9 Investigates

Home builder at center of lawsuit as 9 Investigates cracking stucco, leaky roofs

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A home builder is at the center of two lawsuits in Orange County.

From cracking stucco to leaky roofs and windows, dozens of homeowners said their luxury town homes are crumbling around them. %



The lawsuit claims the homes are not up to code.

The homes sold for about $200,000 and the residents having problems have been there for eight years or less.

READ COMPLAINTS: Cypress Springs | Meadow Woods

The lawsuit said their value is quickly crumbling along with the infrastructure behind the stucco and brick.

“They have catastrophic losses on their hands,” said Evan Small of Ball Janik Lawfirm.

Small represents homeowner’s associations for two different developments in two different counties that are struggling with the same problem.

“The problems: Do they mirror each other?  They're exactly the same,” said Small.

Lawsuits filed this week against Toll Brothers Builders claim negligence, breach of building codes and deceptive and unfair trade practices at the Villas at Cypress Springs and Meadow Woods Cove.

“They expect when you by a new home from a national home builder that within eight to 10 years, you're not going to have this level of problems that they have,” said Small.

Pictures obtained by Channel 9 show damage from leaking windows.

Experts pulled back the stucco and found wood rotting so badly, that they could easily poke a Sharpie pen right through it.

“To know that it's leaking and crumbling before you is a terrible thing for these homeowners,” Small.

The lawsuits name Toll Brothers and the nine subcontractors who did the work that's failing.

HOA's in both communities filed the claims. Some homeowners didn't even know they had severe problems, until experts started testing.

Small said the lawsuits will test the national builder on their commitment to customers.

“This is the test for a company like Toll Brothers as to whether or not they choose to step up and do what's right now,” Small said.

The attorney representing Toll Brothers told Channel 9 they are working to investigate any potential problems in both communities, and those investigations are ongoing.

Toll Brothers’ attorneys said they could not comment about any potential solutions because of pending litigation.