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Making sense of Florida's statutory condo construction warranty

Florida Statutes Title XL Real and Personal Property § 718.203 outlines how a developer extends an implied warranty of fitness and merchantability when they turn over a unit to a condominium owner. It only covers the purchaser for specified uses or purposes though.

Florida's statutory warranty remains in effect for three years after the building's original construction is completed and/or any improvements are made.

This same statute also spells out how any manufacturer's warranties on personal property are transferred with a condo unit when it's sold. These warranties transfer on the earliest date, whether it's the one that the new owner takes possession of the unit or when the closing occurs. That same statute details how such a warranty remains in effect for a year following this date.

That same statute also addresses how the warranty covers the unit's structural components, roof and its plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems for three years after the construction on the entire condo building is completed. That same statute outlines how such a warranty only remains in effect for a year after a new owner takes possession of the unit unless the developer retains control of the association.

Suppliers, subcontractors and contractors are only required to grant developers implied warranties of fitness on work performed with their supplies or with their labors for three years.

Florida's warranty statute also details what constitutes the completion of a building or improvement. This law describes this as either occurring once a certificate of occupancy has been issued or the bulk of the project has been completed according to the building plans.

Making sense of whether a Florida condo construction defect is warrantied isn't easy. There are a lot of moving pieces at play including when the date of possession or closing occurred, when an occupancy certificate was issued or work was completed. It also matters what the warranties that existed were and how long they were expected to remain in effect.

An attorney can review your purchase agreement, your condo association rules and warranty documents and help you sort all this out. In situations as complex as this, it can be helpful to have a Melbourne attorney on your side who has extensive experience in efficiently handling construction litigation disputes much like yours.

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