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Construction defect lawsuits on the rise in South Florida

At a time when construction work itself is trending flat or down in the area, construction law suits seem to be on the rise. The increase in lawsuits are related to a range of issues, one being that numerous condos and residential high-rise buildings erected a decade or more ago seem to have suffered from numerous defects. Residences in these areas allegedly have not had any luck getting contractors or landlords to foot the bill for correcting the defects.

The issues are also impacting more recent construction, though, so no one builder or area is the center of the upward trend. One developer says that the increased number of lawsuits is simply indicative of the number of buildings that were erected during these time periods. Because a certain number of lawsuits seem to accompany construction projects as a whole, says the developer, when those projects increase, so will the the number of legal actions related to construction.

Florida law does provide some processes for dealing with construction defects in condos and other buildings. For example, condo associations that discover a defect in a building have to go through a mediation process with developers. That process takes 120 days and should be initiated as soon as the defect is discovered. Contractors can work with their own insurance companies and lawyers to look into complaints before they decide whether to take action on them.

According to reports, the increase in lawsuits is coming because contractors are not taking action on some claims. Residents and condo associations are filing suit to force the defects to be corrected. If you are living in a condo and dealing with construction defects, consider talking to a real estate lawyer to find out what options you have for seeking reparation or correction.

Source: The Real Deal, "See you in court," Francisco Alvarado, March 13, 2017

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