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RULE §80.73Procedures for Handling Consumer Complaints

(a) A complaint may be initiated by a consumer or by the Department. Unless the Department determines that it is appropriate to proceed in another manner a copy of the complaint will be provided to each person involved. The letter shall request a written response within ten (10) calendar days unless the Department determines that a longer or shorter period is warranted.

  (1) If the consumer has not previously notified the manufacturer, retailer or installer, the Department will forward the written notification to the manufacturer, retailer, or installer. This will constitute written notice of a request for warranty service.

  (2) If the consumer has previously provided written notification to the manufacturer, retailer or installer of the need for warranty service or repairs, but believes such has not been completed in a satisfactory manner, the Department shall perform a home inspection, if required. If a home inspection is performed and violations are found, the Department will assign responsibilities for repair, and notify the manufacturer, retailer, installer, and consumer of their responsibilities to complete such warranty or service repair in accordance with §1201.356(c) of the Standards Act.

(b) The Department shall make a consumer complaint home inspection upon request.

  (1) Consumer Request. The consumer may, at any time, request that the Department perform a consumer complaint home inspection. A written complaint regarding failure to provide warranty work is deemed to be a request for a consumer complaint inspection. No written complaint form is required if a possible imminent safety hazard exists.

  (2) Industry Request. Manufacturer or retailer requests for a consumer complaint home inspection must be signed, shall identify the home by HUD label and serial number(s), and shall provide the necessary information for the Department to contact the consumer and determine the physical location of the home. The manufacturer or retailer may request a consumer complaint home inspection if the manufacturer or retailer:

    (A) believes that the consumer's complaints are not covered by the respective written warranty, or implied warranties;

    (B) believes that the warranty service was previously properly provided; or

    (C) has a dispute as to the respective responsibilities pursuant to the warranties.

  (3) All complaints transferred to the field shall be inspected within 30 calendar days from the date the verified complaint was received. A complaint is deemed verified once it is established that the Department has jurisdiction over the matter.

    (A) The consumer, manufacturer, retailer, and installer, as applicable, shall be notified of the scheduled inspection.

    (B) The person conducting the inspection shall inspect all matters (relating to the home and/or the installation of the home) set forth in the complaint and any other items raised at the inspection.

    (C) The person conducting the inspection will issue a report of inspection, completed to reflect the findings of the inspection.

(c) The retailer, installer, or manufacturer shall take immediate corrective action when notification is received from a consumer and the nature of the complaint indicates an imminent safety hazard or serious defect.

(d) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, manufacturers, retailers, and installers shall perform their obligations in accordance with any assigned order for corrective action pursuant to §1201.356(c) of the Standards Act within a reasonable period of time. A reasonable period of time is deemed to be thirty (30) calendar days following receipt of the order from the Department unless there is good cause requiring more time.

(e) When service or repairs are completed following any notice or orders from the Department pursuant to §1201.356(a) of the Standards Act, the manufacturer, retailer, and/or installer shall forward to the Department copies of service or work orders reflecting the date the work was completed, or other documentation to establish that the warranty service or repairs have been completed. A consumer is not required to sign the service or work order. These service or work orders must be received by the Department no later than five (5) calendar days from the expiration of the period of time specified in the warranty order issued by the Department. Corrective action taken is subject to re-inspection.

(f) If service or repairs cannot be made within the specified time frame, the license holder shall notify the Department in writing prior to the expiration of the specified time on the warranty order. The notice shall list those items which have been, or will be, completed within the time frame and shall show good cause why the remainder of the service or repairs cannot be made within the specified time frame. The license holder shall request an extension for a specific time. Original deadline to complete warranty work may apply if the request for extension is denied. If the Department fails to respond in writing to the request within five (5) business days of the date of receipt of the notice of request for extension, the extension has been granted.

(g) Once the Department receives the service or work orders confirming that all assigned items have been addressed and the Department has, to the extent deemed necessary or appropriate, inspected the work, a complaint will be closed.

(h) A complaint may be reopened for good cause upon the approval of the Director or his or her designee(s).

(i) If a purchaser of a manufactured home for business use has proof that they disclosed to the retailer in writing at the time of purchase that the purchaser intended for a person to be present in the home for regularly scheduled work shifts of not less than eight (8) hours prior to purchasing a manufactured home for business use they may file a complaint with the Department if the manufactured home is not habitable.

  (1) The complaint must be filed in writing to the Department within sixty (60) days of the later of the date of sale or the date of installation.

  (2) The retailer is required to make the home habitable if after a Department inspection it is determined to be inhabitable and the proper evidence was submitted demonstrating the intended business use of the manufactured home.

Source Note: The provisions of this §80.73 adopted to be effective March 25, 2012, 37 TexReg 1307; amended to be effective May 15, 2016, 41 TexReg 2743; amended to be effective January 7, 2018, 42 TexReg 6921; amended to be effective December 8, 2019, 44 TexReg 6870

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