Davenport Construction Defects Lawyer
Davenport is a pretty small city by most standards, but folks who live here know the city has been undergoing tremendous growth in recent years. A feature of that growth is a rise in new home construction, not all of which may be conducted to the best standards as builders rush in to meet demand, sometimes cutting costs and cutting corners to get homes up as quickly and cheaply as possible, maximizing profits for builders and developers at the expense of homeowners who might not get what they pay for. Patent (obvious) defects can often be quickly dealt with, but many construction defects are latent, or hidden, and homeowners don’t know the defects exists until months or years later when water intrusion or cracks in the foundation become apparent and significant damage has occurred. Whatever the cause of the defect, the Ruel Law Firm can help you identify the responsible party and hold them accountable to repair the defect or pay for repairs and compensate you for any additional damage done to you or your property because of the defect. Attorney Michael Ruel handled construction defect claims from the defense side for 15 years. He knows how developers, contractors, and their insurance companies operate and the strategies they use to delay, deny or underpay construction defect claims. We offer a free consultation to learn about your potential claim and let you know how we can help. Contact our experienced Davenport construction defects lawyer today.
Who Is Responsible for Construction Defects in Davenport?
Florida construction defect law creates a process for resolving construction defect claims without the need for litigation. This process involves putting the party responsible for the defect on notice about the defect and giving them the opportunity to resolve the matter satisfactorily. If they don’t comply or settle your claim within the required time frame, the homeowner is authorized to file a lawsuit and pursue a civil action against them in court.
Parties to a construction defect claim under Florida’s construction defect law include contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and design professionals, defined as follows:
- Contractor – A person legally engaged in the business of designing, developing, constructing, manufacturing, repairing, or remodeling real property
- Subcontractor – A person who is a contractor who performs labor and supplies material on behalf of another contractor in the construction or remodeling of real property
- Supplier – A person who provides only materials, equipment, or other supplies for the construction or remodeling of real property
- Design Professional – A person who is licensed in Florida as an architect, landscape architect, engineer, surveyor, or geologist or who is a registered interior designer as defined in the law
“Person” in this context includes individuals as well as companies, corporations and other businesses.
What Is Required to Pursue a Construction Defect Claim?
Before filing a lawsuit for damage caused by a construction defect, the homeowner must first comply with Florida law by giving notice to the responsible party and providing them an opportunity to fix the defect and settle the claim outside of court. In most cases, this notice must be given in writing at least 60 days before filing any action, although it can be as long as 120 days in some circumstances. The notice must describe the construction defect and any resulting loss or damage in sufficient detail to enable the party to locate the defect. Homeowners are encouraged to serve this notice within 15 days after they discover the defect.
Within 30 days of being served notice (or 50 days in some circumstances), the contractor is entitled to come onto the property and perform a reasonable inspection. The contractor should coordinate with the homeowner to minimize the number of inspections needed and the intrusion into the homeowner’s property. The inspection can include destructive testing if agreed to by both parties and if certain conditions outlined in the law are met, so long as it doesn’t render the property uninhabitable.
Other timelines are provided in the law for the parties to give notice to each other of the alleged defect and how they plan to deal with it. The contractor should offer to fix the defect at no cost to the homeowner, giving a description of the necessary repairs and a timetable for completion, or offer to settle the claim by monetary payment, or both. If the contractor disputes the claim, they must inform the homeowner within the timeframe required in the statute.
If the contractor disputes the claim and refuses to fix the defect or settle the claim monetarily, or if the contractor fails to comply with the law, the homeowner can file a lawsuit and pursue other legal remedies against the contractor.
Contact the Ruel Law Firm Today
The Ruel Law Firm can ably represent you at all stages of construction defect litigation, including serving notice of the defect on the responsible party, negotiating a repair and/or monetary settlement, and pursuing litigation as necessary. Attorney Michael Ruel has a long record of taking matters like these to court and winning, and he is committed to taking the actions that serve his clients best. Contact our Davenport construction defects lawyer today for an efficient and effective resolution of your construction defect claim.