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Steps to take after discovering a construction defect

Years go by from the moment a Florida developer decides to build condominiums to the moment the project is finished and units are put onto the market. A sense of relief typically washes over the developer, general contractor, subcontractors, designers and others who were deeply involved in the venture. But that feeling can be fleeting.

Far too often, reports start trickling in about problems with some of the condos. Contractors will often fix those at their own expense ASAP, while condominium owners' associations experiencing more significant construction or design defects often find that developers and contractors resist efforts to get the to address the issues. After all, more time and money are involved in addressing those more complex defects.

That is when it becomes important for condo associations to manage the problems carefully and correctly to ensure that defects are fixed by the contractor or to ensure that owners are compensated for costs of repairs they undertake themselves.

We recently read an article that went over some of the steps to take and things for associations to remember as they discover construction defects.

One of the most important things to remember is to hang on to evidence of the problems. So after the association has discovered a problem and notified the developer and contractor about the problem, and given them the chance to fix it, allow them the chance to inspect the structure and defect before any steps are taken by the association or condo owner to fix the issue. A failure to preserve evidence could result in a court later entering a spoliation instruction.

What's a spoliation instruction? It is an instruction by the court to a jury that it can presume that the destroyed evidence would have been unfavorable to those who destroyed it. In this case, the condo owners association.

We'll take a look at more steps to take to ensure defect repairs or compensation in a future post.

Those facing construction defect disputes should contact a Florida law firm experienced in protective construction litigation.

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