Homeowner stuck with high water bills after builder replaces dead grass

By: Jason Stoogenke

Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A northeast Charlotte man said he was buying a brand-new house when the lawn suddenly died. 

"Everything here was dead, brown, nothing was growing," Ahmad al-Taher said.

The builder of the home, DR Horton, replaced the grass. 

"They said they'd replace it for me, which was awesome because that means I didn't have to do it," al-Taher said. 

But it did mean lots of watering, which fell on al-Taher. 

"With new sod, you got to water it multiple times a day, every day," al-Taher said.

Everything was fine until he closed on the home and the first two water bills arrived. One was $156. The other was $384. 

"I knew it would be a lot, but I didn't expect it to be that much," al-Taher said.

al-Taher reached out to DR Horton again and they went back and forth for about 10 days. He said he felt like he wasn't getting anywhere, so he reached out to Action 9. 

Action 9 emailed the company right away and, just hours later, al-Taher heard from them.
"They emailed me -- or actually called me -- right then and there," al-Taher said. "They said, 'We just got a report from Action 9. Give me a few days and we'll take a look into it and I'll get back to you.'"

And DR Horton did. The company picked up most of the tab, $400 back in al-Taher's pocket, which he plans to spend on the yard, but not on watering it. 

"I've got big plans. I want to do a fence like they've got. I want to do a fire pit," al-Taher said.

Should anything go wrong when buying a newly constructed house, ask the builder what they plan to do to correct the problems, and be sure to get it in writing. If the issue is related to landscaping, don't forget who's paying the water bill.

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