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Reform law governing construction defects considered

Construction companies in Florida must navigate customer requests, contract negotiations, employment issues and more on a regular basis. When a construction customer, either residential or commercial, is unhappy for any reason, the developer or construction company must also attend to that. While making customers happy is important for any business, so too is receiving fair treatment from customers. When a complex construction dispute emerges over a construction defect concern, litigation can often be the resolution path that customers choose.

Fears of construction litigation are so strong in Colorado that many developers avoid certain project altogether. According to some, this has led to a serious lack of affordable housing, especially condominiums. Laws have allowed homeowners’ associations to change contracts unilaterally, something that has been off-putting to developers. The Colorado Association of Homebuilders currently supports a bill that is pending in the state legislature designed to address the indicated high rate of lawsuits about construction defects in condos.

If passed, the new law would require all claims to be funneled through either arbitration or mediation first instead of directly into a lawsuit. All people who own units in a particular development would be required to receive full notification about a claim and the impact on them. Additionally, the law would change the requirement to file a suit. Currently, a construction litigation suit can be filed if only two homeowners wish. The new bill would make approval from the HOA a prerequisite to any such filing.

When the developers of a construction project face undue scrutiny by customers, the challenge can be great. Working with an attorney who knows the local laws governing construction cases may improve a company’s ability to successfully defend against such claims.

Source: The Colorado Statesman, “Construction-defects legislation introduced,” Peter Marcus, May 5, 2014

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