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Legal Blog

Orlando woman files suit against I-4 Ultimate construction firm

The I-4 Ultimate project is going to transform the Central Florida region, its backers claim, by boosting the economy and reducing traffic congestion. An Orlando woman who lives near the project says demolition work along the interstate is ruining her home.

She recently filed a construction lawsuit against SGL Constructors (Skanska-Granite-Lane). She says she contacted SGL in the past about damage to her property, and filed a claim, but that the firm decided against paying her anything.

Displaced by termites, condo owners sue after being billed $60K each

Their expensive and beautiful ocean views became unavailable when they were told last year to evacuate their condominiums because of termites. Condo owners were told that the wood-devouring insects were damaging their properties.

Even worse, the owners were later billed $60,000 each for repairs and needed upgrades. It seems that two years earlier, the HOA management group had canceled the insurance policy protecting them from termite damage. Now the condo owners association is suing the management group that was responsible for maintaining the termite bond, a newspaper stated in its report on the construction defects litigation.

Lengthy legal battle between condo owners, association continues

Nobody wants to end up embroiled in a lengthy legal battle. Yet sometimes it happens, as some condo owners and one condominium association have learned.

In a community in East Lake, Florida, a contentious disagreement between a handful of unit owners, the condo association and a billionaire real estate company is heading towards its fifth year in the court system, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times. The most recent development? A counterclaim filed by the unit owners.

Tips to help make change orders less of a headache

Nobody is ever really happy with a change order on a construction project. They can be costly and cause delays, leading to headaches and potentially even heated disagreements. Because of this, it's important for everyone involved to be on the same page.

With that in mind, here are some tips to consider for every construction project that can help lessen the potential impact of inconvenient change orders.

3 important considerations when purchasing a luxury condo

Whether it's a vacation home or a primary residence, many people dream of living in a luxury condominium in Florida. Luxury condos are a particularly viable option for retirees seeking a more relaxed lifestyle and who don't want to maintain the upkeep of larger home.

What makes a condo a condo?

To qualify as a condominium, the owner of a building or complex needs to declare the property as such. Then, individuals can purchase units within these properties.

A unit is comprised of the actual living area of a space itself, but it does not include a building's structural elements. When you live in a condo, you pay fees to a condominium association to take care of maintenance and repairs.

Florida homeowners association prevails in construction defects suit

A Florida homeowners association recently prevailed in an important legal battle over serious problems plaguing a 24-unit townhouse development. A federal court rejected an argument made by an insurance company that construction defects in the Jacksonville townhouse development are not covered because the flaws were found after completion of the development.

The ruling in favor of the Biscayne Bay Homeowners Association Inc. of Jacksonville is a big step forward in the group’s effort to get resolution of construction defects that include major parts of the townhouses, including roofs, foundations, exterior walls, soils, concrete and waterproofing, among others, according to a news report.

Condo owners frustrated by slow pace of construction defects repairs

Residents of the San Matera condominium community wonder when repair work on their homes will resume and then be completed. They have already waited nearly two years for repairs to the extensive damage done by water intrusion caused by construction defects and design flaws in many of the property's 676 units.

The community sits about a four-hour drive east of Sarasota in Palm Beach Gardens.

Construction defects in new condos more common than you think

The Florida condominium boom is showing no signs of slowing down. Brand new buildings are popping up in cities across the Gulf Coast and beyond, like orange blossoms blooming in the spring.

Some areas, including Sarasota, are attracting multimillionaires and billionaires with ultra high-end condo projects. But the promise of a sleek, luxurious condo community doesn’t always become reality. What is often to blame? Construction defects.

What to know about making changes to condominium common areas

Nobody wants a condominium property to fall into disrepair. Not only is it bad for the property owner who sees their investment crumble, it's bad for the individual residents who live there and want their unit value to increase, not crash.

Oftentimes, the condominium association is responsible for determining possible upgrades to the property. What role do the residents play in choosing these cosmetic or quality-of-life alterations? And what type of permission, if any, does the association need to get? It depends.

Labor shortage plays part in rise in Florida construction defect claims

Those who pay attention to news about the national construction industry and the industry here in Florida know that despite the so-called boom in the building business, it is also an industry plagued with an ongoing labor shortage. Developers, general contractors and subcontractors are in many cases unwilling to slow down the pace and take fewer jobs, reluctant to pass up enormous profits available during healthy economic cycles.

But the shortages are linked by many in the industry to the surge in construction defect claims. A recent article on the subject stated that there were just 31 construction defect claims here in Florida back in 2008. A decade later, the figure was at nearly 1,000.

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