North Dakota Twenty-Fifth State to Enact NOR Law
When North Dakota’s Republican Governor John Hoeven signed House Bill 1437 on April 20, his state became the 25th in the nation to enact notice and opportunity to repair (NOR) legislation that makes it easier and less expensive for builders and home owners to resolve construction defect disputes.
The new law requires home owners to give the builder written notice of an alleged defect. The builder then has 30 days to inspect and, if appropriate, remedy the defect within a reasonable time.
“We're very pleased to pass NOR legislation in North Dakota's legislature this session,” said Joe Stenvold, president of the North Dakota Association of Builders. “Giving contractors notification and having the opportunity to inspect and repair is an important first step, and we hope it will lessen the number of cases taken to the courts.”
"I believe this bill is an important step forward in stemming the tide of litigiousness in our society," said Rep. Kim Koppelman (R, West Fargo), the chief sponsor of the legislation. "Although North Dakota is not a state known for overzealous litigation, contractors here can pay the price for excessive litigation elsewhere, through the incredible increases they've seen in liability insurance rates. That, of course, means consumers must pay more for what those contractors build. This legislation encourages consumers and builders to resolve their differences, without going to court, and reminds insurers that North Dakota is a good place to do business and that our builders are excellent insurance risks. We all hope this legislation will minimize litigation, encourage resolution of disputes and result in lower insurance premiums and that these savings can be passed on to consumers."
North Dakota joins 21 states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia — that have passed NOR laws in the last three years. Three other states — Michigan, Louisiana and Virginia — have had NOR laws on the books for several years.
“It’s worth noting that half the states now have enacted notice and opportunity to repair laws,” said NAHB President Dave Wilson. “This is not a coincidence. Across the country, state legislators and governors are recognizing that contentious litigation is not the best way to resolve construction defect disputes.”
“Notice and opportunity to repair laws provide a common-sense approach to dealing with construction defect problems,” Wilson added. “It’s an approach that has received widespread support across the country.”
For information on notice and opportunity to repair laws, NAHB members can click here
. For more information, e-mail Sam Leyvas
at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8326.