If you discovered a costly or dangerous construction defect in your home, you may be considering taking legal action to hold the builder responsible for their mistakes. However, it's important not to take too long making your decision, as Florida sets strict limits for how long homeowners have to file a lawsuit against a builder, developer, or contractor for construction defects. Known as statutes of limitation and repose, these laws specify exactly how long you have to initiate litigation. Once these statutes have expired so, too, does your ability to file a claim.
Florida Sets Strict Limits for How Long Homeowners Have to File a Lawsuit for Construction Defects
Florida law recognizes two main categories of construction defects: patent and latent. Patent defects are those which are visibly obvious once the building or renovation is complete, such as leaking windows, slanted flooring, peeling paint, or mold and mildew problems. Latent defects are those that are hidden and, as a result, can take many months or even years to discover, like structural failure, a cracking foundation, or dry rot and other framing issues.
The statute of limitations, which applies to patent defects, gives homeowners just four years from the date the defect was discovered (or should have been discovered) to file a lawsuit. The statute of repose, which applies to latent defects, is a period of 10 years following the latest of any of these events:
- The date the owner takes actual possession of the home
- The date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy
- The date the construction is abandoned (if not completed)
- The date of the home's completion or the termination of the contract between the employer and construction professional
The statute of repose differs from the statute of limitations in that the time period for bringing a case could potentially expire before the defect is even discovered.
Let Us Handle Your Construction Defects Case
At Good Life Legal Services, we work hard to help clients hold building professionals responsible for defects. Find out how we can help you. Contact us today to set an appointment for a free initial case review. Act quickly to avoid missing out on your chance to pursue a legal remedy for shoddy construction.