Construction defect claims arise when there is an inherent defect in the original construction of the home. There is a fine line between issues that stem from construction and those that arise from use after-the-fact. In Florida, the most common construction defect claim is of mold. Florida’s very humid climate almost guarantees that mold is a constant threat to homes and thus properly executed construction is a necessity.
Many developers are not properly equipped to carry out the inspection that is contemplated by the Florida lawmakers. The goal of the inspection was to encourage the parties to settle out of court. In theory, if the developer new the extent of the damage beforehand, they would be more willing to compromise and repair the damage without a lawsuit.
But, due to the nature of the real estate business in Florida, many companies are unable to carry out these inspections. Most developers are short-lived companies that dissolve once the job is completed. Thus, many developers require contractors to maintain inspectors and to undertake any necessary inspection right.
As a homeowner, you need to be prepared to receive the inspector. You cannot bar the inspector from reviewing the defect, but you don’t have to accept their first offer of when and how. You can negotiate to ensure that it occurs at a time convenient for you and to prevent the inspector’s access to private areas that are irrelevant to the claim.
Property inspections are a typical occurrence in Florida construction defect disputes. But, just because some version of an inspection is required, does not mean that you need to accept whatever terms of the inspection the contractor decides to give you. A lawyer can help you contest those terms to ensure that you receive fair treatment and are not pushed around by the contractor.