Category: Defective Work

Tips for Dealing with a Construction Defect Claim in a Condominium

Typically, the condominium purchaser would look to the common law warranty of fitness and merchantability for relief on a defect claim, specifically alleging as grounds that the unit does not meet building and zoning codes or that the construction was not completed in a workmanlike fashion, that the plans and specifications were not fit for their intended use or simply that the premises are unfit and uninhabitable. However, the statutory implied warranty of fitness and merchantability, which runs from the developer, contractor, and subcontractors to the purchaser of the unit, can be one of the most powerful legal tools. The ... Read more

What is the Difference Between an Obvious and a Hidden Defect?

A patent defect is open and obvious – one which can be discovered after inspection. On the other hand, a latent defect is one that is hidden or concealed, and which is not discoverable by reasonable inspection. A latent defect becomes patent when it is discovered or should have been discovered. Whether a defect is patent or latent is generally decided on a case by case basis, although Florida has determined that certain defects, such as leaky roofs, are necessarily patent and obvious. Determining when a defect becomes patent is important because it impacts the statute of limitations – the ... Read more

Who Has to Disclose a Defect?

Frank Firstbuyer purchased a vacant waterfront lot, intending to build his home there. However, shortly after closing, he was advised that the southern edge of the property contained a number of invasive trees which would have to be removed. Building officials told him that before he could obtain a building permit, he would have to stabilize the land where the trees were located. Firstbuyer complied with these requirements but ultimately decided to purchase an existing home in a different area and put the lot up for sale. The following year Stephen Secondbuyer purchased the property from Firstbuyer. The property was ... Read more