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Homeowners association prevails in Florida lawsuit

A Seminole County, Florida, community association has been awarded $3.8 million over the poor construction of its road system.

The community was built in 2004, and soon after moving in, homeowners reported cracks, depressions and potholes in the neighborhood's main road and along side streets. The developer responded that residents had caused the defects by overwatering lawns, sending runoff under the streets.

The jury in the trial didn't see it that way, siding in favor of the association and agreeing the developer was negligent in designing and building the approximately seven miles of road in the community.

The lawsuit had been going on for 10 years. When the final judgment comes, the association could receive up to $2.5 million more.

Construction of the community started in the late 1990s on land that was mostly wetlands. In all, there are more than 500 residences in the community.

In 2004, the community association commissioned a study that determined the area roads were crumbling due to bad design and construction of the drain system of the roads. Stormwater inlets also weren't properly installed, according to the lawsuit.

"We're relieved that the jury clearly understood the defective design and construction of our roads and the substantial costs we've incurred and would have had continued to incur, because of it," the chairman of the association's legal committee said in a statement.

It is very exciting to buy a house – whether your starter home or your forever home. When you move in, especially to a brand-new community, you expect everything to be perfect. When it's not, and definitely when it is something as crucial to residents' safety as roads, you and your homeowners association have every right to seek compensation for your losses. An attorney who works with real estate law can be of assistance.

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