Builder to face NC Contractors Board after missed violations left house unsafe, unsellable

Diane Wilson Image
Saturday, August 5, 2023
Builder to face NC Contractors Board after missed code violations
The builder who missed the code violations in Chatham County home will have to face NC Contractor's Board.

CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- There are new details in a Troubleshooter investigation involving a Chatham County home riddled with code violations.

After more than two years of waiting, the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors will hear the case on Aug. 16, according to Executive Director Frank Wiesner.

"The board will deliberate the evidence and the testimony just like they would in court, and then come back and determine what happens to the licensee at that point," Wiesner said.

While James Muehlbach is happy to hear that a hearing is finally set, he said he is frustrated with how long it's taken to get to this point as he filed the complaint back in the spring of 2021 after it was discovered his home had more than a dozen code violations.

ABC11 first told you Muehlbach's story in May after he won a judgment of $225,000 against his builder, Lindley Builders Inc, and the owner, Jeremy Lindley.

"To this day, I've still not received any of the money from the judgment. It's gaining interest, nothing's been paid towards that judgment," Muehlbach told the ABC11 Troubleshooter.

Even more frustrating to Muehlbach, Lindley now has a new general contractor's license under a new business name of JL Lindley Inc.

"He's still out here, you know, able to build houses," Muelbach said.

When it comes to the hearing with the contractor's board and why it took more than two years to get scheduled, Wiesner said the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the board from holding hearings for 14 months, which caused a backlog. As for Lindley getting a contractor's license under a new business name, despite the complaint filed with the state, Wiesner said there are no rules or regulations to prevent that from happening.

Muehlbach said that is hard for him to understand.

"None of these checks and balances are going to protect you as the homeowner," he said.

The board is expected to make a decision at the upcoming hearing unless the case is continued.

The ABC11 Troubleshooter tried unsuccessfully to reach Lindley for comment.

WATCH | NC family's dream home becomes a nightmare after code violations missed during inspections

What was supposed to be a forever home for a Chatham County family is now an "unsellable" home that they fear isn't even fit to live in.

Also See | Chatham County homeowner left with unsafe, unsellable house takes his fight to county leaders

The Muehlbach family continued their fight for justice and spoke at the Chatham County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night expressing frustrations.