Warranty Standard Operating Procedures for Restore Louisiana Homeowners Program Sept 2019
The Restore Louisiana Homeowners Program RLHP offers a limited warranty on new construction and home repairs made by the Program contractor Solution 1 only.
image

By Contributor published 12-2-2019 updated 1-15-2022
| | | |

Table of Contents

The Restore Louisiana Homeowners Program (RLHP) offers a limited warranty on new construction and home repairs made by the Program contractor (Solution 1 only). Reconstruction projects will have a 1-year fit and finish warranty period, a 2-year mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) warranty period, and a 5-year structural warranty period. Rehabilitation projects will have a 1-year warranty period for all scope of work (SOW) included in the Estimated Cost of Repairs (ECR). Instructions on how to file a warranty claim and a copy of a claim form are provided to the applicant at the final inspection along with the final acceptance form. The warranty is limited to the cost of reasonable repairs and shall not exceed the Repair Estimate (Scope of Work) determined by the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program (RLHP). This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) serves to provide a comprehensive overview of warranty claim and grievance procedures.

INTRODUCTION

Federal Register Notice Vol. 81, No. 224 published on November 21, 2016 strongly encourages the grantee, who is the Office of Community Development &ndash Disaster Recovery Unit (OCD-DRU), to require a warranty period post-construction, with formal notification to homeowners on a periodic basis to be issued by the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program (RLHP). Applicants that file a warranty claim for repair projects must do so within one calendar year following passed final inspection. Applicants filing warranty claims for reconstruction projects must do so within one calendar year following passed final inspection for fit and finish items, 2 years for MEP, or 5 years for structural concerns. Claims filed after deadlines provided will be accepted, but the Warranty Response Team (WRT) determination could be &ldquorejected&rdquo based on the expiration of deadlines or because the claim is invalid. The RLHP will not accept warranties filed by individuals or entities that are not listed as an applicant on the respective file, nor will the RLHP accept warranties received prior to the issuance of a passed Program final inspection. Prior to Program final inspection, if construction issues cannot be resolved, the applicant may submit a formal grievance.

Pursuant to the Homeowner Program Manual, for Solution 1 only, applicants may submit grievances with their Solution 1 contractor for work that is not in keeping with established homebuilding contractor standards and workmanship outlined by RLHP. The applicants can present their grievance to the state to contest the work that is being or has been performed, or that should have been performed under the RLHP policies.

Initial Warranty Mailers

Solution 1 applicants that had a successful Program final inspection for 6 months will be issued a Warranty Packet (Appendix A). The Warranty Packet includes a letter reminding the applicant of the remaining time left to file a Warranty Claim for their project type (i.e. - rehabilitation or reconstruction project). Additionally, the packet will contain a Warranty Claim Form and a Warranty Instructions and Disclaimer document.

A monthly report will be generated by the Reporting Team that identifies Solution 1 files that require a Warranty Packet the report will also specify the project type (i.e. - rehabilitation or reconstruction project). The report will be distributed to the Applicant Relations Team and a Solution 1 Designee for review and vetting. After the review, the Applicant Relations Team will issue the Warranty Packet with the applicable letter (rehabilitation letter or reconstruction letter. See Appendix A for both letter types) to all vetted account IDs on the dataset.

The Applicant Relations Team will enter one of the following standardized notes into eGrants, depending on the project type:

  • Rehab Mailer/Warranty Packet:
    • 6-Month Warranty letter mailed and emailed (if available) on MMDDYYYY. This mailer went to all Solution 1 homeowners who are 6 months into their 1-year warranty. If they are experiencing issues with their home, they may submit a Notice of Warranty Claim Form. This form and detailed instructions were included in this mailer.
    • Naming Convention: accountID_6MoWarrLet_MMDDYYYY
  • Recon Mailer/Warranty Packet
    • Reconstruction Warranty letter mailed and emailed (if available) to homeowner on DATE. This mailer went to all Solution 1 recon homeowners to describe their warranty submission process. If they are experiencing issues with their home, they may submit a Notice of Warranty Claim Form. This form and detailed instructions were included in this mailer.
    • Naming Convention: accountID_ReconWarrLett_MMDDYYYY.pdf.

Workflow for Filed Claims

The following is a high-level overview of the Warranty Process once a claim is filed. Elements of the workflow are addressed in greater detail under the internal warranty procedures below.

  1. Warranty claim submitted
  2. Claim authenticated by IEM legal
  3. Claim reviewed for validity by Warranty
  4. Valid claims addressed by contractor
  5. Claim response communicated to applicant by AR
  6. Claim response recorded in eGrants

Submitting Warranty Claims

There are several mechanisms by which an individual can file a claim.

Claims Filed Through the Call Center/Homeowner
Assistance Center (HAC)

If an individual verbally requests to file a Warranty Claim (via the Call Center or through a HAC), the Case Manager (CM) or Customer Service Representative (CSR) should take the following steps:

  • The CM/CSR should direct the individual to file a written complaint through the U.S. mail (see address in following section) or the CM/CSR can submit a claim on behalf of the interested party.
  • The CM/CSR should inform the applicant that the WRT may reach out to them to further explore their issue(s) upon receipt of the claim.
  • If the individual insists on speaking with someone else, the CM/CSR should refer the call to the Construction Expeditor.

Claims Filed Through the U.S. Mail

Some individuals may not have access to a computer and may wish to send a letter detailing their warranty issues with the Program. If Program staff receives a call, they should instruct interested parties to send all written communications via U.S. mail to:

IEM
Attn: Legal
8550 United Plaza Boulevard, Suite 400
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809-2256

The written claim, whether submitted via U.S. mail or in person, should be completed on a Program approved Notice of Warranty Claim Form and include the following elements:

  • Name, Application ID, and mailing address
  • Name of Solution 1 Program contractor
  • Listing of alleged defects requiring repair and
  • Date of discovery.

Internal Processing of the Claim

Warranty Claim Forms submitted via U.S. mail to IEM will be date-stamped by IEM Legal and then emailed to: Warranty@restore-la.org.

Some applicants may erroneously mail their Warranty Claim Form to the Baton Rouge HAC. The Applicant Relations Team will collect all Warranty Claim Forms that are mailed to the HAC and will provide them to an IEM representative. Once IEM retrieves the Warranty Claim Form, IEM Legal will date stamp the form and email it to Warranty@restore-la.org as specified above.

  • Note: If an applicant files multiple claims, each claim additional claim will be saved with the following naming convention: accountID_Warranty_Claim_#.pdf.

Documenting Receipt of the Claim

Warranty Claims will be logged on a SmartSheet dataset and will be exported daily to SharePoint > Application Phases > Construction Management > Libraries > Solution 1_Warranty and Grievances. The Warranty Claim Form will also be saved to eGrants > Correspondence > Letters with the following naming convention: accountID_Warranty_Claim.pdf

Note: If an applicant files multiple claims, each claim additional claim will be saved with the following naming convention: accountID_Warranty_Claim_#.pdf.

Processing of Valid Claims

Upon receipt of a valid claim, a WRT Member will enter the following standardized note into eGrants (note type: Construction):

  • WARRANTY: Valid - Claim received by warranty team on DATE to be reviewed by contractor. Applicant should be contacted by contractor within 30 days

Accounts with this standardized note will be captured on a weekly report for the Applicant Relations Team. All accounts noted on the dataset will be issued the Valid Warranty Claim Letter (Appendix B). Applicant Relations will enter the following standardized note after issuance of the Valid Warranty Claim Letter:

  • Valid Warranty Claim Notice was mailed and emailed (if available) on MMDDYYYY. This notice was issued to homeowners whose warranty claim has been reviewed by the Warranty Response Team and found to be valid. The Warranty Response Team will reach out to the homeowner within the next 30 days to discuss next steps.

The Valid Warranty Claim Letter will be saved to eGrants with the following naming convention:

  • accountID_Valid_WarrantyClaimLett_MMDDYYY.pdf

Valid claims will be submitted to the prime contractor and contractor liaison for review, and the contractor will be responsible for performing an inspection of the home and verifying construction completion and quality. The contractor must respond with a claim review and action required within 30 days of the date stamp. The contractor will complete the work required as outlined in the claim review.

Once work is completed, the contractor will issue a Warranty Claim Response Form (see Appendix D). The form outlines work completed, actions taken, and rejected warranty items. The form will be signed by both the contractor and the applicant. Warranty Claim Response Forms for valid claims will be saved to eGrants with the following naming convention:

  • accountID_Warranty_Complete_Accepted_#.pdf

If the applicant refuses to execute the form after the contractor verifies that work has been completed, the contractor will execute and return the form without the applicant’s signature. The form will be returned to the WRT so they can contact the applicant and verify completion. The WRT will follow the RLHP grievance due diligence procedures for all unsigned Warranty Response Forms:

Grievances

Grievances may arise from unsigned Warranty Response Forms, in which case the WRT will immediately note the grievance on the Warranty Claim and Grievance Tracker on SharePoint. Alternatively, applicants may choose to file a grievance in writing. Grievances that are submitted via mail, website, or CM/CSR will be forwarded to the Applicant Relations Team. Applicant Relations will forward the grievance to the Construction Expeditor and will cc Warranty@restorela.org. Upon receipt, the WRT will log the grievance on the Warranty Claim and Grievance Tracker. See Warranty Claim and Grievance Tracker section below for more information about tracking grievances.

Once a grievance is filed, it will be forwarded to the Construction Management Team (CMT) for review. The CMT will attempt to solve the problem to the satisfaction of the applicant and the contractor. If the grievance cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the construction management level, it will be referred to senior management for a final decision. The outcome of the review will be logged accordingly on the Warranty Claim and Grievance Tracker.

Processing of Invalid Claims

Upon receipt of an invalid claim, a WRT Member will enter the following standardized note into eGrants (note type: Construction):

  • WARRANTY: Invalid - Claim received by warranty team on DATE is either invalid or untimely. Claim will not be addressed by contractor.

Accounts with this standardized note will be captured on a weekly report for the Applicant Relations Team. All accounts noted on the dataset will be issued the Invalid/Untimely Warranty Claim Letter (Appendix C). Applicant Relations will enter the following standardized note after issuance of the Invalid/Untimely Warranty Claim Letter:

  • Invalid or Untimely Warranty Claim Notice was mailed and emailed (if available) on MMDDYYYY. This notice was issued to homeowners whose warranty claim has been reviewed by the Warranty Response Team and found to be invalid or untimely. No further action will be taken on this warranty claim.

The Invalid/Untimely Warranty Claim Letter will be saved to eGrants with the following naming convention:

  • AccountID_InvalidUntimely_WarrantyClaimLett_MMDDYY

Invalid or untimely claims will be recorded as such on the SmartSheet dataset, and the SmartSheet tracker will be exported daily and saved to SharePoint > Application Phases > Construction Management > Libraries > Solution 1_Warranty and Grievances. Invalid claims will be saved to eGrants with the following naming convention:

  • accountID_Warranty_Claim_#_INVALID.pdf

**Note: As of August 7, 2019, the WRT will be using the following naming conventions:

  • accountID_Warranty_Claim_#.pdf
  • accountID_Warranty_Complete_Accepted_#.pdf
  • accountID_Warranty_Complete_Rejected_#.pdf
  • accountID_Warranty_Claim_#_INVALID.pdf


Prior to August 7, 2019, the WRT only used naming conventions for accepted and rejected claims. This is noted here for historical and reporting purposes.

Warranty Claim and Grievance Tracker

A Warranty Tracker will be maintained on SmartSheets and will be exported daily to SharePoint > Application Phases > Construction Management > Libraries > Solution 1_Warranty and Grievance Tracker. The Warranty and Grievance Tracker contains the following fields (Note: The below data has been collected for warranties since February 1, 2019. All data is now housed on the SmartSheet and SharePoint tracker as of the date of this publication):

  • Account ID
  • Applicant Name
  • Date Warranty Claim/Grievance Received
  • Date Claim Uploaded to eGrants
  • Date of Final Acceptance
  • General Contractor Name
  • Claim Inspected and Tested Within 30 Days?
    • Yes/No
    • A formula will calculate this data based on the date the claim is received and the date of claim response.
      • **Note that a claim is not required to be corrected within 30 days, rather just applicant contact be made.
  • Claim Accepted, Rejected, or Invalid (note: see reason codes listed in "Claim Review Reason Codes" subsection below)
    • Fully Accepted
    • Partially Accepted
    • Rejected
    • Invalid Untimely
    • Invalid Duplicate Claim
    • Grievance
    • Applicant Withdrawal
  • Days Since Uploaded Until Response
    • A ticker will calculate how many days have passed since the date that is recorded in the "Date Claim Uploaded to eGrants" column
  • Date of Claim Resolution
  • Completed Warranty Form Claim Uploaded to eGrants?
    • Yes/No
  • Completed Warranty Claim Form Signed by Applicant?
    • Yes/No
  • Response QC'd by Solution 1 CTA
    • Claim Response Confirmed
    • Claim Response Overturned
    • Claim Response Questioned
  • Action Needed
    • Notes about the required action will be included in this column Applicant Follow-up
  • Applicant agrees
  • Applicant disagrees
    • Note: If the applicant disagrees, this will trigger the Grievance process.
  • N/A
  • No answer
  • Grievance
    • Yes/No
  • Notes
    • Additional notes about the claim or grievance will be included in this column, if needed

Claim Review Reason Codes

If a claim is partially accepted or rejected, one of the following reason codes will be noted on the SharePoint Warranty Claim and Grievance tracker to justify why the claim wasn’t accepted in full (see following page for a breakout of the reason codes).

Reason Codes:

  • CLN Cleaning
  • RFG Roofing
  • HVC HVAC
  • ELE Electrical
  • PLM Plumbing
  • DOR Doors
  • WDV Windows
  • FNC Finish Carpentry
  • FLR Flooring
  • CAB Cabinets
  • APP Appliances
  • DRY Drywall
  • PNT Paint


Deficiency

  • Improper installation
  • Component malfunction
  • Product deterioration
  • Poor workmanship
  • Damages caused by contractor

Response QC

  • Accepted - Replaced
  • Accepted - Repaired
  • Accepted - Completed
  • Accepted - Corrected
  • Rejected - Not on ECR
  • Rejected - Damage caused by Applicant
  • Rejected - Pre-existing Condition
  • Rejected - Untimely
  • Rejected - Meets Program Standards
  • Rejected – Other
  • Attempted Contact - No Answer

Note: No cells on the tracker will be left blank. If there’s no information or available data for a column, the WRT will note “n/a” in the applicable cell. To ensure compliance and accuracy of all fields, the WRT will QC the Warranty Claim and Grievance Tracker data on a daily basis and will compare the SharePoint tracker data with eGrants data.

Appendix A: Warranty Packet

Rehab Warranty Letter

Date

Account ID:

Name
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Homeowner,

This correspondence is a notification and reminder that you have approximately 6 months remaining on the 1-year warranty provided by the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program for repairs to your home made by the Program.

For your convenience, we have attached a copy of the warranty claim form to this mailing.

Please follow the directions included in the form to submit any warranty claim that you may have and mail the form and any additional documentation to:

IEM
Attn: Legal
8550 United Plaza Boulevard, Suite 400
Baton Rouge, LA 70809-2256

We will reach out to you when we receive your warranty claim documentation.

If you have any questions concerning this process, please contact your case manager or call 866-735-2001, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Sincerely,

The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program

Reconstruction Warranty Letter

Date

Account ID:

Name
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Homeowner,

This correspondence is a reminder of the warranties provided to you by the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance

Program for your reconstructed home.

As the owner of a reconstructed home, you are eligible for the below three warranties which begin the date of your final inspection. Please make note of the timeframes. It is your responsibility to submit any warranties in a timely manner.

  • 1-Year Fit and Finish Warranty which covers the fit and finish of cabinets, mirrors, flooring, interior and exterior walls, countertops, paint finishes and trim
  • 2-Year Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Warranty which covers mechanical systems such as heating and air, plumbing, and electrical
  • 5-Year Structural Warranty which covers foundation, framing, distribution systems, and load-bearing structural components

For your convenience, we have attached a copy of the warranty claim form to this mailing.

Please follow the directions included in the form to submit any warranty claim that you may have and mail the form
and any additional documentation to:

IEM
Attn: Legal
8550 United Plaza Boulevard, Suite 400
Baton Rouge, LA 70809-2256

We will reach out to you when we receive your warranty claim documentation.

If you have any questions concerning this process, please contact your case manager or call 866-735-2001, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Sincerely,

The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program

Warranty Claim Form

NOTICE OF WARRANTY CLAIM FORM

The Owner, _________________, of the home property located at ___________, as part of the Step By Step Claims Procedures set forth in the Limited Warranty, hereby gives notice by certified or registered mail to:

(1) The Builder _____________, whose contact information is ______________;

AND

(2) Innovative Emergency Management, Inc. (IEM), whose contact information is:

IEM
Attn: Legal
8550 United Plaza Boulevard, Suite 400
Baton Rouge, LA 70809-2256

of the following defect which the Owner contends are in need of repair and/or completion and without which constitute a breach of warranty by the Builder and/or by IEM.

Listing of Alleged Defects That Require Repair or Completion

_________
____________
__________

(IF ADDITIONAL SPACE IS NEEDED PLEASE ATTACH ADDITIONAL PAGE(S))

These Alleged Defects were discovered by the Owner on or about the following date(s):
___________

This Notice officially gives the Builder and/or IEM the reasonable opportunity to repair or complete the Alleged Defects to the Satisfaction of the Owner and in compliance with the Limited Warranty and applicable law, or to dispute the accuracy of this Notice. The Owner(s) contact information is noted below.

Owner Name:
Co-Owner Name (if applicable):
Mailing Address, City, State, Zip Code:
RLHP Application ID:

version 1


Warranty Instructions and Disclaimer

Updating

Appendix B: Valid Warranty Claim Letter

Updating

Appendix C: Invalid or Untimely Warranty Claim Letter

Updating

Appendix D: Warranty Claim Response Form

Updating

 

Resource Links: 

  • Document download updating.