Charlotte homeowner calls WBTV after years of water leaks in home

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte woman called On Your Side Investigates for help after years of trying to fix a water leak in her new home.

Heather Rains bought a townhouse built by DR Horton Homes in September 2008. She noticed water leaking into her house from under the subfloor on an outside deck one month later.

"I was on my patio and noticed that the patio floor covering was starting to warp," she said.

The problem appeared to be water coming in from the outside deck that was above the garage. One of the features that Rains said drew her to her townhouse in the first place.

Six years later, water continues to leak into Rains' house despite four attempts by DR Horton to fix the problem.

"This constant water coming into my home the last 6 years, they cannot find a fix for it," Rains said. "They've proven that with four tear-downs."

The drywall in Rains' garage stops halfway up the wall, evidence of the repeated, failed attempts to stop the leak.

"The water, starting over here, flows this way. When I parked my car in the middle of the garage, there was a huge amount of water just sitting there and sheet rock pieces just landing on the hood of my vehicle," Rains said.

Rains said after six years and four attempted fixes by crews from the building, she doesn't believe DR Horton is capable of fixing the problem.

She hired a third-party inspector to look at the damage and prepare a report. The inspector estimated the repairs would cost between $80,000 and $100,000, according to Rains.

Rains also hired an attorney, who has filed a lawsuit against the company seeking more than $25,000 in damages and reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses Rains has had to front to store items and do other work on her home as a result of the leak.

"I have absolutely no confidence in this builder," Rains said.

Attorneys for DR Horton have asked a judge in Charlotte to dismiss Rains' lawsuit or, alternatively, to order binding arbitration--a quasi-judicial hearing in which a hearing officer listens to both sides and then makes a ruling that takes the place of a court proceeding.

A judge has yet to rule on DR Horton's request.

A spokeswoman for DR Horton said the company could not comment on Rains' situation because of the pending litigation.

Rains said she is stuck living in a house with water damage that prevents her from fully using the entire space. She cannot sell the house because of the damage and she is not willing to just walk away from the home either, she said.

"I have absolutely no confidence in this building," said Rains, who was once recognized by DR Horton for being a top independent real estate agent.

"After six years, I just have to put my foot down and say enough is enough."

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