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Legal Blog

Getting the job done right: Attorney Alan Tannenbaum weighs in

For community associations, repair projects present big risks. Poorly drafted contracts can leave associations with little leverage. Shoddy work can result in more problems - and more expenses - down the road. Associations have an imperative to ensure that owners don't get taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors.

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Alan Tannenbaum, a principal attorney at Tannenbaum Scro who has represented numerous community associations on construction-related issues over the years, walks through these concerns in a recent article. He provides practical tips for associations on:

Hope for victims left high and dry by HD Custom Homes

Building a home is supposed to be a meaningful experience. Sure, it's not always smooth sailing. Hiccups often arise at various stages throughout the project. But in the end, the buyer should get what they bargained for - the home they dreamed about, saved for and meticulously planned.

For dozens of customers of HD Custom Homes, however, the process has been nothing short of a nightmare.

Defective construction materials (part 1): Lumber/timber

Wood is a prevalent material in construction. Whether used for core elements like framing, or finishes like the wood-beamed ceilings that are so popular these days, timber often features prominently in common elements of condo communities and residential developments.

Wood can also be at the root of many construction defects. As we've covered in previous posts, subpar materials can be at the heart of serious issues like water intrusion, mold growth, structural problems and the like. It's thus important to understand the various ways that wood might be defective.

What to do when a new condominium community is fraught with defects

It's a common economic pattern we've observed before: The Florida economy begins to hum and is accompanied by a building boom. Construction industry health almost always accompanies an upturn in the overall economy. Real estate development spikes, and to meet the increasing demand, new condos come up seemingly overnight.

Latent vs. patent construction defects

Some things are obvious. For instance, overeating leads to weight gains and students who do their homework get better grades. Construction defects in condominiums can be just as obvious, of course. Construction done with understrength concrete can result in defects visually obvious to everyone, such as crumbling or cracking walls.

Readily apparently construction defects are referred to as obvious or patent defects, while the unseen flaws harder to detect are known as latent.

The walls came tumbling down

We're fortunate to live in Florida. Our beaches, resorts, golf courses and sunshine make this a destination nearly everyone wants to move to or visit. Folks in Reno, Nevada, are similarly blessed to live where nature's beauty is on display from Lake Tahoe to the nearby mountains.

While the residents of Somersett, a planned community just outside of Reno, get to enjoy a combination of natural and manmade charms, they are also dealing with dangerous and expensive construction defects that cast a pall over the otherwise idyllic setting.

A billion-dollar price tag for construction defects in Connecticut

In what amounts to a real estate nightmare, thousands of Connecticut homeowners are faced with crumbling foundations, and the insurance company responsible for footing the repair bills claims there isn't enough money to go around. It's a worst-case-scenario that illustrates just how bad construction defects can get.

Mold and mildew can turn a dream condo into a nightmare

When you move into a new condo in Florida, you're looking forward to years of living in warmth near beaches, water sports, golf courses and more. You're eager to enjoy maintenance-free living - especially when it comes to upkeep of the building and grounds. That's probably why you bought the condominium in the first place.

But when construction defects begin to make themselves evident, everything can change. Carefree living can turn into a bad dream - a nightmare that costs a fortune to repair.

3 mistakes associations make with construction defects

When construction defects are found in common elements of a condo or residential development, it falls to the owners association to do something about it. In fact, it's one of the most important duties that associations have - to protect the interests of owners by bringing legal claims on their behalf.

Unfortunately, many associations aren't familiar enough with construction defects to take the right action. Even professionally managed associations can quickly get in over their heads when it comes to navigating these complex legal issues.

Once a potential construction defect comes to light, it's important to know what to do - and not to do. Here are three common mistakes to avoid:

How Florida's extension of construction defect deadline could play out

Regular readers of our legal blog know that back in March, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill to extend the Statute of Repose. The statute is, of course, the ultimate deadline for latent construction defect claims. Some observers believe the extension will result in higher insurance premiums for developers, contractors and the real estate industry.

The extension essentially increased the 10-year deadline to file a lawsuit for a latent construction defect claim by a year. But, in some cases, the extension could be for longer than a year.

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