GEORGIA JOINED THE GROWING RANKS OF states that now require homeowners to notify builders of any home defect and give them an opportunity to repair it—instead of filing suit. Twenty-one states have now passed notice-and-repair laws. The laws help make general liability insurance more affordable and readily available to builders. Georgia's new notice-and- repair law (SB signed by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue in May, comes on the heels of a similar law passed in Mississippi to improve the state's general liability climate by adding notice and repair provisions to the state's home warranty act, and adding mold damage to the state's list of warranty exclusions. In Washington state, a three-year lobbying effort sulted in recent legislation to enhance the state's notice-and-opportunity-to-repair law, including provisions for condominium construction.
Before legislators broke for the summer recess, notice-and-repair bills were awaiting governors' signatures in Missouri and Hawaii. In Arizona and Alaska, builders' associations had successfully pushed legislation to strengthen notice-repair laws that have been in place since 2002 and 2003, respectively. In Alabama, California, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Florida, notice-and-repair bills are making their way through the state legislatures. Finally, a bill to enhance Florida's existing notice-and-opportunity-to-repair law is sitting on the governor's desk awaiting action.