Chapter 95 of Florida Statutes sets forth time periods within which a party must bring suit for a deficiency in construction or flaws in the materials used during construction, otherwise known as construction defects. If the party does not file a lawsuit based on the discovery of a defect within the given time frames, any claims regarding the defect will be barred. Florida Statute 95.11 (3)(c) provides guidelines for how property owners and contractors should handle cases where a suspected defect is involved. If you have been given notice of a construction defect, it is recommended to speak with an experienced St. Petersburg construction lawyer who is familiar with defending against such claims to discuss your options on how to handle your case.
Statute of Limitations
In Florida, a lawsuit for construction defects must be brought to court within four years from the end of the project. The clock for the statute of limitations for construction defects typically starts when the owner takes possession of the property, when a certificate of occupancy is issued or when the contract is completed or terminated. If the defect is latent, hidden, or unable to be ascertained, the time frame for the statute of limitations begins on the date the defect was discovered or should have reasonably been discovered with due diligence. To determine when your statute of limitations begins, it is wise to consult a St. Petersburg construction attorney.
Statute of Repose
The statute of repose is ten years from the date of possession of the property by the owner, issuance of certificate of occupancy, date of abandonment of work, or the date of completion or termination of the contract between the engineer, architect, or licensed contractor and the employer, whichever is last to occur. Under no circumstances may a lawsuit be brought to court after ten years.
Right To Cure
Under Chapter 558, Florida Statutes, property owners are required to give contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, or design professionals written notification 60 days prior to filing a lawsuit to give notice of alleged construction defects. This notice allows contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, or design professionals a chance to correct the defect, offer a settlement, or a combination thereof to avoid legal action.
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.