Q: I closed on a property 6 months ago, and the landscaping was a mess on the day of closing. The builder left rocks and holes in the ground and went along to seed the yard without grading it.

Now I have a yard full of grass that cannot be mowed due to the holes and rocks. When I went back to talk to the builder, his comment was that this happened because I did not put enough water on the lawn.

I have received a couple of estimates to fix the problem, which looks as though it will cost about $3000. What can I do?

A: You should not have closed on the property unless the landscaping had been properly installed. Or, if you agreed that the builder could grow grass from seed instead of requiring the builder to install sod, you should have made sure that the ground was in good shape. You could have also held back some funds in escrow for the closing just to make sure the landscape came in properly.

If the builder didn’t deliver the property to you in the condition as promised or breached a warranty given to you under your purchase agreement, you may be able to sue. Please talk to a litigation attorney for more details.

July 19, 2007.