• Report: #76506

Complaint Review: Lennar Homes

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  • Submitted: Tue, January 06, 2004
  • Updated: Wed, December 26, 2012

  • Reported By:HOUSTON Texas
Lennar Homes
550 Greens Parkway, Ste. 200 Houston, Texas United States of America

Lennar Homes Deceitfulness in buying home and rip off of money Houston Texas

*General Comment: Never heard Of "Soundproofing"?

*Author of original report: The Solution

*Consumer Suggestion: Home Inspection

*Consumer Suggestion: Sound proofing made easy

*Consumer Comment: Texas is different

*Consumer Comment: Who To Sue freeway example is a *great* analogy

*Consumer Comment: I am a Realtor ..it is in no way illegal or even unethical to disclose that there is noticable noise between townhomes

*Consumer Suggestion: I don't agree with your Disclosure excuse...

*Consumer Comment: there's a lesson here for all prospective homeowners and tenants

*Consumer Comment: townhouse living? "soundproof" is not an adjective

*UPDATE Employee: Advice from a Lennar employee

*Author of original report: We are not going to give up that easy

*Consumer Suggestion: This sounds to me like a case of buyers remorse which is common

*Consumer Comment: This is just the tip of the ice berg

*Consumer Comment: I am a licenced general contractor and I have never heard of a technique to make walls "Soundproof"

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This is in regards to Lennar Homes in Houston, Texas ( Villas at Northpark ). When we first came to see Lennar's model town homes we asked many questions, the most important of all, was if their townhomes would be soundproof. Lennar's sales technique to persuade new homebuyers to buy their town homes is that the town homes are soundproof. Lennar also says that even though there is a common wall shared between the homes they are way better than living in an apartment. Unfortunately that is very untrue and everything can be heard through the common wall and this problem has existed since we first moved in the home.





We talked to Lennar and set up time for them to come inspect our side and the neighbors side of the common wall and their comment was everything was in place and there was nothing that could be done. I then got a hold of the president (RICK PEERY) and asked if he could look into the problem and his response was that they had really never had a problem like this before and also no complaints. We again set time up for Lennar to take inches out of our home and the neighbors home by adding soundproof board and sheetrock. The problem still exists and again we set up a meeting with two of Lennar's presidents (RICK PEERY & DON KLEIN) and they do not know how to handle the problem. M

y husband and I discussed with Lennar that it is in everyone's best interest for them to buy our home back and for Lennar to be able to see what the problem is and of course they can re-sell the home and find ways of improvements that way in the future they do not have a problem like this. Lennar told us that they will not buy our home back and they don't know how to solve the problem. My husband and I are really upset and very dissatisfied with Lennar. If we had known that this problem was going to exist we would have never bought this type of home from them. We feel that they have been very deceitful and they need to be responsible. We told Lennar that if we had to hire an attorney we would. My husband and I feel that we will not invest any money throughout the time being in this home because of the situation and of course no one is going to want to buy a home like this from us with this problem. We wouldn't want to be deceitful to them because that is unfair and we would not want anyone else throwing their money away and living uncomfortable. We took the time to go door to door to speak with our neighbors to find out they had problems similar to ours, most of our neighbors have the same problem and are waiting to see if our problem will be resolved. One of our neighbors just recently moved into the subdivision two weeks ago and is very upset and dissatisfied to the point that if they would have known that this problem existed with these homes they would have never invested in these town homes. Our neighbors would like to move out as soon as possible if they could. This is a new subdivision and when we moved in there were only a couple of neighbors and of course there was no one around to ask any questions in regards to the town homes. Lennar continues building these new town homes and is not caring about the existing problems.

This is not a problem that we feel comfortable with, only because you can hear almost everything that our neighbor is doing and they can hear 90% of what's happening in our home, when we are upstairs, when we come down the stairs, when we turn on our TV, and our conversations, these are just a few of the ongoing problems that we are experiencing. Also there are cracks in our ceiling in the master bedroom that have spread after Lennar's construction workers came to stop the spreading of the cracks. This same day an electrician sent by Lennar came to check the wires that were shorting out a breaker that affected our lighting, a week later this same electrician returned, fixed the problem and in the process he had to cut holes in the walls (6 holes 9x9). This same day Lennar had their construction workers come out to patch these holes in the wall, the workers had to return to paint these patches. Approximately three months later we have not had any success in getting Lennar to send them to paint the patches.

If we would have known that these problems existed we would have not purchased a town homes from Lennar. We feel that everyone who looks at Lennar's town homes should be aware of these problems and not fall into Lennar's deceitfulness just like we all happened to fall in. We would not like for anyone to throw their money away and to live unhappy and dissatisfied.

We have already filed a complaint with Better Business Bureau ( BBB ), Rick Peery was contacted by the Better Business Bureau, his response was that he agrees that Lennar claims that these town homes are noise resistant. The material Lennar uses should keep out everyday noises of typical conversations and moderate radio or television sounds, he also claims to BBB that the noises come from a sorround sound system connected to our stereo system. Unfortunately we do not own a surround sound system. Rick Peery has forgotten that in the beginning he came to our neighbor's house to hear for himself the noises that we were complaining about and this happened without us knowing that he was next door. Rick Peery saw that the stereo volume was low and that there was a problem and he was going to try to fix the problem. Rick Peery never came out to reinspect the home after the so called sound proof board and sheetrock that was installed, so therefore he can't claim that noises are being heard because of our loud tv and stereo that is supposedly connected to a surround sound system. He claims that Lennar has built these kind of town homes with the same materials and same design for over five years and that they have only received one or two noise complaints. Again this is not true, Rick along with the salesman told us they had some problems out in the Woodlands (Texas) and some of our neighbors have complained and Rick continues to use the same line He has never received any complaints. We are proof in the neighborhood that there has been complaints. Rick does not want to accept that there is a problem and Lennar should be held responsible. This is not a problem that we are making up, this is something that is happening not just to us but the few residents that live here, this is just one of the many problems that we are experiencing here at this community, Lennar might think that they can get away with ripping off people this way, but it's time to put a stop to all this. Many of our neighbors have agreed that they would help out in any means necessary to prove that they also are experiencing these problems. They are also willing to sign a petition and go to court with us if necessary. Unfortunately our neighbors work out of town and very long hours and have not been able to contact Lennar and hope that our voices can be heard and Lennar resolves the problem.

Thank you

Hugo HOUSTON, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/06/2004 10:05 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Lennar-Homes/Houston-Texas-77067/Lennar-Homes-Deceitfulness-in-buying-home-and-rip-off-of-money-Houston-Texas-76506. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Never heard Of "Soundproofing"?

AUTHOR: Soundproofing Admin - (United States of America)

I was shocked to hear that the "General COntractor" here had never heard of "Soundproofing"!

We have been in the soundproofing product sales since 1997 and have helped thousands to attain relief from annoying noise and cannot let the ignorance about soundproofing stand.

There are more than eighty soundproofing sales companies listed on the internet, we we the first.

If you have a soundproofing problem, you can contact the www.noisenoise.org group for information on how to deal with it, or send us a email for a direct response: supersoundproofing@gmail.com

www.soundproofing.org
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#2 Author of original report

The Solution

AUTHOR: Hugo - (U.S.A.)

After 2 years of complaints to Lennar our problem did get resolved.

We had a contractor come out and give us an estimate on how much it would cost to sound proof our house.

Lennar agreed to pay for the cost to have the material installed.

For those who said that there is no such thing as sound proofing a house, YOU ARE WRONG !!!!!!

Thanks to Mr. John Dillard with JD Construction for all the great help through this matter. Thanks to Ripoff for letting us post this problem on this website.

Our problem has been solved and we are living in a peaceful house.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Home Inspection

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

I am a Certified Home Inspector. I have seen countless stories like these where people either trusted Real Estate Agents, or Builders. Next time you buy, find a knowledgeable Home Inspector in your area who has YOUR best interest at heart. Pay him his fee, (what's $300-500 with an investment such as this) and learn about the investment before you move in. I have done inspections where people have used my list of defects to renegotiate their contracts so that they might save thousands of $$$

Alot of people think that if they buy a new house it doesn't need an inspection----WRONG!! No home is without defects, and no builder is perfect. Freedom is through information.

Back to the qualified inspector. Make sure his credentials match his words. There are some Great national organizations out there that "police" there own and make sure that qualifications are met. I am a member of The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, www.nachi.org. We must pass an exam every year and completed 18 hours of continueing education requirements, clients are assured of quality when they hire us.

And it helps that we sometimes serve as material witnesses in claims against unscrupulous real estate people.

Good Luck!!
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Sound proofing made easy

AUTHOR: Jenny - (U.S.A.)

After reading and reading and reading all the comments and suggestions written to this topic, I have come to the conclusion that unless you would like to spend years of time in agony and money trying to accomplish something that chances are will never be, please try one or more of these easy carpentry projects.

There are many soundproofing materials on the web and at stores like Home Depot. Type in Sound proofing materials on your search engine and you will be in sound proofing heaven! Drive to Home Depot and have it done tonight! These panels are normally easy to install over existing drywall, just paint and hang a picture on the wall.

You could also try, if you are handy with a measuring tape and light duty machinery, going to Home Depot and renting a insulation blow machine, cut a piece of drywall from each wall channel at the highest point and blow in the insulation, replace the drywall you cut out and tape it with self stick drywall tape, spray on texture in a can and paint the area.

All this can be purchased at Home Depot for a small amount of money. You could have someone in carpentry come in and frame a new wall aginst the the old one and put in batts of insulation then drywall and paint. You could also cut into the existing wall and blow in insulation directly into the common wall.

It seems the builder will not come back and there is not much else that can be done and even then, sound travels through pipes, walls, wiring, ductwork so putting insulation in this area may not completely soundproof the common wall, but it should help quite a bit.

You must way your priorities, spend years fighting and bitching or just do something about it so you can live in piece and most importantly quiet.

Also have you been to any other apartments? Maybe the person that lives next door just has a voice that carries. I must also ask what wall is common? Bedroom, Bathroom? Does your neighbor have a problem with the noise you make?

It's just like how you can't choose your parents, when you purchase an apartment, you can't choose your neighbors. Perhaps you should meet and get friendly with the neighbors and then they may not annoy you so much.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Texas is different

AUTHOR: PGM - (U.S.A.)

Hi Tim. I am not sure about Arizona, but Texas has always marched to the beat of a different drummer. My guess is, this is probably one of those times. Our disclosure statements promulgated by the Texas Association of Realtors would actually protect these people if they decided to sell--but not the agent (lovely, eh?). It is entirely possible in this state, and most every agent has a story about someone they've worked with that had a lawsuit filed. In Texas, we have what is known as E&O insurance for just such lawsuits. "Errors and Omissions" is insurance purchased by the broker (paid by agents) to cover neglect on the part of the agent. "Neglect" is subjective, as you might guess, and more often than not the case is mediated and does not go to trial. In any case, in the State of Texas, agents can and have been sued by buyers for neglect and disclosure issues, in cases where the buyers cannot go after the sellers.

Having said that, the biggest hole in this entire thing is that most likely, no buyer would go after either party, unless Lennar stepped forward and showed all of their communications with these people. Then there might be a problem.

There's a great quote by Maya Angelou that I think would serve the homeowners very well in this situation:

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."
Houston, TX
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#6 Consumer Comment

Who To Sue freeway example is a *great* analogy

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

Everything PGM says is good advice and the freeway example is a *great* analogy. The only thing I'd disagree with is "...they would actually go after your representing agent, not you". That's entirely untrue. YOUR failure to disclose has nothing to do with your agent, and in every Agent/Seller (and Agent/Buyer) sales/purchase contract I've seen, the agent is held completely harmless on disclosure and well as virtually every other issue.
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#7 Consumer Comment

I am a Realtor ..it is in no way illegal or even unethical to disclose that there is noticable noise between townhomes

AUTHOR: PGM - (U.S.A.)

Dear Hugo,

Please, let me assure you that while it is honorable that you would not want to sell your townhome with such a "noise" issue, it is in no way illegal or even unethical to disclose that there is noticable noise between townhomes. Most buyers who are purchasing a townhome are already aware there will be noise; if they are looking at your home they will surely find out if there is more than average. As for your buyer suing you for not disclosing a noise issue, it isn't ever going to happen. I can assure you of that. If any attorney actually thought they had a case they would actually go after your representing agent, not you.

Just as someone living near a major freeway wouldn't have to disclose there is traffic noise during rush hour times, you do not have to disclose that there is noise in townhomes that are built with a common wall. It is common sense and for the most part, common knowledge.

Use this information to your advantage and SELL. Purchase a single family home, and let this be a lesson--research, research, research before purchasing any new residence, regardless of the type.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

I don't agree with your Disclosure excuse...

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

You indicate that you're too good-hearted to sell without disclosing this "problem", and also can't "not disclose" because you could be sued. I don't agree with that.

You *would* have to disclose the "repair/retrofit" which was made. When indicating the reason on that disclosure, you would simply indicate the truth -- "To further reduce the amount of sound which could be heard from the ajoining unit". Any buyer will look at that retrofit as a PLUS! Hell, it's a selling tool!

In that one area, you've indicated the "repair" (which you MUST do legally) and you've indicated that there was too much sound to be heard. Were you sued (an absurdity, but okay...) a judge will look at that and find that you dislosed the noise problem.

In disclosure, you do not have to further say, "... and it's still too noisy and awful and loud to suit our taste, so we must sell". The buyer's tolerance is going to be entirely different from yours.

If the buyer has *any* concern after reading your disclosure of the retrofit, they can easily make an appointment with their realor to come and observe the amount of noise which can be heard from the ajoining unit. Such can become record in the escrow, if you're worried about backlash.

It's a simple thing: So I have to wonder as well (like the Lennar rep indicated) what your real intentions are here.
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#9 Consumer Comment

there's a lesson here for all prospective homeowners and tenants

AUTHOR: Alicia - (U.S.A.)

You need only take a look at the above picture of the structures under construction to see that these builders are interested in profits and care nothing about crafting quality homes. If someone clear-cuts the area, bulldozing everything on the property to build these dwellings, they are NOT thinking about the long term. Everyone knows that trees and vegitation increase quality of life and resale value and decrease energy bills. Any builder that denies you that is interested in building fast and cheap; And you've clearly found out where that fast and cheap building strategy leads.

There are a lot of reasons that it's better to look for a dwelling that has been lived in as opposed to these new "neighborhoods" that are popping up all over. One of those is that you can talk to the people who have lived there and see what it's like. If you haven't read Upton Sinclair's book "The Jungle", you should skim the first quarter or so. Every time I see a "model home" and a row of cloned houses baking in the sun, I think of those new Americans who were swindled over a century ago. Let's evolve a bit.
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#10 Consumer Comment

townhouse living? "soundproof" is not an adjective

AUTHOR: Brenda - (U.S.A.)

As a previous owner of several townhouses, I can assure you, "soundproof" is not an adjective I would use, particularly where there is a common wall/roof. Sound travels via metal pipes, electrical wiring, on and on and on.

As an example, in our last one, we couldn't hear radio,tv,conversaton, etc. but whenever the bathrooms were used we could hear everything!
On the otherhand, our neighbors could hear our dishwasher, washing machine, etc. and none of these were against the common wall. The sound traveled via the piping and reverbrated somehow, we were never able to resolve the problem. In my daughter's current townhome, everyone can tell when someone opens and closes their front doors. Even though they aren't being slammed!

My suggestion, if the noise bothers you this much, put the thing on the market and sell it, I can assure you, even though the builder is still building, there are people who want to "move in now" and even though you feel this is a problem, I think if you look at the forms required to be completed in Texas for real estate sales you won't find "noisy" as one of the defects. Put it on the market for $500.00 less than you paid for it...underprice the builder Get out and move somewhere where you can be happy...life is too short and I'm sure you have enough other things to stress out over.
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#11 UPDATE Employee

Advice from a Lennar employee

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Dear Hugo,

I'm a Lennar employee in Dallas who sells homes for Lennar. If you truely want resolution to your problem, here's what you do:

1.) If you've already contacted the Div. President and he doesn't seem to care, then contact Jay Wissink out of Dallas. He's the Regional President over all of Texas. I guaranty you that he will care, and that he will take care of your problem (unless you're just trying to scam Lennar into buying back a home you no longer want). No one can make your walls sound proof, but they shouldn't be as "noisy" as you say.

2.) Lennar has a great reputation for customer care and goes way, way overboard to take care of their customers. If you are a resonable person trying to resolve your problem in a reasonable manner, then Lennar will take care of you. Look at their J.D. Power ratings: http://www.jdpower.com

3.) Oh, also, you can't sue Lennar. Yes, that's right, you signed a purchase agreement agreeing to binding arbitration. If you could sue Lennar, what do you think the odds are of you winning a battle with a $8 Billion company? They could bankrupt you before could stand a chance. Arbitration is in everyone's best interest anyway.

Good Luck,

John with Lennar.
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#12 Author of original report

We are not going to give up that easy

AUTHOR: HUGO - (U.S.A.)

Ron, Thank you for the suggestion. Yes, I can sell my home but if I do not disclose that everything can be heard in the house, the new homebuyer can turn around and sue us. Also if we do disclose no one is would want to buy it for what the selling price would be and guess who is going to end up losing? Unfortunately the neighborhood is not even close to being finished, so therefore we would not be able to sell our home. Knowing that the neighborhood is not finished being built you would not buy a used home, wouldn't you prefer a new home that is being built?

There have been many cases with buyer's remorse and many builders have bought these homes back without going to court, so something positive can come out of this. We are approaching this in a manner that many homebuyers who won their cases with the builders buying their homes back, even little people can be heard. Many builders do not disclose this information because they don't want to make themselves look bad. We feel that we are not wasting our time. The builder has only made one effort to solve a problem that they knew it could not get solved. If they would have made more efforts then we wouldn't be so upset and dissatisfied.

We are not going to give up that easy, even if we lose this battle we will continue to make as many people aware of what's going on.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

This sounds to me like a case of buyers remorse which is common

AUTHOR: Ron - (U.S.A.)

After 23 years in the residential construction
and remodeling field, I have never heard of a multifamily soundproof claim made by any builder or sales rep. I also know first hand that customer satisfaction is how these people sell more homes.After all the efforts made to resolve your dilema, I also do not see a division president simply dismissing this and sweeping it under the rug. I would simply suggest that you sell the home and move. It dosen't seem to me that anything that is done to resolve this problem
will make you happy in anyway whatsoever. As far as taking the lennar corp. to court, I promise that you wont win there either. Save your money and time. This sounds to me like a case of buyers remorse which is common. Sell the home and buy a single family detatched home and move on. "deceit" and "rip off " are strong words that can easily be used against you as well in a courtroom.

It wouldn't be the first time I have seen a bulder sue for defamation. Good luck
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#14 Consumer Comment

This is just the tip of the ice berg

AUTHOR: Hugo - (U.S.A.)

I am glad to hear that you are a licensed contractor, maybe you have never experienced anything like this before, or maybe you know what to look for in a situation like this.

When we came to buy from this builder there were only a couple of houses built, we didn't take just their word, they showed us their model homes and they told us that we could scream as loud as we could and we wouldn't be able to hear it next door, that's exactly what we did, my wife went to one side and I went to the other, just as the sales person said, we could not hear anything.

Of course recently we found out that they used more than their best materials available on their model homes, and if we expose who told us this they might get in too much trouble.

Maybe that wouldn't have convinced you, but it did convince us, being a brand new subdivision with good things heard about this builder, we went ahead and bought it. When I turn on my TV my next door neighbor can hear it, when we talk ( not scream ) my next door neighbor can hear it, her master bedroom which is adjacent to my boy's room when ever she has some one over you can hear what's going on, I don't know about you, but I don't want my son to hear what's happening next door.

Coming from an apartment I know how well soundproof those are, my next door neighbor used to turn his stereo system very loud and I would barely hear it, and also it would not bother me to where I couldn't go to sleep, that's how well insulated or soundproof or whatever you want to call it they were.

These town homes are not even close to keeping noise levels to a minimum, I am aware that we fell for what some one like you would not fall for, but unfortunately it's not just myself that is having this type of experience.

So what you are telling me is that there is no way to sound proofs a home? Then why did the builder agree with us that there was a problem when they came to hear it for themselves? If there is no such thing as soundproof material, why was it that they told us that what they were going to add was going to solve our problem?

The reason why I posted this letter on this website is to make any body else who might be interested in buying in this neighborhood aware of their selling technique, that what they are telling a lot of people is not true. This is just the tip of the ice berg there are more problems that a lot of us are experiencing here.
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#15 Consumer Comment

I am a licenced general contractor and I have never heard of a technique to make walls "Soundproof"

AUTHOR: JoshMI - (U.S.A.)

What? Please tell me how to make a truly "Soundproof" wall....I would be a millionaire. Is it THAT big of an issue? And if it was, why didn't you, when you were looking at the homes, test out their claim as to the soundproofing of the walls. Dullible are the people who take others words...If this is an important issue for you, it is something you should have checked on personally...not taken a salespersons word for it. Adding the sheetrock and sound absorbing insulation is pretty much all that can be done...I am a licenced general contractor and I have never heard of a technique to make walls "Soundproof" other than the techniques that were applied..
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