Southstar Capital Group, the owner of a central Florida apartment complex named Sola at Celebration, has filed a lawsuit in against both the Houston-based Hines and their contractor Urban Oaks Builders. The property's Boca Raton-based owners maintain that both concealed, misrepresented or otherwise withheld information they had about certain construction defects that their master-planned community had.
In the Osceola County's Ninth Judicial Circuit court filing, Southstar maintains that the problems with their property, located in 1662 Celebration Boulevard, were not identified during a standard inspection. Instead, they contend that they were discovered as tenants began moving in.
By February of 2017, Southstar claims that the complex's breezeways and walls had begun to show signs of cracking. The corner balconies had started to dip downward also.
They claim that a more in-depth inspection that involved the removal of flooring and wall materials showed that work performed had violated existing Florida Building Code.
Southstar apparently made the Osceola County Building Department aware of these construction defects. Soon thereafter, the government agency ordered that all six buildings that formed part of the apartment complex be evacuated.
Further inspections of the 306-unit property revealed that the some of the buildings' framing was not in alignment with building plans and that its structural components were constructed using the wrong methods. Inspectors also determined that both windows and balconies were installed without appropriate waterproofing techniques being utilized,
In Southstar's filing, they contend that these defects have caused both water damage and mold growth both inside of the units and in common areas.
The plaintiff has asked a jury to award them a settlement that covers their legal fees, the cost of necessary repair work and lost rental income. It's unclear when the next hearing is scheduled in the matter.
If your contractor has used inferior building materials or performed work that doesn't adhere to current Florida building codes, then a Melbourne construction litigation attorney can advise you of your right to sue.
Source: The Real Deal, "Boca firm sues over alleged construction defects that forced tenants to evacuate," June 09, 2018