What if my construction company is accused of defective work?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2022 | Construction Law |

Florida is a hotbed for construction. Whether it is commercial or residential, people are seemingly always having work done.

Unfortunately, there are often complications with construction projects. Some are easily rectified with slightly more work, repairs and minor changes. Others are more complicated. If the property owner looks at the finished product, is unhappy with the work and claims there are construction defects, it can be costly to the construction company in myriad ways.

Not only will they be expected to make the necessary repairs without charging extra, bad word-of-mouth could hurt the company’s reputation. Simply because there is a complaint does not necessarily mean there were legitimate defects. It’s important to know the law for construction defects and what contractors are responsible for, and it is wise to have legal guidance.

What happens after the notice of a construction defect?

Under the law, the contractor is supposed to receive written notice of the defect. This must happen a minimum of 60 days before the property owner files an action or 120 days before filing an action for an association that represents greater than 20 parcels. The complaint will specifically state the nature of the defect and if it came from contracted work.

There must be sufficient detail. If, for example, there is water leakage, problems with the construction materials like cracking or breaks, mold or other issues, it will specify where it is and its extent. It is not the claimant’s responsibility to do tests or take any other steps when giving this notice.

The primary objective is to serve notice within 15 days after finding the defect, but they can still file if they do not find it in that time-frame. For some, it takes time to inspect every aspect of a construction project and defects might not manifest that quickly, so they can file after the 15 days have elapsed. The construction company can have an inspection of the damage to check if it is a valid complaint or not. It might include destructive testing if necessary.

Once the defects are found to exist, the contractor can offer to fix it without any cost to the property owner. There will be a detailed list of the work that needs to be done to repair it and a timetable for when it will be completed. They can also make a financial offer to settle the case. The owner’s insurance company will not be obligated to make any payments. The construction company can determine that there are no defects and refuse to remedy the complaint.

Construction companies should be prepared for allegations of defects

From the business owner’s perspective, it is understandable if they lodge a complaint if they perceive there to be substandard work, a failure to follow the plan or outright defects. Still, the contractor might have done exactly what they were asked to do and the complaints are unfounded in attempting to get the changes made without paying for them.

In these cases, it is crucial to be legally protected. Consulting with those who are well-versed in the construction industry and have a firm grasp on the law from every angle can assess the case and try to find workable solutions. Often, construction defect cases do not even need to go to court as a negotiated settlement can be reached. Regardless, contacting those who are established in Boca Raton and the surrounding areas of Florida can be helpful.