Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Homeowner's Bill of Rights (SB 5895) advances to floor of State Senate

Exciting news to share tonight: The Senate Rules Committee has moved SB 5895 - the 2009 version of the Homeowner's Bill of Rights - onto the Senate floor calendar. This virtually guarantees that it will come before the full Senate for a vote.

If SB 5895 passes, it will be the third consecutive year that the State Senate has passed legislation to protect Washington homeowners from negligent construction.

At the heart of SB 5895 is a warranty that requires builders to stand behind their work for several years, giving buyers of new single family homes the assurance that if a defect is discovered, the builder will be coming back to fix it.

It may sound incredible, but courts have ruled that Washington law doesn't permit homeowners to recover damages if something goes wrong with their home, which allows unscrupulous builders to completely escape accountability.

The House is considering similar legislation (HB 1393) which isn't as comprehensive as SB 5895. HB 1393 was just approved by the House Rules Committee to go on the floor of the House, so it, too, is likely to go to a vote soon. What happens after each chamber sends the other its bill isn't yet clear, but we'll be carefully monitoring all developments. In the meantime, now's an excellent time to write to your Senator and ask them to support SB 5895.

To email a Senator, just type their last name and first name into the To field in any client, separated by a dot, then add to the end. So:

You may also call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or look up the office contact information for any Senator at the Legislature's website.


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