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What is Section 558?

Section 558 is a portion of Florida law the outlines a process for alternative means of resolving construction dispute cases aside from pursuing litigation. It outlines the requirements for all parties and details the legally stipulated timelines as well. The goal of Section 558 is to provide a means by which property owners can remain protected against construction defects while simultaneously reducing the number of lawsuits initiated.

Property owners who identify problems with construction projects must comply with the guidelines provided by Section 558 or risk delays in seeking restitution. Following are some of the primary rules outlined by the Florida statute when seeking help under Section 558:

  • A claimant must provide written notice of suspected defects to the party or parties with whom a contract was made before filing formal action.
  • A notice should ideally be submitted within 15 days of discovering the alleged defect, although this timeline is not a requirement.
  • A claimant must allow the contractor to access the property in order to inspect or repair the problem.
  • A contractor can request destructive testing as part of an inspection or repair.
  • If a claimant does not approve of a contractor’s testing vendor, the claimant must provide three other vendors from which a contractor can select.

Because contracts can be made directly with a contractor, subcontractor, designer or other supplier, any of these parties can be involved in a Section 558 process with a property owner. It is important for a property owner to understand the guidelines of this resolution method in order to receive the best protection when facing a construction defect issue.This information is general in nature and not intended to provide actual legal advice. 

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