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Hi everyone, I am new to this and about to be a new home owner. I realize this is a DIY Chat and this isn't exactly a DIY problem but I really need some advice from someone on what to do.

My wife and I are building a house in Spokane through a company in the area. They buy lots, give specific floor plans then we pick one and they build it, type of thing, so they do alot. Right now 9 new homes are going up in our neighborhood.

However, we are having a mice problem in our home and the builder is refusing to fix it. In the last 5 days we have found 5 dead mice all within a 6ft radius of each other with small holes in the sheet-rock where they look to be getting into the walls. Any suggestions on what to do? Its clear they are in the walls and its a brand new home that we haven't even moved into yet. We are still 1 month from closing. Personally I think they need to remove walls and check the insulation and for dead mice that might be in there as well as holes between the siding and sheet-rock. Please let me know your thoughts! Thanks!

Ryan
 

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I wouldn't be going to any closing with a mouse infestation. Have him fix it or walk away from the house. You don't find dead mice unless someone has made an attempt at getting rid of the issue. Unless this was a mass suicide. Next time you're there, take photos of the dead mice(if you haven't already) Also note bait traps , holes in sheetrock and anything else that points to a mouse issue. I'd contact the other people who have houses being built to see if the issue is larger. Fall is the time when rodents try to get shelter for the Winter.
 

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Thanks Ron, we planned on walking but then we lose our initial earnest money deposit on the house if we do... We have photos, of each mouse that we found and have set up traps and have pictures of that as well.. The builder has told us multiple times that we should not be going into the house during the building process either and its just starting to get ugly...
 

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Take your contract when checking with an attorney about loosing your earnest money if in court.

Should not be entering? What does the contract say? Reference that to your attorney.
 

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Thanks Ron, we planned on walking but then we lose our initial earnest money deposit on the house if we do... We have photos, of each mouse that we found and have set up traps and have pictures of that as well.. The builder has told us multiple times that we should not be going into the house during the building process either and its just starting to get ugly...
This is definitely not a lawyer free scenario. And this means added cost. If you find out the other houses are also infested with mice, it strengthens your case. It shows a callus disregard to keeping the construction site, secure from rodents. You will definitely need to speak to a lawyer. Not necessarily the real estate lawyer.
 

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JOATMON
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I would place a call to building and safety. I'm sure they are like most cities....along with following code, there are also 'Best Practices' which includes a safe and clean construction area.

I'm sure the mice issue comes under 'clean'. When made aware of it, I doubt the builder will get final buy off.
 

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The pictures to the bank and county health department, along with let the Mayor's office know what is going on. You may want to also accidentally let the information get into the hands of the local tv stations. The bank will put a halt on it, until the rodent problem is corrected. Bad thing about tract homes, is that they get paid by the home, not the hour. Turn over is really bad with the sub's. Those working for a sub one day or week, may not be the same ones the following day or week.

All the company cares about is making as many throw away homes as cheap as they can, but in turn they will charge the customer more than the house is really worth.
 

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...The builder has told us multiple times that we should not be going into the house during the building process...
That is total BS.

My clients could visit the job site any time, as long as it was safe.

What's he worried about you seeing other than mice?....

Start by talking to your local health department and definitely consult an attorney.
 

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I cant see how they could keep rodents out of a house under construction. But it sure would have to be clean and free of those pests by closing day. The contractor should be hiring a pest control outfit to make sure.
Whether or not you have legal access rights to the house before closing date (except for prearranged inspections with the contractor) depends on the contract you signed.
Some contractors have a clause in contracts up here in canada, that the buyer does not enter the construction site without permission. I would never agree with such, but many apparently do just that.
 

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I hate to say it, but the mice are your problem, not the builder's. Put out some Decon. They'll eat it and die. Yup, they might die inside and stink for a while. But the smell will go away eventually.
 

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That is total BS.

My clients could visit the job site any time, as long as it was safe.

What's he worried about you seeing other than mice?....

Start by talking to your local health department and definitely consult an attorney.
I wonder how many other builds of theirs that they have covered up, by not letting the customer visit to inspect their property.

I would be talking to a lawyer last week and tell the builder to shove it, take my money and walk.
 

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I cant see how they could keep rodents out of a house under construction. But it sure would have to be clean and free of those pests by closing day. The contractor should be hiring a pest control outfit to make sure.
Whether or not you have legal access rights to the house before closing date (except for prearranged inspections with the contractor) depends on the contract you signed.
Some contractors have a clause in contracts up here in canada, that the buyer does not enter the construction site without permission. I would never agree with such, but many apparently do just that.
That is so that the builder can hide their mistakes, with no one to catch them, until the builder has walked and when the problems come up. The builder is no where to be found.

Rodents can be controlled, by keeping bait stations around the job sites.
 

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You talking to me?
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You have no right to enter the home unless it is provided for in your contracts. Until closing, you do not own the property or the home (at least how you explained your purchase agreement) and as such, the builder can prevent you from entering the home if they so choose. It's called trespassing.

Additionally, the builder has a HUGE liability issue when anybody enters the property. Maybe one of the guys didn't put away an extension cord. Who pays for the injury if the purchaser is injured due to that? While OSHA has requirements, we all know reality often steps in and tells OSHA to take a hike.



Don't get me wrong; I believe the purchaser should be very aware of what is happening in the building and there should be regular visits BUT it is not a right unless the contract says it is.

Oh, and to the walking and losing just your earnest money deposit; does your contract allow for that? If not, there are other concerns such as the builder suing for specific performance or for damages if you do not complete the sale. His damages, if nothing else, would be the carrying costs of the build money that would have been abated due to the closing but now has to pay out of pocket.
 

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I hate to say it, but the mice are your problem, not the builder's. Put out some Decon. They'll eat it and die. Yup, they might die inside and stink for a while. But the smell will go away eventually.
actually, right now it is not the purchasers problem since they do not own the property nor the home and they don't want to purchase the mouse problem along with the house.

a new home owner should not have to put up with mouse stink, even if only for awhile.
 

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I think you should treat your house with the help of some mouse exterminator before moving in. Conventional baits, trap methods are not much effective in mice control for this only a professional can stop the infestation from growing and do a proper mice extermination for you.
 
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