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Florida lawsuit: Construction defects were hidden, misrepresented

As regular readers of our blog know, disputes over construction defects typically involve one or more of several common problems, including negligent construction, defective materials and flaws in civil and structural engineering. Construction defects can also involve improper soil analysis and preparation, as well as improper site selection.

A South Florida real estate industry publication recently reported that the owner of an apartment complex in Celebration has filed a lawsuit against the developer and contractor, alleging that construction defects are driving tenants out.

Boca Raton-based Southstar Capital Group bought the 306-unit complex in 2016 for $67 million. Southstar bought the property from the Texas-based real estate firm Hines, which developed the property with its affiliate Oaks Builders, the general contractor.

The lawsuit was filed in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Osceola County, alleging that Hines and Oaks Builders hid and misrepresented construction defects in the complex near Walt Disney World. Southstar alleges that the defects weren't detectable during a normal inspection, but became apparent about five months after the purchase.

Southstar says some of the cantilevered balconies began leaning downward, which cracked walls and breezeway surfaces. When some walls and floors were later removed, violations of the Florida Building Code were apparently revealed.

Southstar also alleges the apartment buildings have improperly constructed structural components, as well as roofs and windows with improper waterproofing.

In August of last year, the Osceola Building Department issued notices of evacuation for all the buildings in the complex.

Obviously, the court has not yet decided on the merits of the complaints.

If you or your firm needs to address construction defects in a property, sit down first with an attorney experienced in construction law and litigation. Contact Tannenbaum Scro, P.L. to talk over your legal options. We serve clients across Florida.

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