Colorado Construction Defects: Filing a Notice of Claim
The Notice of Claim Process
The Colorado Construction Defect Action Reform Act (CDARA) requires that claimants (homeowners, homeowner associations, commercial building owners) follow the “Notice of Claim” process prior to filing a legal claim for construction defects. The Notice of Claim process is intended to provide an opportunity for the construction professionals associated with the project to address the alleged construction defects and avoid litigation.
According to CDARA, claimants must initiate the process by writing a letter to the construction professionals whose work is implicated. The letter must provide certain information about the property and details pertaining to the alleged construction defects. Ensuring the necessary information is included in the Notice of Claim, adhering to the multiple statutory deadlines, and following the many other CDARA requirements is a highly complex process.
Providing Written Notice
The claimant must send a detailed letter, the Notice of Claim, about the construction issues to all the construction professionals whose work may have led to a construction defect and that the claimant intends to hold responsible for the defects. These professionals may include architects, engineers, contractors, developers, and subcontractors who were involved in the project.
Scheduling an Inspection
Following receipt of the Notice of Claim, the construction professionals may request an inspection of the property. The inspection must be conducted within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Claim. The inspection provides the construction professionals (including their attorneys and experts, if they want) with an opportunity to observe the issues in order to evaluate the alleged defects and determine what, if any, resolution they want to attempt with the claimant.
Receiving an Offer from the Construction Professionals
Within 30 days of completing the inspection (45 days if the property is mixed-use or commercial), the construction professional may submit an offer of settlement to the claimant to resolve the claim. The offer may include:
- Paying a specified amount of money to the claimant
- Repairing the alleged defect.
If the construction professional submits an offer to repair the construction defect, the offer must include:
- A report on the scope of the construction defects and additional findings by the construction professionals
- A description of any additional work that is required to remedy the construction defect and repair any damage that was caused by the defect
- A schedule for completing the repairs
Accepting or Rejecting the Offer
If the claimant is satisfied with the construction professional’s offer to resolve the claim, the claimant can submit written acceptance of the offer within 15 days of receipt.
If the claimant does not respond in writing within those 15 days, then the offer is deemed to have been rejected, and the claimant may proceed by filing legal action.
If the construction professional does not make an offer to resolve the claim within the specified timeframes, the claimant may proceed by filing legal action as soon as the offer of settlement deadline has passed.
Tolling of Time Limits During the Notice of Claim Process
Throughout the Notice of Claim process, plus an additional 60 days, time limits on when a construction defect action must be initiated are “tolled.” This means that time limits that could be as short as just 2 years from when a defect first appeared are stalled to give the claimant and construction professionals time to try to avoid litigation. Basically, the clock stops ticking for this Notice of Claim process plus 60 days time frame. In the event the construction professionals do not make an offer of settlement, the additional 60 days of tolling may begin to run on the offer deadline, not the additional 15 days the claimant has to accept or reject offers.
Written Changes to Notice of Claim Process
- The CDARA also allows the claimant and the construction professionals to enter into written agreements to modify the time limitations for the inspection, submitting offers to repair, and accepting or rejecting any offers. These agreements allow the parties more time to resolve the dispute.
- It is also possible to enter into separate agreements with each construction professional.
If you have a construction defect case, it is wise to begin the process by consulting with an experienced construction defect attorney. Even if the construction professional’s offer is accepted by the claimant and the parties are in agreement to resolve the matter, claimants should always have an experienced construction defect attorney review the contractor’s offer. We offer a free consultation at Burg Simpson and are here to help.
Call Burg Simpson’s Award-Winning Construction Defect Lawyers Today
Burg Simpson is a national leader in construction-defect litigation. Our construction defect attorneys have been fighting for the rights of homeowners and homeowner associations for more than 25 years. In 2021, Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. was recognized by Best Law Firms® and U.S. News & World Report when they named Burg Simpson’s Construction Defect Department “Metropolitan Tier One,” the highest available ranking.