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Condominium conversions often come with construction problems

New construction is booming across Florida. But not all condominium communities are built from the ground up. Faced with limited land availability and sky-high demolition costs, some developers turn to existing structures - often apartment complexes - and convert them into condominiums.

What can go wrong

This conversion process can raise problems. The existing structure might be decades old. It might not have been properly maintained over the years. There might be hidden issues such as:

  • Termite damage or pest infestation
  • Drainage or water intrusion problems
  • Structural weaknesses
  • Malfunctioning mechanicals
  • Inadequate HVAC or electrical systems

During conversion, the developer may significantly alter the existing structure, perhaps adding new units or constructing amenities such as a pool and fitness room. These alterations present an opportunity for further defects, whether stemming from design issues, subpar materials or poor workmanship.

The importance of a thorough inspection and legal counsel

Recognizing the risks posed by condominium conversions, Florida law requires detailed inspections and disclosures for these developments. A thorough review of the inspection report is critical for identifying potential defects.

What's more, different warranties - and different deadlines - apply to conversions than new construction. As a result, condo associations shoulder significant responsibilities when it comes to pursuing resolution of construction defect claims.

Knowledgeable legal counsel plays an indispensable role in helping condo associations address these issues. Consider contacting a Florida construction law attorney as soon as possible for guidance on defects that may arise during the conversion and turnover process.

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