Lazarus Shouse Communities LLC--Greenville, SC

Posted on Sunday, December 17th, 2006 at 9:46am CST by 9fb0ad4a

Company: Lazarus Shouse Communities LLC--Greenville, SC

Category: Other

I wanted to make sure the world knows about this builder, before they decide to buy. They present a beautiful house, and have friendly sales staff, and all the new homes come with a one year warranty. It seems that once they have your commitment, everything else within the organization fails. It seems that they don't care about the customer afterwards. They had me do a walk-thru before closing to note all the items that needed to be repaired. We made the list and the final walk-thru was scheduled to take place before closing. I met out at the new house, and was even late for work because of the wait. The people that said they were going to be there never showed. I closed on the home, and noticed that none of the items had been repaired, and none of my appliances had been installed. This is not a good way to start out. Eventually, all those items were repaired, but by that time I had another list of items that needed attention. It took them a solid month to even begin to do anything about it. I made several calls to them, and they never returned my call. I had a day off one day, and made sure that I kept calling them until they started getting work done. Some items were repaired to my satisfaction, and others were not.

The main reason for badgering them over and over is because it was late in the day, and their superintendent had not shown up. He was supposed to be there, and I had yet to see him. I figured that they probably had limited office hours, so I called them just before 5pm and let them know. They told me he was in the neighborhood, and he would be at my house in 10 minutes. I called about 20 minutes later and asked why he wasn't there. They assured me he would be at my house. After 45 minutes, he showed up. I was most concerned about showing him something very dangerous about my house that definitely needed attention, as well as repair.

My house is on a slab. The front porch is also on a slab, and there is a concrete slab walk leading up to the porch. The problem is that the porch is less than 2 inches higher than the walk. This presents a serious hazard. In fact, one of my guests I had over for Thanksgiving tripped and hit her head on my front door jamb. Her head had a knot on it the size of a baseball, and she had to go to the hospital for head scans. I explained this to the superintendant who had finally made it to my house. He explained that trying to ramp the concrete up to the front porch would cause water to stand on the front porch. The next door neighbor didn't seem to have this uneven walk, and they didn't have problems with standing water. The house is the same floor plan, and very similar elevation. I told him if you put a ramp somewhere that water flows down it, not upwards. He sort of seemed to agree with me. He said he would check into it and call me back the next day. Do you think he honored that statement? No!!! He NEVER called back! At this point, I really believe they are running from their responsibilities.

I called the builder after about a week of no response, and got a voice mail extension for someone named "Lazarus". I figure this might be someone of importance since his name is first on the name of the company. I made sure to tell them I thought I was getting the run around, since people were not doing what they say they were going to do. I received a call the next day from someone different than the person I called, who tried to give me the same statement of water standing on the porch if we did anything. I feel pretty sure he didn't take measurments to see if the job could be done. He said something about how different lots have different grades, and each walk is different. I believe the grade is adjustable, and I still believe that if you build a ramp up to the porch that the water won't stand on the porch. I think the only way it might be a problem is if you lowered the elevation of the porch to meet the sidewalk. He said that he didn't violate any building codes, and didn't do anything wrong. I checked the warranty, and there is nothing stating that you have to have a code violation in order to fix a problem with the house. There is nothing in the warranty about concrete slabs, except for the fact that it doesn't cover cracks. I'm not concerned with cracks. I'm concerned about safety. This is very dangerous, and other people are stumbling on their walks also. I explained that the person that fell at my house was threatening a lawsuit. They told me that people do that everyday, and it was their right. I figure they told me this because they are a LLC...limited liability company. This may prevent them from some things, but I sure doubt they will be in business long if they don't shape up on their ethics.

My wife talked to some of the neighbors, and they are having problems getting things fixed. Apparently, there's a neighbor that is having problem with their linoleum peeling. They gave her some story about how it's not supposed to be glued down, and that it was normal. Other people are plagued by the homeowner's association controlled by the builder until they finish building. Apparently, there was someone that had a decorative wooden horse in their front yard. It wasn't any big deal, and they made them move it. They told some people it was okay to put up storage builidings as long as it matched the house. Several people did, and later were told they couldn't have them and that they had to be removed.

Apparently, this builder is more concerned with themselves than the people they sell to. As long as they get their sale, it doesn't seem to matter when the warranty repairs are done. It also doesn't seem to matter if they step on people's toes with their homeowner's association covenants. There is no voice in the community so far. I think it's time to let people know.

Lee Loftis

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1 Comment

9fb0ad4a, 2007-03-12, 12:43PM CDT

I made a complaint to this site in December about Lazarus-Shouse and poor customer service. I would like to give an update since the time of complaint. First, I must make the comment on the homeowner's association. I made the mistake of blaming Lazarus-Shouse for the covenants of the community. Lazarus-Shouse was quick to make a correction that they are in no way responsibile for the rules, or covenants of the community. We were not made aware of this at closing. In fact, we were told by some of the sales staff of Lazarus-Shouse that we are allowed to have storage buildings on our property as long as they match the house, and as long as we submit the plans to the "buliding committee". What name comes to mind when you think of a building committee? Of course, the bulider....Lazarus-Shouse. I think someone should have mentioned the name of the company, and the fact that this company is not at all affiliated with Lazarus-Shouse. Needless to say, I can't further make statements against Lazarus-Shouse for the covenants of the homeowner's association. I do however think that if the sales staff is going to go into details about the rules of the homeowner's association, they should at least make sure to mention Lazarus-Shouse does not make those rules, and is not affiliated with the group that does make those rules.

On the other hand, Lazarus-Shouse has been slow to respond. The problems I have had with Lazarus-Shouse go back to the day before closing, September 28, 2006. The first complaint that I made to complaints.com about Lazarus-Shouse was in December of 2006. It is now March 2007. I have to say now that after nearly 3 months, most of my problems have been corrected, but not without difficulty. My warranty states that repairs should be corrected within a 30 day period from receiving notice of the problem. You would expect to at least hear from them within that time period. I just can't understand it. I finally got at least SOME service from these people, but only after I complained to the Better Business Bureau that they aren't correcting my problems. I even made a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission because I honestly believed that Lazarus-Shouse was committing an act of fraud by completely avoiding responsibility of performing their warranty duties.

The first time I reported Lazarus-Shouse to the Better Business Bureau, it was because they gave me excuses about why they weren't going to fix the problem with the uneven walk that joins the front porch. Not to mention, they had been putting me off with the other repairs that were needed. I have a certified letter dated December 14, 2006 that states they have fulfilled their warranty duties from the final walk-through. It mentioned that I can send my concerns in writing if I have any other concerns that I believe are structural deficiencies. So, I wrote back immediately because I had some items on the list that had not been corrected, and I had some new items to add to the list of needed repairs. I had been trying to get them to level up the uneven walk to the front porch, because someone had been injured on it. I got plenty of excuses as to why they couldn't fix the walkway, including the one about it causing a water problem on the porch. When I reported them to the Better Business Bureau the first time, I got a response back from Lazarus-Shouse through the Better Business Bureau that was along the lines of, "He wants his porch fixed because he simply doesn't like it. He's asking us to tear up his entire sidewalk and front porch. If he wanted us to replace the siding because he didn't like the color, would we be expected to do that too?" I didn't ask them to do anything that extreme. I believe it could be fixed for under $100 by leveling it with some quickcrete.

After I wrote back in response to the certified letter mentioning my repairs were not all corrected, and that I had new repairs to add to the list, I waited for someone to call or write back to me. Nobody did, so I decided to send a certified letter to Brian Lazarus, since he shares the company's name. I wrote all the issues I have been having with the company, hoping he would realize that things are not going smoothly so he could do something about it. I heard nothing in return. Meanwhile, I had waited for 30 days from the time that I had sent the response about my repairs not being taken care of. Nobody called, and nobody was writing back to me, so I decided to report them to the Better Business Bureau again, because I had made new claims, and they still had not taken care of all my old claims. The response I received was that I was complaining about the same thing, which was partly true. I was still complaining about the same thing, but the list had new concerns as well. So it is easy to see that they were still trying to brush me off.

It was at this point that I realized that Lazarus-Shouse had no intention of helping me with ANY of my concerns. I decided to report them to the Federal Trade Commission for fraud. Lazarus-Shouse was failing to honor my warranty. The FTC wrote back mentioning the rights I have as a consumer. It stated that I had the right to sue for attorney fees and court costs as well as damages and other relief awarded by the court. I waited for another week or so, and decided it might be important for Lazarus-Shouse to know my dissatisfaction. I decided to send a hand-written fax telling them that one of their consumers has reported them for fraud because they have failed to provide proper warranty service. I thought they might pay more attention to it if it was hand-written with a Sharpie pen, rather than the usual type. I also thought it would make them think more if I didn't put my name on it. Maybe they would shape up their act, or at least do some research to see who the person is that complained about them to the FTC. Of course, I think my fax machine must have stamped my name on it somewhere. I also sent the response from the FTC to them, claiming my rights, and just hoping they would decide to get busy doing their jobs.

About a week or so after sending that fax, I received a certified letter from Lazarus-Shouse. The tone of this letter was taunting. This is not the type of letter you would expect to receive from a company. It was quite unprofessional to say the least. I suppose that is why this person decided to not sign their name to it. It was also written in Sharpie ink. It started out by thanking me personally for my anonymous fax, and it included my name within his text. It mentioned that there were many happy people in my neighborhood. It goes on to state that since my case with the Better Business Bureau has been closed, that I may want to settle the warranty dispute through arbitration. It was at this point that Lazarus-Shouse decided to mention that they have no affiliation with the homeowner's association rules. They said that I may also want to remove my liabelous posting on 3cents.com. The last sentence was "We too have rights" I know he was trying to scare me, but it wasn't going to work. He was hiding behind the company name, and even though I don't know exactly who it is, I bet I could surely make a good guess as to who was behind that letter. He was probably the same guy on the phone that tried to tell me that trying to fix my front porch was going to cause a water problem, and that since there's no code violation, it won't be fixed.

I then sent a fax back to them, again in Sharpie to get my point across. I told them that now that they know who I am, I expect my repairs to be corrected. I then resent a copy of the letter I sent to them back in December. I also wrote them the following day, mentioning other repairs to add to the list. The Better Business Bureau had not discontinued correspondence with me. They asked me for the list of repairs I needed corrected. I listed them, and within a week, I was getting calls. One contractor called me, scheduled an appointment, and did not show up as scheduled. I called that contractor at the appointed time to confirm the appointment. He acted like he didn't know what I was talking about, and said that he would have to come by tomorrow. I quickly let him know that I would be working. He said that he would call some of his guys and call me back to let me know. Interestingly enough, the Better Business Bureau had written to ask me how things were going with the repairs. I let them know about the problem I had with the subcontractor. They let Lazarus-Shouse know, and after that things started to move. Most of the repairs have been completed. I still do not have my uneven step fixed though. Everything else I had to have fixed nearly took an act of congress as you can see. Things may be looking up, but at what cost?

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