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Proposed bill would amend construction defect claims process

Even the most experienced professional in Miami, Florida, may be faced with correcting a mistake that is made during the course of the job. For contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and design professionals who work in construction, the current system for the discovery and resolution of construction defects may seem to favor the property owner who is making the claim. Under the current Florida Statute on construction defects, the property owner must submit a notice of the claim to the contractor that describes the alleged defect and the resulting damage in reasonable detail, including its location.

The Florida Senate Committee on Regulated Industries has proposed a bill that amends the language of this statute to provide those in the construction industry with a better chance of success when responding to these notices. Claimants would be required to provide more information so that there is a improved opportunity for the professional to resolve the alleged defects. In addition to the specific location of the problem, the claim must also include any of the following relevant items:

  •          Project plans, specifications or drawings
  •          Photo and video evidence
  •          Expert reports regarding the defect
  •          Documents that pertain to the defect’s discovery, investigation, causation, and its extent
  •          Documentation of the resulting damages

Providing extensive documentation does place more of the burden of proof on the property owner and offer the construction professional the opportunity to rectify the issue. When all the documentation is accurate, it also could lead to the success of the claim if the construction dispute is taken to court.

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