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Developers and contractors share responsibility for flaws

If you asked most developers, they'd likely tell you that the responsibility for ensuring that a property is built to appropriate standards and is safe belongs to the contractors they hire. Florida Statute (Fla. Stat.) 718.203 paints a different picture, however, of the responsibilities of developers. In describing warranty laws, the Florida Condominium Act describes how both the developer and contractor are equally accountable for any defects that may be discovered.

Fla. Stat. 718.203 outlines how both contractors and developers share equal responsibility in ensuring that their buildings are constructed correctly and safely. This includes making sure that the electrical and mechanical aspects of a condo unit and its structural improvements are performed to code. The original resident, their successors and condo associations are all given a statute of limitations of 10 years to file suit if any flaws are discovered.

Developers, architects and engineers who work on projects before a contractor is hired can reduce their risk of financial exposure by taking out better insurance coverage.

Many simply carry insurance that covers claims up to five million dollars. These corporate policies often have declining balances. One multi-million dollar development's lawsuit can exhaust their coverage rendering them as uninsured. They can be left on the hook paying the balance that's due.

Developers and other parties involved in the pre-construction process can also benefit from having risk-management consultants brought into the fold. They can aid them in coming up with more accurate estimates, in performing design or constructability assessments and in pinpointing potential conflicts or defects.

Umbrella policies that allow architects, developers, engineers and other pre-construction professionals to share the costs of taking out more expensive coverage can be helpful. Performance bonds can also be used to cover developers when contractors fail to perform a job well or take longer than expected to complete the work that they took on.

The demand for well-built homes within an earshot of the water is high here in Melbourne and across Florida. There's always competition among developers to get their properties completed quickly so that they can move on to their next venture.

Contractors who are eager to please sometimes take shortcuts. The costs for their indiscretions get passed on the homeowners. Don't allow this to happen to you. Let a construction litigation attorney who is well versed in resolving a wide array of business matters handle your case for you.

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