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case-study-arbitration-interior-imgIn this case study, the home was in Year 1 of warranty coverage and was financed through VA/HUD. The homeowner’s request for warranty performance stated, “The duct work is making continuous knocking/ticking noises during every heating and air conditioning cycle.”

During RWC’s mediation, the Builder informed RWC that they spent over 40 hours “without exaggerating” trying to find the ticking while opening up the ceiling, and there definitely was not oil canning. The Builder concluded he had exhausted all efforts. RWC determined the issue unresolved and explained the warranty’s arbitration process to the homeowner.

The homeowner filed the completed arbitration forms and paid the arbitration fees of $950. The parties to the arbitration were the builder and the homeowner.

The arbitrator’s decision stated, “Residential Warranty Company standards provide that with regard to “excessively loud noises” in ductwork, such ductwork will be adjusted if necessary to eliminate noises caused by oil canning. Therefore, if there is a determination that if oil canning exists, repairs may be ordered. Both parties during the arbitration agreed in that the reported noise problem is currently not audible. The homeowners stated that they have, in fact, not heard it for some time, and not at all during this air conditioning season. The request of the homeowner is “Not Covered” according to the warranty book. No repairs or other further remedies are necessary for a problem which both parties agree does not currently exist, and one party claims to have never existed. Based upon the above findings of fact, and the award in favor of the Builder, all costs are to be paid by the homeowners.”

Not only did the Builder receive a favorable decision, but he did so in a very timely, economical manner. Additionally, it was not necessary for either party to be represented by counsel.

This is a real case and a perfect example of how the warranty coverage standards prevent unmerited complaints and supports the value of RWC’s resolution process.

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