When we first saw the house we live in now, it was a really weird color. I was OK with it, but evidently it was a major obstacle for the sellers -- people wouldn't even give it a second look because of the color. (Of all possible value-reducing problems to have, that was a good one, from my perspective.)
When we first toured the house, there was a note near the entrance that said "the house will be painted soon!!," with paint swatches of the color it would be painted.
The house was actually painted after we made our offer but before we moved in -- about April 2004. (I do like the new color better, though it's a bit bland.) The sellers handled everything -- selected the painter, paid him, etc.
I don't remember what precipitated this (and if it's important, I can find out), but in November 2004 we received a letter from the painter. It said:
Dear Mr. [E.G. -- not sellers]
This is to inform you that [name of company] agrees to do scraping and touch-up of any peeling occurs [sic] on exterior paint. Time frame covers from 4-1-04 to 4-1-09.
Original contract does not state a warranty. Since there was a peeling problem in the past, in some areas.
We had our roof replaced last fall -- there is a lot of ugly sealant stuff on the flashing that we want painted over. We also have a fair amount of peeling going on on the exterior -- maybe 20 individual places, all fairly small (maybe 8 inches by 1 inch, as an example). We decided to call this guy to a) have the touch-ups done as per the letter, for free, while also b) painting over the sealant stuff, which we'd pay for.
The guy came out. He seemed very amused that we would think that he'd do any touch-up for free. First he insisted that the painting happened in 2002 and that the five-year window had expired. Then E.G. fetched the letter. More amusement. No, no, no. He didn't do anything wrong, he said. Not his fault that there was peeling, he said. Well, yeah, but what about the letter where he said that he'd do exactly that? No, no, no.
E.G. at first just kind of accepted it, then after I and a few other people went "WHAT??", he got mad. Thought he'd ask for a quote on what the touch-up WOULD cost, if we paid the guy to do it, with the idea of maybe suing him for that much money.
The guy wouldn't give a written quote but left a message, which we have on tape. $1,270 for just the touch-up/ peeling
. This is separate from what he'd charge to paint over the sealant.
We're looking for advice on where to go from here. (E.G. asked me to start this.) Better Business Bureau? Small claims court? (Perhaps this should be in "legal," but could go a few different directions.)