Don’t Let the Defects Get You Down

Mon 10th Jun, 2019 | Blog by

By Jessica Tolin, Esq (Litigation Group)

Having a new home built can be both an exciting and stressful event.  One problem that often arises is how to deal with a construction defect, after the project has been completed.   

Chapter 558 of the Florida Statutes provides a specific, statutory procedure that must be followed by an owner prior to filing any action based upon a construction defect against its “contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional, as applicable.”[1]  The process begins with an owner serving a written notice of claim on one of the above persons or entities that describes in reasonable detail the construction defects needing to be addressed, including any damage or loss sustained from the defect.[2] The recipient of the notice then has an opportunity to perform an inspection and must timely respond to the owner’s notice in writing.[3] This response can include, among other things, an offer to remedy the defects, an offer to settle the claim for the defect with monetary payment, or an indication that the contractor is disputing the claim.[4]

This statutory process is beneficial to both owners and contractors in that it provides the owner with an opportunity to have the construction defect at issue potentially repaired or become compensated for repairs prior to a lawsuit even needing to be filed; and, it likewise provides the contractor with an ability to resolve the issue before having to defend itself in court.  If, however, no resolution can be reached between the owner and contractor, complying with the Chapter 558 process now allows the owner to file suit after 60 days of its initial service of the notice of claim. 

Because this is a technical process to be complied with, it’s important that you contact an attorney who has knowledge of how the Chapter 558 process works so that they can assist you with your construction defect claims

[1] Fla. Stat. § 558.004(1).

[2] Id.

[3] Id. at §§ 558.004(2), 558.004(4).

[4] Id. at § 558.004(5). 

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