 12, 2022 —
    As the world pursues ambitious net-zero carbon emission goals, demand is soaring for the critical materials required for the technologies leading the energy transition. Lithium may be the most well-known of these inputs due to its usage in batteries for vehicles and consumer electronics, but roughly 50 other minerals are central to energy transition technologies. During the coming years, producers, manufacturers and end-users will be increasingly exposed to the roles played by “rare earth” elements (roughly, atomic numbers 57 to 71), platinum group metals, and other materials. The reasons for this heightened interest are simple—even if the underlying environmental, political and technological forces at play are complex:
    • Lower-carbon technologies use different materials than carbon-intensive technologies. The mineral requirements of power and mobility systems driven by renewable, nuclear, hydrogen and fusion energy are profoundly different from those forming the backbone of fossil fuel systems. Minerals such as lithium, nickel, copper, cobalt, and rare earth elements are vital for electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, fuel cells, electricity grids, wind turbines, smart devices, and many other essential and proliferating civilian and military technologies. For example, an offshore wind plant needs 13 times more mineral resources than a gas power plant of a similar size.
    Reprinted courtesy of Robert A. James, Pillsbury, Ashleigh Myers, Pillsbury, Shellka Arora-Cox, Pillsbury and Amanda G. Halter, Pillsbury Mr. James may be contacted at rob.james@pillsburylaw.com Ms. Myers may be contacted at ashleigh.myers@pillsburylaw.com Ms. Arora-Cox may be contacted at shellka.aroracox@pillsburylaw.com Ms. Halter may be contacted at amanda.halter@pillsburylaw.com Read the full story...

    Work to Solve the Mental Health Crisis in Construction

    September 05, 2022 —
    The suicide rate for construction is one of the highest among major industries. That statistic is from a 2018 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it’s one major reason why the concern about mental health in the construction industry has grown. Research shows that as many as 90% of all people who die by suicide have a mental health condition. Depression is the most common cause, but other conditions such as substance use disorders may have an impact as well. What is causing mental health conditions in the construction industry? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 97% of the U.S. construction industry is male—and men experience the highest rate of suicides. Yet, while the suicide rate for women in construction is lower than that for men in the construction industry, it appears to be much higher than the suicide rate for the general female population. Being “tough” and “strong” are highly valued; acknowledging mental health concerns—or even seeking help—may be considered a sign of weakness. There is often fear of shame and judgment for admitting you have a problem. In addition, the nature of construction industry jobs may affect mental health. Injuries may cause chronic pain, which can result in substance disorders like opioid use. Seasonal work can result in layoffs, which puts a strain on family relationships and finances. The job is high-stress and the work is deadline-driven. Employees work long hours, potentially resulting in fatigue. Sometimes work is away from home for extended periods. The pandemic has exacerbated every other problem while creating its own. Reprinted courtesy of Bruce Morton and Diane Andrea, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Mr. Morton may be contacted at bruce.morton@marshmma.com Ms. Andrea may be contacted at Diane.Andrea@MarshMMA.com Read the full story...