Defective Manufactured Home?

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In October 2011, I purchased a manufactured home. The sales folks said they had done a thorough inspection and everything was in good order. However, as I walked through the house I noticed there was mold in one of the bedroom closets (caused by a leaking a/c unit), and the outside a/c unit did not work. I reported the problems and they came out and made repairs. At least they said they did. Now, almost 2 years later, and the plumbing is still messed up (there is a leak in the master bathroom that apparently no one can fix and it has now damaged the walls and the floor in the master bedroom), two of the three toilets in the house back up constantly, the shower in the master bathroom does not drain, the other two bathtubs constantly back up. We are on a septic system (not city sewage) and they tell me this is the problem, but the septic company has come out several times and said the septic system is in full working order. The a/c unit does not work–I can’t even get it to turn on and we live in south Texas so a/c is an absolute necessity. The a/c repairman came out and said whoever installed the unit (which was a company hired by the sales company as the previous owners had stolen the one that was supposed to be in the house) didn’t know what they were doing and because of that the whole inside unit would need to be replaced. There is no way I can afford to do this.

The sales company refuses to do anymore work on the property (they have refused to do anything since right after we moved in) because they say it’s not their problem and told me to file a claim with my insurance company. The insurance company pretty much laughed at me when I explained the situation because they know these were pre-existing issues. I’m at the point now where I just want out from the mortgage and move somewhere else, but I know that is probably a pipe dream. Complicating the matter further is that the home is mortgaged under my dad’s name, so if I just up and move (as I am tempted to do), it would put him in a bind. I can’t move somewhere else and pay two mortgages/rents, so that’s not a solution. I don’t want to do any damage to my dad, but I’m about at my wit’s end. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks for the quick reply, Spock.

I live out in the country and not in a mh park. We know the leak in the master bathroom/bedroom is coming from the toilet, but no one can tell me where. When they flush the toilet, water doesn’t leak. However, when I come home every day there is a big puddle on the bathroom floor behind and around the toilet. The various plumbers that have come out have said everything is connected properly and nothing on the toilet itself is leaking (apparently my cats have been playing with the toilet during the day? This is the only explanation left. And yes, I’m being facetious here). As far as the back ups, one plumber told me the elbow pipes they have installed are too sharp (he didn’t go so far as to say that this is the main cause of the back ups).

I don’t know many retired folks who do a/c repair, but I’ll ask around and see if anyone I do know knows anyone who knows a retired a/c repairman. The a/c firm quoted me a price of $ 3000 to do

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Spock (rhp)
    June 18, 2013 at 2:32 am

    do you live in a mh park, or somewhere out by yourself?

    my experience of mh parks is that there usually are a number of retired guys with plenty of skills who live there and, given incentive, can usually fix anything. All you have to do is find them, ask, and be pleasant [and willing to pay a bit in coin and beer].

    since the septic is ok, you need to run a snake through the drain to the septic — multiple backing up problems are usually clogged drain, or, in a mh, failure to properly level the unit. [it won’t drain right if the drain pipe goes uphill]

    sorting the drain comes first. then you fix the plumbing. “leak no one can fix” is bunk. Of course it can be fixed — and doing so may require replacing parts that no one thought to replace. patience and discovery of the exact source of the leak are required — including the possibility that the vent stack [through the roof] is improperly sealed and the leak is rain water that is getting in.

    as to the a/c. find a retired or semi-retired guy who used to be in the business. He’ll have far less incentive to lie to you about what needs to be done [the labor charges on a/c replacement are outrageous virtually everywhere if you ask any outfit that advertises which gives them big incentive to lie, plus they make money on the actual replacement unit]. He’ll also have more incentive to charge real fees based on actual work time involved. {example: replacing compressor in two part unit — I was quoted $ 1,100 by a major firm to replace a compressor under warranty. It actually took a retired guy 45 minutes work, about the same waiting, and $ 250 worth of freon (R-22) at his cost. He charged me $ 300 total and we have a beer together every once in a while.}

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