Addressing an Issue
Building Trust With Consumers
The typical house contains more than 5,000 different parts. All of these components must be built with skill and precision to turn into a home. And it is unrealistic to assume every home to be perfect every time. Even the best built homes need corrections now and again. Most problems can be easily corrected.
From time to time, issues may arise between a contractor/remodeler, supplier, homeowner, or other. We can provide you resources for resolving any issues you may have. There are some guidelines you can follow to help correct the situation:
Steps in the Process
First, identify the exact nature of the problem and put it into writing. Send it to the builder (perhaps certified mail). Use the following guidelines in writing your letter:
1. Include your name, address, and home and work phone numbers
2. Type your letter so it is 100% legible
3. Keep it brief and to the point, include all facts and relevant details
4. If you have a solution/resolution, state your expectations
5. Be reasonable
6. Include all documentation and images regarding the problem
7. Before you send the letter, make sure you understand the warranty coverage
8. Go directly to the builder first
9. Give the person a reasonable amount of time to respond
10. Leave out emotions – remain factual
11. Contact outsiders – attorney, mediators, etc. – only if you are at an impasse
HAVE A CONTRACT! Carefully read it to establish how issues are to be handled
Document all contacts
Take photos and send copies to the builder
Be prepared to contact an inspector or official if necessary
For Further Support
1. Fill in the attached form and we will contact you as soon as possible.
2. Contact the Building Official in your neighborhood to get a report on the project.
3. The Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) provides a Contractor Recovery Fund. Requests for review and contact information can be found on their website: DOLI Website, CRF PDF
4. A mediator can many times be the ticket that is needed. We have members of the association who are mediators and can provide that information through phone, email or the attached form for services.
5. The Better Business Bureau offers complaint mediation and arbitration services that can sometimes help resolve consumer/business problems.
6. The Office of Attorney General and Legal Assistance has a process to submit complaints also. The consumer hotline number is 800.621.0508.
7. The Federal Trade Commission is the nation’s consumer protection agency, collects complaints about businesses, business practices, theft and other business related issues. They work to protect consumers about unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices. www.ftcomplainassistance.gov
8. Small claims court comes in if the conflict involves a contract dispute or allegations of fraud or other and may provide relief for consumers. These courts have fees that are smaller than district courts, the proceedings are less formal with citizens representing themselves. Know the rule here. You will have to contact the courts for additional information. www.courts.state.mn.us
9. Attorneys: for larger disputes, you may need to contact legal representation. The ABA has a list of personal property/real estate attorneys. Please contact the office for a full list.