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A review of Florida’s construction defect law

Construction defects are the bread and butter of lawsuits against developers, general contractors, and subcontractors. Construction defect is the body of law that enables end-users of buildings (commonly homeowners) to sue the original parties that built the house in which the homeowner now resides. This post will go over construction defect and how it operates in Florida.

The Florida legislature, in response to a rash of lawsuits involving mold, passed new rules that impose pre-litigation steps to filing construction defect claims. You are no longer permitted to file a claim without first going through these steps, failure to do so, could result in dismissal of your claim.

First, you need to send written notice to the contractor at least 60 days before filing a lawsuit. The notice must describe the defect with “reasonable” detail. You should probably include enough detail to enable the contractor to identify the defect and formulate possible solutions. The contractor then has five days to inspect your home. The contractor may then forward the notice to any subcontractors that may be responsible. Each of those subs may also inspect the property. Finally, 25 days after receiving the notice, the contractor must offer to repair the damage, offer to pay the plaintiff, or dispute the claim.

If you believe that your home is no longer structurally sound due to the negligence of the general contractor, then you may want to contact an attorney. You might believe that you know who is ultimately responsible but homes are built by a kaleidoscope of companies from developers to soil graders. Each company fills a critical role. A lawyer can review the nature of the defect and advise you of the best parties to pursue compensation against.

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