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What are the timeframes for filing construction defect claims?

Individuals or businesses in the construction sector in Florida have many issues to contend with. From concerns about maintaining safe work environments to threats of construction litigation from clients not satisfied for some reason, each day can pose a new problem. It is important for anyone operating a construction business to understand the state’s process for handling claims that allege problems in a construction project.

Known as Chapter 558, Florida’s statute governing construction defects and the method for pursuing claims stipulates clear timelines for these cases. The effort is focused largely around providing opportunities to remedy situations without costly or lengthy litigation. The first step requires any claimant to file what is referred to as a notice of claim to a contractor or other professional believed to be responsible for an alleged problem. For properties not involving associations and less than 20 parcels, this must happen 60 days prior to any lawsuit being filed. This claim must provide details about the alleged issue and damage believed to be done.

After receipt of a notice of claim, the following timelines and associated actions apply:

  • Notice of claim to other professionals believed to be involved must be served by the receiving contractor within 10 days.
  • Any person receiving this secondary notice of claim from an initial recipient must respond in writing within 15 days to that person.
  • Within 30 days of receipt of the original notice of claim, the recipient professional must inspect the property or allow inspection of the property.
  • Within 45 days of receiving the original claim, the recipient must provide a written response.

The written response should some an offer to repair the problems or financial compensation or some combination of both solutions. If this is not offered, the response can dispute the claim or recommend it to insurance for financial payment.

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