Be careful what you wish for or, as in the next case, what you plead. In Vera v. REL-BC, LLC, Case Nos. A155807, A156823, and A159141 (June 30, 2021) 1st District Court of Appeal, a the buyer of a remodeled home who asserted breach of contract and fraud claims against a developer discovered that her claims, including her breach of written contract claim, was subject to a shorter 3 year statute of limitations because the “gravamen” of her complaint was fraud.
The REL-BC Case
Homeowner Adriana Vera purchased a remodeled home in Oakland, California from developers REL-BC, LLC and SNL Real Estate Solutions, LLC. The developers had purchased the home in July 2011, remodeled it, and sold it to Vera in November 2011.
As is typical in such transactions, the purchase agreement for the house required that the sellers disclose known material facts and defects affecting the property. In their disclosure, the sellers stated that they were not aware of any significant defects or malfunctions with respect to the property. The disclosure also stated that the sellers were not aware of any water intrusion issues with respect to the property.