Construction Defect Lawyers Serving Property Owners and Associations Throughout Florida
The construction defects attorneys at Burg Simpson handle legal disputes on behalf of homeowner associations, townhome associations, condominium associations, commercial property owners, and individual and multi-family homeowners involving construction defects and failures. You should not have to handle the costs yourself if a failure or defect in design, manufacture, planning, construction, and/or repair causes damage to your property.
Burg Simpson has extensive experience and expertise with these complex and often contentious cases. We are committed to fully investigating construction defects and pursuing maximum compensation for your losses.
Contact Burg Simpson by calling 813-816-7140 today for a FREE case evaluation. Our construction defect lawyers serve clients in Tampa, Sarasota, and all of Florida.
What Is a Construction Defect?
Florida law provides a concise definition of “construction defect.” According to The 2022 Florida Statutes § 558.002, a construction defect is defined as:
“[A] deficiency in, or a deficiency arising out of, the design, specifications, surveying, planning, supervision, observation of construction, or construction, repair, alteration, or remodeling of real property.”
“Real property” refers to land and any improvements made upon it. This may include homes, commercial structures, permanent fixtures, and more.
Common examples of construction defects include:
- Water intrusion
- Cracks in the foundation
- Improperly installed and unsealed roofs
- Defects in the building’s exterior, including walls and siding
- Leaky windows and sliding glass doors
- Poorly constructed balconies and decks
- Sinkholes, buckled driveways, and other infrastructure failures
- Mold and mildew growth
- Electrical defects, including faulty wiring, improper connections, etc.
Ultimately, any damage to personal or commercial property stemming from issues of negligent construction and defective materials may be grounds for a construction defect claim. It is in your best interest to speak to a construction defects attorney as soon as possible if you believe errors on the part of a contractor or other party damaged your property.
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What Causes Construction Defects?
Multiple errors before and during construction can cause damage to your property. This includes issues during the design, planning, and surveying phases, as well as during construction itself.
Potential grounds for a construction defect claim include:
- Use of defective or substandard building materials
- Design errors
- Poor quality workmanship
- Violations of the Florida Building Code (see Florida Statutes § 553.84)
- Failure to abide by accepted standards of the construction trade
- Errors in surveying the property
At Burg Simpson, we fully investigate to determine what caused the construction defect and who is responsible. Our team will come to your property and examine any defect, review all contracts with a fine-tooth comb, and consult experts to obtain testimony supporting your claim.
Who Is Liable for a Construction Defect?
Multiple parties may be involved in a construction project. Before bringing a construction defect claim, our lawyers will identify any and all parties whose negligence damaged your property.
Defendants in a construction defect lawsuit may include:
- General contractors (also known as builders)
- Materials suppliers
- Design professionals such as architects, engineers, surveyors, etc.
- (Note: Design professionals are not liable individually if the contract is between the owner/association and a business entity that hires the professional)
Construction disputes often involve the negligence of more than one of these parties. At Burg Simpson, we look beyond the contractor in charge of the project and take action on your behalf against all liable parties. Our construction defects attorneys have experience going up against builders and developers of all sizes, as well as their insurance companies.
How Long Do I Have to Sue a Contractor for a Construction Defect in Florida?
Property owners and associations have a limited time to file lawsuits for construction defects. In Florida, the statute of limitations for construction defect claims is generally 4 years from whichever of the following dates is the latest:
- The date the owner takes possession of the property
- The date a certificate of occupancy is issued
- The date of completion or termination of a contract between a contractor or design professional and his or her employer
- The date construction on the property is abandoned
However, the statute of limitations is tolled (i.e., extended) up to 10 years if the damage to real property is caused by a latent defect. Latent defects are issues that are not obvious or readily visible. As such, Florida law allows property owners additional time to bring legal actions if a defect was not “discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence” within 10 years (see Florida Statutes § 95.11).
The statute of limitations for construction defect claims in Florida can be difficult to navigate, especially if you are not the original owner of the home or property. (Many people don’t realize that you do not need to be the original buyer to bring a claim if a defect appears after you take possession.) It is in your best interest to speak to a construction defects lawyer at Burg Simpson as soon as possible so you can ensure that your right to legal action is preserved.
How Do I File a Construction Defect Claim?
In Florida, construction defect litigation is governed by Chapter 558 (“Construction Defects”) of the Florida Statutes. At Burg Simpson, our construction defect attorneys have extensive experience representing individual homeowners, multi-family homeowners, and associations in disputes with builders, developers, and more.
The process for bringing a construction defect claim in Florida is complex. As such, it is in your best interest to hire a qualified lawyer.
Chapter 558 Notice of Claim in Florida Construction Defect Cases
Before filing a lawsuit, the claimant (i.e., the property owner or association) must provide the contractor and/or other liable parties with a notice of claim. The notice of claim must be served within a specified number of days before filing suit:
- 60 days for homeowners and associations with 20 or fewer parcels on the property
- 120 days for associations with more than 20 parcels
The notice of claim must describe each of the construction defects, the location thereof, and any loss or damages incurred as a result of the defect. After receiving the notice of claim, the liable party or parties (known as the respondent(s)) have 30 days (50 days if the claimant is an association with more than 20 parcels) to inspect the property.
Respondents then have 45 days (or 75 days for larger associations) to provide a response. The response must include one of the following:
- An offer to remedy the defect(s) at no cost, with a description of the repairs involved
- A settlement offer, including a timetable for when payment will be made
- An offer consisting of a monetary settlement and repairs to the property
- A statement that the respondent’s insurer will make a determination on the matter
- A dispute of the owner’s or association’s claims
Filing a Construction Defect Lawsuit
If the respondent disputes liability or you are not satisfied with the offer to settle and/or make repairs, you have the right to file a lawsuit. Litigation can be costly and time-consuming, not to mention uncertain. However, if a settlement does not cover your losses and/or a repair agreement does not address the damage to your property, the attorneys at Burg Simpson will not hesitate to file a lawsuit and, if necessary, represent you at trial.
Our construction defect lawyers can help you pursue compensation for losses such as the cost of repairs, the loss of value to your property, and more. If you are the owner of a commercial property, our attorneys can also seek to recover damages for the loss of economic use.
Contact a Construction Defects Attorney Today
For most people, a home and other improvements to real property are among the biggest investments anyone can make. HOAs and other associations invest millions of dollars into their properties.
You are entitled to a return on this investment. If the negligence of a contractor or another party led to a construction defect, Burg Simpson can help you recoup your losses.
Burg Simpson has represented thousands of individual owners and associations in construction defect litigation. We have the experience, knowledge, resources, and results to handle all types of construction defect claims. Our priority is not just getting you a check for damages but to ensure that your property is repaired properly so you don’t face a similar situation in the future.
For a FREE and confidential case evaluation, please call Burg Simpson at 813-816-7140 today. Our construction defects attorneys serve homeowners and associations throughout Florida from offices in Tampa and Sarasota.