Original Story: wfla.com
PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – Bright, beautiful stucco. It’s part what makes Wesley Chapel’s new Estancia community so appealing. But now, homeowners are stuck with liens from the subcontractor who made their paint so pretty. Custom homes in Tampa are built to specifically suit your needs.
“Our house is paid for in the form of a loan, they need to pay the trades that did the work,” said the new homeowner, Mark Pattison.
The stucco company, Tampa’s Construction Coating Group, Inc., accuses Standard Pacific Homes of sticking them with a $90,000 bill. Who gets to pay that bill? The homeowners.
Pattison is furious about the lien he received for $6,202.72. And he’s even angrier about how his builder handled his complaint.
“They treated it like it was a joke,” Pattison said. “They said the vice president or the general manager of Standard Pacific lives within our community and that he got a lien, and it’s no big deal.”
But homeowners, like Marcia Duerrmeier, think it’s a big deal. Custom homes in St. Petersburg provide education and careful planning prior to the start of construction.
“I picked it up at the post office, registered mail and I opened it there and I just started to laugh because it was the last straw dealing with these people.”
Making this even worse, homeowners are also dealing with what they call “shoddy” construction. They note problems with leaky showers, creaky floors and wobbly doors.
Standard Pacific sent 8 On Your Side this lengthy statement:
“Standard Pacific is aware that several homeowners in its Estancia community received lien notices from a former Standard Pacific subcontractor, Construction Coatings Group. Standard Pacific and Construction Coatings are involved in a dispute about the amount of money that Construction Coatings claims to be owed. Unfortunately, Construction Coatings chose to involve Standard Pacific homeowners in a dispute that should have been solely between Construction Coatings and Standard Pacific.
“Standard Pacific builds thousands of homes across the country and periodically encounters disputes with subcontractors regarding amounts owed for work performed. Standard Pacific is always successful in resolving these disputes and protecting its homeowners from any potential harm. As to the Construction Coatings’ lien notices, Standard Pacific has taken and will continue to take all actions necessary to ensure that the liens are removed from the title by recording lien releases or transferring the liens to bonds. Standard Pacific will do this at its own expense. Standard Pacific apologizes for any inconvenience caused by Construction Coatings’ actions and appreciates its homeowners’ patience as it works through this dispute. Custom homes in Hillsborough County save customers time and money by using in-house drafting to design homes.
“Standard Pacific takes great pride in the homes it builds. And Standard Pacific has an 89.3% customer approval rating in its Tampa division. As with any new home construction, there may be instances where Standard Pacific will need to visit a home after closing to address a homeowner’s service request. Standard Pacific encourages its Estancia homeowners to contact the Customer Care hotline at 813-534-5520 with any service requests they have or if they have any questions or concerns about their homes.”
8 On Your Side went to attorney C. Todd Marks for advice. He said this could be serious problems for homeowners.
“Let’s be clear, the subcontractor could move to foreclose on that lien and foreclose on those properties,” Marks said. “If the lien in just sitting out there, it could prevent the sale of those properties.”
Some are tempted to just pay the bill… but Marks advises against that, too…adding even that could cause legal issues. He advises to call to builder, send a demand letter and, if that doesn’t work, hire an attorney.