Under the Right to Repair Act (Civ. Code 895-945.5), a plaintiff-buyer must give the developer notice of a construction defect claim, describing the claim in reasonable detail sufficient to determine the nature and location of the claimed violation.  (Civ. Code 910.)  The defendant-builder must acknowledge receipt of the claim within 14 days and then has another 14 days to inspect the dwelling.  This decision holds that a notice which does not satisfy the statutory requirement of describing the violation in reasonable detail nevertheless is sufficient to trigger the builder’s 14 day time period for acknowledging receipt of the notice.  Failure to acknowledge receipt within that period forfeits the builder’s ability to rely on the act and permits the plaintiff to sue without regard to the act’s pre-litigation cure procedures.  If the builder, instead, timely acknowledges receipt, it can complain about the lack of specificity and work with the plaintiff to identify the claimed defects.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1 (Benke, Acting P.J.); February 10, 2017; 2017 WL 541939