Ohio and Kentucky statutes require residential builders to provide certain notice to home buyers. While there is no new law on this, the construction attorneys of Ulmer & Berne LLP have seen this issue come to light many times this past year; thus, prompting this refresher alert on Ohio and Kentucky notice statutes.
Both Ohio and Kentucky have notice statutes, which require that builders, upon entering into a contract for the construction of a residence (whether single-family or multi-family), provide notice of the builder's right to offer to cure construction defects before a homeowner may commence litigation against the builder for any alleged construction defects within the residence. Per Kentucky Revised Statute 411.260, such notice shall be substantially similar to the following form:
Sections 411.250 to 411.260 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes contain important requirements you must follow before you may file a lawsuit for defective construction against the builder of your home. You must deliver to the builder a written notice of any construction conditions you allege are defective and provide your builder the opportunity to make an offer to repair or pay for the defects. You are not obligated to accept any offer made by the builder. These are strict deadlines and procedures under state law, and failure to follow them may affect your abililty to file a lawsuit.
Per Ohio Revised Statute 1312.03, such notice must be conspicuous and in substantially the following form:
Ohio law contains important requirements you must follow before you may file a lawsuit or commence arbitration proceedings for defective construction against the residential contractor who constructed your home. At least sixty days before you file a lawsuit or commence arbitration proceedings, you must provide the contractor with a written notice of the conditions you allege are defective under Chapter 1312. [sic] of the Ohio Revised Code, [sic] the contractor has the opportunity to offer to repair or pay for the defects. You are not obligated to accept any offer the contractor makes. There are strict deadlines and procedures under state law, and failure to follow them may affect your ability to file a lawsuit or commence arbitration proceedings.
Although the aforementioned statutes do not contain any apparent language regarding repercussions to builders for not following these requirements, providing such notice is a good way to educate the buyer and provide the builder the opportunity to address the buyer's complaints before a suit is filed and attorney's fees start to mount.