FAQs About Chapter 558 Under Florida’s Construction Defects Statute
The Florida new construction industry has been in a boom in recent years, and contractors strive to keep up with demand as the trend continues. However, the uptick in projects has also opened the door to disputes over defective construction, including design errors, poor workmanship, and violations of building codes. Chapter 558 of Florida’s construction defects statute applies to these situations, creating a process for resolving disputes. There are certain requirements parties must meet before they can file a lawsuit based on defective construction, and going through these steps often allows them to avoid litigation.
Still, Florida contractors will need legal representation despite the fact that court may be unnecessary. Chapter 558 includes provisions on notices, deadlines, and other factors, so assistance from a Florida defective construction attorney is crucial. You can also review some answers to frequently asked questions about construction defects and your rights.
What constitutes a construction defect? The statute includes a specific definition, so a defect is any deficiency related to the work on a property from:
Installation of defective materials or supplies;
Building code violations linked to the work performed; and/or,
Flawed design specifications or plans that deviate from industry standards.
How does a Chapter 558 notice work? The point of the statute is to try to keep parties out of court, so the focus is on promoting communication and exchanging information about construction defects. As such, a property owner who claims a construction defect must provide the GC, subcontractor, suppliers, architects, or other design professionals with notice of the issue. This notice must be served at least 60 days prior to suing in court, and it must include a description of the defect with “reasonable” detail.
What happens after the notice is served? The statute imposes duties on the GC, subcontractor, or other party that was served with the notice, and there are short deadlines for completing these tasks. Within 30 days after receiving the notice, the party is permitted to perform an inspection to assess the alleged flaws. The contractor should also forward the notice to downstream parties which could be responsible for the defects.
How does a contractor respond to a Chapter 558 notice? Within 45 days after being served with notice, the contractor must also prepare a response to the property owner. Depending on the circumstances, an appropriate reply may be:
- An offer to remedy the flaw at no cost;
- Offering to pay for the defect to be repaired;
- An offer for an arrangement that combines payment and repairs; or,
- A written statement disputing the defect and refusing to fix it.
Our Florida Defective Construction Lawyer Can Explain Chapter 558
These answers to FAQs about Chapter 558 construction defects are useful as an overview, but you will need personalized advice if you are involved in a dispute. Our team at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. is knowledgeable about the statute, so we can advise you on how to proceed. Please call 561-626-8880 or visit our website to set up a consultation with a construction defects attorney at our offices in Jupiter, FL.