So, you’re the proud owner of a new condominium unit, but you have a problem. Water is leaking from the roof, half the electric outlets don’t work, some of the walls have cracks, and the railing is loose on your balcony and you’re afraid to use it. It’s not likely anyone would experience all those problems, but these are issues that sometimes happen in multi-unit properties when someone doesn’t do their job properly or inferior materials are used during construction.
What can you do?
The first thing you want to do is check with other owners and the association to see if your problems are isolated or if they are happening to others. In most cases there will be warranties from the original developer and/or contractor so you’ll want to see if they are in effect and report the defects to the appropriate party. When victims of construction defects encounter resistance to remedy the problems, they often don’t know what to do.
Strength in Numbers
If other owners are having similar problems it is usually more cost-effective to form a group and move forward with action to (a) find the cause of the defects and (b) determine what legal rights you have for relief. There may be a legal time limit for bringing issues to the attention of the developer. There also may be a time limit related to a legal statute of limitations, depending on the state.
You’re going to want to consult with two experts when dealing with construction defects, one should be an engineer and one should be an attorney. The engineer should be someone with significant experience with construction defects and the attorney should also understand the areas of builder warranties, construction law, and have a successful track record winning decisions for homeowners.
Important: If the cost to retain experts is higher than the cost of the work that needs to be done, please consider if it’s worth it to proceed.
Condominium Construction Defects Expert Witness
A consultation with a construction expert is probably the wise first step, and Justin Hall P.E. handles initial calls at no cost. Call 501-240-9213 for a free phone consultation.