Chinese Drywall

Chinese Drywall

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Chinese Drywall

How is the Property Appraiser assessing properties with Chinese drywall problems?

As you may be aware from news reports, some homes constructed in Florida within the past few years may contain contaminated Chinese drywall. Over a period of time, this drywall emits sulfur odors and seems to cause visible corrosion to copper pipes and evaporator coils on air conditioners. We have no way of identifying which homes may contain contaminated Chinese drywall unless our office is notified by a homeowner. The value of homes with these drywall problems is seriously impacted.

As a result, in order to have fair assessments for these damaged properties, Florida law was changed in 2010. It states that "if the building cannot be used for its intended purpose without remediation or repair", then the building value portion of the assessment will be reduced to $0. This is however, subject to the homeowner providing us with sufficient documentation of the condition. Also, the law only applies if "the purchaser was unaware of the (contaminated) drywall at the time of purchase". Thus, the real estate listings may be examined for disclosures of the condition prior to the most recent sale.

The required documentation is as follows:

  • Letters from the homeowner's builder or developer confirming that contaminated Chinese drywall is present within the residence.

  • Inspection reports performed by an independent inspection company, the builder's inspection company, or an insurance company.

  • Photos of the damage.

  • Claim determination letter from an insurance company (which may be a denial letter) referencing the cause of denial as a building defect of Chinese drywall.

  • Proof of a law suit filed claiming damage caused by Chinese drywall.

All of the above documentation is not essential, yet you must submit adequate documentation to confirm the presence of contaminated Chinese drywall. Photos alone will not suffice.

The Department of Health and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have information that may be helpful in determining whether your home suffers from Chinese drywall problems.

Please notify Patty Fentriss at 904-491-7314 or email pfentriss@nassauflpa.com if you have documented evidence that Chinese drywall is present in your home.