By Alexander Barthet

Chapter 558, Florida’s Construction Defect Statute, has been in place since 2003 and many contractors have received claim notices issued pursuant to this statute. While bothersome, it has provided homeowners, contractors, design professionals and others who participate in the construction process a mechanism to try to resolve any claims of alleged defects prior to suit being filed.

You should know that recent changes in this law require claimants to be more detailed in setting out the alleged defects and to also include the insurance companies of the contractors and designers in each notice. Other revisions involve the broadening of the term “completion” to now include issuance of a temporary certificate of occupancy, the need to note the location of any alleged defect, and the submission of documentary evidence in support of the claimed defect (along with the right of a party to assert any privilege that would prevent such disclosure).

All in all, these changes do a good job of reinforcing the intent behind the statute – resolution versus litigation of any defect claim.

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