How to Conduct a Construction Defect Inspection in Florida
If you’re reading this, chances are you or your company have been accused of causing a construction defect. Fortunately, Florida is one of a number of states with right-to-repair laws. These laws afford contractors the opportunity to remedy construction defects they are responsible for by repairing the defect, providing monetary payment, or providing some combination of the two. But before we get ahead of ourselves, contractors have to find out if they are, in fact, responsible for the defect. That’s what inspections are for.
In this brief article, we outline the inspection process as it is to be carried out in Florida. This process can be complicated, but it’s one of the best ways of determining which party is responsible for a construction defect. If you’ve been accused of a construction defect in the state of Florida, be sure to consult a Ft. Myers construction defect lawyer from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.
You Have a Right to an Inspection
Florida’s right-to-repair laws are beneficial for avoiding costly disputes, assuming you can follow their strict requirements and deadlines. By now, you should have received a notice of claim informing you of the defect. You’ll then have 30 days (50 in some instances) to “perform a reasonable inspection of the property or of each unit subject to the claim to assess each alleged construction defect.” An owner should provide reasonable access to the property during normal hours for you to conduct your inspection. Consult a Ft. Myers construction defect attorney if they refuse access.
If you discover that destructive testing is required, you’ll need to notify the owner in writing. This notice should include all the pertinent who, what, when, where, and why’s: who’s conducting the testing, anticipated damage as a result of testing, time needed, and financial responsibilities offered to cover the cost of repair or restoration. Of note, an owner can object to the particular person selected to conduct testing or outright object to destructive testing. At which point, the owner will have “no claim for damages which could have been avoided or mitigated had destructive testing been allowed…”
Subcontractors, Suppliers, and Design Professionals
General contractors are not always the accused party. Subcontractors, suppliers, and design professionals can all receive a copy of the notice of claim accusing them of a construction defect. Subcontractors and other accused parties can follow the same inspection procedure outlined above.
Contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and design professionals will all have a limited amount of time to serve a written response including the results of the inspection as well as an offer to resolve the claim or a statement disputing the claim. Before you make your decision, we encourage you to consult a lawyer with Cotney Attorneys & Consultants. You should be informed of all your legal options before disputing a claim or exercising your right to repair.
If you would like to speak with an Ft. Myers construction defect attorney, please contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.