If you're like a lot of people here in California, you may have purchased a house with the intent to fix it up in order to sell it for a profit. While some homeowners would rather make renovations on their own, others feel more comfortable hiring professionals to do the work for them.
California residents may have civil remedies available to them when they suffer injury, loss or damage caused by structural or other construction related issues. These issues could develop either during the construction of a property or after the building work has been completed. This kind of legal action may be brought on behalf of either property buyers or sellers, and it is frequently the result of pertinent information being withheld during the sales process.
On this blog, we like to answer questions posed to us by our readers. One such question, put forward back in February, asked: when can a contractor file a lien in California? In the post following that question, we explained the steps a California resident needs to take in order to file a mechanics lien in a timely fashion or risk losing their right to file a lawsuit at all.
A statute of limitations is the amount of time that can pass before a lawsuit can no longer be filed. In California, there are two statutes of limitations for construction defect causes of action depending on the type. One applies to patent defects and the other to latent defects. Patent defects are those which are visible upon inspection, and latent ones are hidden or not immediately obvious. The statute of limitations for patent defects is four years, and it includes lawsuits related to surveying, planning, design or supervision. However, a lawsuit may still be filed if damage, injury or death took place in the fourth year, so long it is within a year of the incident and not more than five years after substantial completion. This statute of limitations does not apply to owner-occupied single-unit residences.