a consumer is filling a complaint form on his computer

10 Common Homeowner Complaints

Ten things every homeowner needs to watch out for.

10 Common Homeowner Complaints

Here are some problems every homeowner should be aware of… and avoid.

1. Real Estate Fraud

“Someone forged my signature on a Grant Deed. The document says my property now belongs to someone I don’t even know.”

File a police report with your local law enforcement agency, then contact us for help. If you do not act quickly, you can lose your home.

2. Contractors

“I hired a guy who said he was licensed to make repairs to my kitchen. He started the work but never finished.  I found out he isn’t licensed and that he recorded a mechanic’s lien against my house.”

Contact the California Contractors State License Board at (800) 321-2752before you hire anyone. Check their license status and make sure they are insured and bonded. Never hire an unlicensed contractor.

3. Foreclosure Consultants

“When I got behind on my house payments, I started getting mail from people saying they could save my home. I signed a contract with a guy who promised to make up the back payments and help me get a new loan.  He didn’t do any of that. Instead, he sold my house to somebody else and now I’m being evicted.”

If you’re behind on payments, call us for help. (See our tip sheet, Foreclosure.)

4. Unsolicited Mailers

“I received a letter from a government agency offering to lower my property taxes for $200. I sent a check but I haven’t heard from them since.”

Many private companies send solicitations that appear to come from a government agency charging high fees for services that are available for free or at a low cost. If you received a solicitation or sent a payment, call us for help.

5. Adjustable and High-Interest Loans

“The loan representative said I was getting a fixed-rate, 30-year loan.  Six months later, my interest rate jumped more than 3%.”

Call us for help.  We can review your loan documents before you sign.

6. Account and Billing Errors

“My mortgage company did not credit my account for the mortgage payments I’ve made.”

Send a letter to your mortgage company requesting a payment history.  Be sure to include your account number in the letter. Contact us for help or more information.

7. Illegal Rooms

“I just moved into the house I bought and the city tells me that some of the rooms were added without building permits.”

You may be required to make changes. Be sure to check for building permits before you buy a home. See your local Building and Safety office for help.

8. Repairs and Escrow

“Before I bought my house, the seller promised to make repairs. My agent said it was OK to sign and close escrow, even though the repairs were not done.  It’s been three months and the seller still hasn’t made any repairs.”

Make sure repairs are completed before you close escrow. (See our tip sheet, Escrow.)

9. Property Taxes Not Paid

“My mortgage company was supposed to pay my property taxes but didn’t.  Now I owe past taxes and penalties.”

Call your mortgage company for an explanation.  If they don’t take care of the problem, call us for help.

10. Vacant Land Purchases

“I bought some vacant land in the desert to build a house on. The seller said there was water, sewers, electricity and phone service. Turns out, none of those are available.”

Check with the local Building and Safety Department before you buy vacant land. Call us for help.

County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. Last change: Dec. 1, 2013

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