How to cancel deal if builder falls short

Mailbag

September 24, 2000

Recently, I received a letter from the buyer of a new townhouse who wanted to cancel a contract and get a refund because the bedroom sizes being built apparently differed from the marketing floor plans given to her.

Also, a room extension, written into the contract, was not honored by the builder.

When this happens, a buyer needs to write a letter to the builder immediately advising that you want to terminate your contract and demand the return of the entire deposit because the townhouse has been built not according to the provisions promised in the contract. You are legally entitled to get the home as described in the sales agreement.

In this case, the buyer was not only shown a model, which included the larger bedrooms, but the buyer also agreed to pay extra for the home in order to get extra space.

If the builder can't deliver what you bought, you should not have to go through with the purchase, and the builder should return your deposit in full.

Never assume what has been told to you verbally by a sales person will be followed through by the builder.

Buyers should "put it in writing" at the time of going to contract so there can be no misunderstanding about your position and consequently your demand for a full refund.

If you don't receive a satisfactory resolution from the builder, I suggest you contact an attorney, who can review your contract and take appropriate action to protect your rights.

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