If and how to go to small claims court?

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Topic: If and how to go to small claims court?

Real Estate May 16, 2013 at 10:21 am

If and how to go to small claims court?

We’ve just bought a house – a flip, so perhaps caveat emptor – but the contractor has clearly done crap work. The dishwasher was installed wrong, and has flood water that has warped the floorboards and come out the light fixtures in the apartment below, and may need to be replaced. A poorly fitted bathroom pipe has already leaked through the ceiling below it, and will cost about $500 in repairs. In the rental apt basement, there is no power to the outlet where the washing machine should go. We havent bothered the contractor with any of this stuff (because for anything we have requested of him – like the gas inspection permit so that we could have the gas restored after some service – he’s dodged our calls for a WEEK (during which we had no gas)), but now things are really just piling up, and the damage being cost by his poor work has begun to far exceed the cost of just having things redone (i.e., now needing the replace the wood floors where the dishwasher leak has warped them; replacing the ceiling under the leaky pipe). We’re wondering about small claims court, and whether we have a leg to stand on. Anyone have any experience with this? Any ideas? Waste of our time, or possible way to recoup some of the costs (we’re talking, like, $2k)?

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You may also want to bring your inspector into this, provided you had an inspection. Most inspectors will run the dishwasher while doing the inspection and that should have shown issues with the dishwasher. The other thing that in DC there is an assumed 3yr contract on all work by a contractor. I found this out when I had to sue my builder on a flip over the roof. If all this is starting to add up you may be past small claims court.

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