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How long do I have to make a construction defect claim?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2021 | Construction Defects

When you pay money to a construction company to build you a property, you assume they will do the job well. Yet, sometimes things do not turn out as you hoped. When flaws are apparent, you can take action straight away, but what if you do not notice a problem for several years?  

Florida’s statute of limitations governs how long you have to file a lawsuit. For construction defects, you only have four years, except for latent defects, for which you have a maximum of 10 years. A latent defect is one that you would not expect a typical survey to spot. If you do not notice the issue and do not take action within the specified timeframe, there is little you can do. 

How do I file a construction defect claim?  

When you find a defect, you need to notify the person constructor, ideally within 15 days of discovering the issue. The contractor then has 30 days to inspect the damage and 45 days from when you notified them to reply, offering a way to settle the matter. The time scales are extended slightly for larger projects involving 20 parcels or more. The constructor could offer to repair the defect free of charge, compensate you, or a combination of the two. They might, however, reply that they do not accept responsibility, in which case you would need to file a lawsuit.  

You need to file the lawsuit within the four or 10-year statute of limitations, not just send the initial notification. If you are close to the time limit, the company responsible may try to delay things to push you outside the statute of limitations. As soon as you discover a defect, it is vital to get help to take the appropriate legal steps quickly.