You may discover a construction defect after your project’s completion. Your reaction will most likely include prioritizing getting the issue resolved as soon as possible. As noted on the Florida Legislature’s website, a building generally qualifies as complete when it has received a certificate of occupancy. Once recognized as complete, you may take action to remedy any defects.
If your property’s location reflects a jurisdiction where no requirement for a certificate of occupancy exists, your construction plans may determine a project’s completion. When a builder has substantially finished a project to your specifications, Florida’s courts may recognize it as complete.
What may qualify as a construction defect?
Florida law defines a construction defect as a deficiency resulting from a building’s design, surveying, alteration or repair. An issue could arise from your project’s planning or supervision.
A defect may also relate to a design flaw or an issue in the blueprints. You might also discover that a builder used defective products or materials.
When could I begin legal action against a contractor?
Under Florida’s Chapter 558 statute, you must first provide a contractor with an opportunity to repair a discovered defect. Florida law requires you to send a contractor, developer or supplier a written notice at least 60 days before you file a lawsuit. The state legislature also recommends that you send the written notice within 15 days after discovering a defect.
The notice you send must reasonably describe the details and location of each issue found. The recipient has 30 days to perform an inspection of your property to assess or test the claimed defects.
If a contractor fixes the problems described in your written notice, you may not need the court to provide relief. A failure to correct the problem, however, may require you to file legal action to obtain a remedy.