Brad Messer Commentary
8:15 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2002

Your representatives in Austin are pre-filing bills for the January session of the Texas Legislature.

One of them ought to be a lemon law for new houses. San Antonio state senator Leticia Van de Putte gave it a try in the 2001 session. It should be tried again.

One thing real estate developers have developed is overwhelming political power. They have bought enough lawmakers to not have to worry about the consumer, the home buyer, suddenly getting a fair shake.

If life were fair, there would be a lemon law for houses, like for cars. Give the seller three chances to fix the problem, and if he can't or won't, make him buy back the lemon.

A significant number of new-home buyers discover they have terrible problems. Bad framing, crooked leaky roofs, other structural shortcomings. They then discover they can't sue the builder, because of fine print in the sales contract.

Those little average citizen homeowners don't have lobbyists and don't donate big bucks to politicians. They can pretty much forget about getting any protection from the builders of shoddy homes.

One group with influence, the Texas Association of Builders, flat out says lemon laws just would not work for homes. They and other big-clout mamas are putting a lot of money into making sure they don't even get a chance to work. It's time the little guy got a fair shake now and then.

Brad Messer— commentary, KTSA.


Daily Texan: "Homeowners call for 'lemon law' legislation" 10/16/2002
Homeowners for Better Building site HERE mucho info on home warranties
NBC Dateline: "Do home warranties offer protection for buyers?" 4/17/2002


Commentary A R C H I V E