Avoiding Builder Disputes

Who to Contact

If you have a complaint, contact our Office with the problem you are having and we may be able to advise you. Our department can only help with code issues. Contractual items such as payments and completion times are civil issues, so they are out of our control. You may file a complaint after all of your good faith attempts to contact your builder to get a code violation corrected have failed. Importantly, you must let the builder or their designee correct the violation, or the state will dismiss your claim. All formal complaints must be received within the 18-month time frame from the time your Certificate of Occupancy was issued.

Who Can You File a Complaint Against?

Complaints can be filed against a Licensed Builder who is also the permit holder. If you obtained a permit as a homeowner, you cannot file a complaint with the state against a subcontractor whether they are licensed or not. Refer to the homeowner affidavit you signed when picking up your permit. When you act as the builder in the case of a homeowner, you are the builder, so you cannot file a complaint against yourself. The course of action that would have to be taken against a contractor then becomes a civil matter.

Keep Detailed Records

Before moving into a new home, be sure to fill out a pre move-in form with your builder. Indicate all concerns you have with the home that have not previously been addressed. Certain items that you might take for granted at the time might not be verifiable at a later date after the damage or problem took place.

Filing a Complaint

The Office of Local Government and Consumer Services (OLGCS) reviews complaints against electricians, mechanical contractors, plumbers, state-approved pre-manufacturers and barrier free design issues. All complaints must be in writing and should include the following information:
  • Name, address and phone number of the person filing a complaint
  • Job location (if different than complainant’s address)
  • Specify the township, city, or village and county of the job’s location
  • Name and address of the company the complaint is against
  • Individual(s) dealt with at company
  • License number of contractor, if known
  • What were they hired to do (install specific equipment, repair equipment, etc.)
  • What was wrong with the job
  • If equipment was installed, was a permit obtained and/or inspections performed
  • Attach copies of any substantiating documentation (contract, proposal, invoice, etc.)
Correspondence regarding complaints should be mailed to:
Bureau of Construction Codes
Office of Local Government and Consumer Services
P.O. Box 30222
Lansing, MI 48909

Upon receipt of the information, bureau staff will review documentation to determine if an investigation should be initiated or if additional information is required. The Bureau of Construction Codes does not have the authority to intervene in monetary or contractual disputes.

Building Department
Jenny Nash, Livingston County Treasurer

Jim Rowell
Building Official



(517) 546-3240


2300 E Grand River Ave
Howell, MI 48843


Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed County Holidays

Inspection Request Line

(517) 546-3830


(517) 546-7461