The Developer has Agreed to Make Repairs—What Steps Should I Take to Protect My Rights?
Construction is complicated. As a project nears completion, it is not uncommon for property owners to request repairs from the developer or the lead contractor. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that there will be a legal dispute in every case; far from it. Often, developers and/or contractors will agree to make the requested repairs.
That being said, even when the developer/contractor is extremely cooperative in addressing your proposed repairs, you still need to take action to protect your legal rights and financial interests. Here, our West Palm Beach construction law attorneys highlight four important steps that you need to take if a developer or contracting company has agreed to repair a construction defect.
- Be Sure You are Getting a Fair Deal
Companies should repair defects in accordance with the terms of the initial agreement. You do not have to accept a substandard repair or partial repairs. If there are defects on the project, it is your right to seek a remedy. When you raise the issue with a developer or a contractor, make sure that you are getting them to agree to repair everything that needs to be fixed. If they only agree to make partial repairs, and you accept those substandard repairs, this may inadvertently harm your ability to bring a legal claim.
- Get Everything in Writing
In construction law, an oral promise is meaningful—but it is not ideal. If there is a significant defect that needs to be repaired, it is best to try to get an acknowledgement of the problem and the agreement to fix the defect in writing. The more formalized and comprehensive the written agreement, the easier it will be to enforce should a dispute arise. A good rule of thumb is to get everything you can down in writing.
- Document Both the Defects and the Repairs
When you discover a construction defect, it is imperative that you take the time to carefully document the problem. Take photos and take notes. Additionally, if repair efforts are made, you should document that repair. If the problem remains, you have a right to escalate the matter—the documentation that you have will be extremely useful in getting the problem resolved.
- Take Immediate Action to Report Problems
Finally, any problems with the repair efforts—or the lack of repair efforts—should be immediately addressed. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 558.001), there are strict deadlines for bringing a construction defect claim. You must notify the developer and/or contractor as soon as possible regarding the problem. If you fail to meet the state’s notification requirements, you may not be eligible to bring a construction defect claim.
Call Our West Palm Beach, FL Commercial Litigation Attorneys Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach commercial litigation attorneys have extensive experience handling construction law matters. If you are in a dispute over construction repairs, we are ready to help. Call our West Palm Beach office or Miami office now to set up a confidential, no obligation initial consultation. We represent businesses and property owners throughout the region.