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Part I: navigating the process of filing a construction defects lawsuit

Is this your situation?

Your condominium owners association is being inundated with complaints that units have leaking roofs or windows, or that stucco is deteriorating, or that balconies are unsafe to stand on. Experts agree that the very first step for your association is to sit down with an attorney who understands and is experienced in construction defect litigation so that subsequent steps are taken in a proper, timely manner.

In that way, your association can preserve your rights and claims as the process unfolds.

Your association will need to work with its lawyer to find a suitable engineering firm to perform a detailed evaluation of the property, including an analysis of whether best engineering and construction practices were followed and whether or not the structures are in compliance with the Florida Building Code and other applicable regulations.

The engineering report should contain examinations and granular analyses of building components such as the roof, the building fa├žade and its structural features. It should also include findings on critical systems such as the electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems on the property. Each defect should be described in fine detail, including causes of the defects: subpar workmanship, code violations, a failure to follow plans and specifications, etc.

The report should also include a plan to properly repair the defects, including costs.

Your association should also understand that there are certain steps in the legal process (laid out in Florida Statutes Chapter 558) that must be taken before a construction defect lawsuit can be filed and damages recovered. Failing to comply with the law can mean waiving or delaying your claims.

We'll dive a bit deeper in our next post into steps for your condo owners association to take to get your construction defects resolved.

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