While Californians across the state welcome the rain, the amount of rain we got this past week has property managers and homeowners focused on soil stability and erosion control.
Construction defects can greatly reduce the value of your home or commercial property. Sometimes defects are obvious either during or shortly following construction, and they are addressed right away. In many other cases, property owners do not become aware of a defect until years later, once the defect begins to cause problems or is uncovered during an inspection as part of a real estate transaction.
Residents in California may benefit from understanding more about the laws concerning remedies for construction defects. State law prohibits legal action from being taken more than 10 years after completing any substantial improvements. California civil code cites several instances where a general contractor, builder, subcontractor, designer, supplier or other similar professionals may be excused from liability, loss or damages.
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.
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.
California residents may wish to know more about what parties may be held liable when a building contains defects. There are several parties that may be responsible for the defective construction, depending on the situation.
California residents may be interested in some information about how a developer may be liable for construction defects. These theories of liability allow a property owner to sue when the building was not properly constructed.
If you are buying or selling real estate in California, you should know that state law requires the seller of residential real estate to disclose any known construction defects to the buyer. Construction defects include problems with the roof, foundation and walls as well as any environmental hazards such as radon, mold or lead paint. Defects must also be disclosed for the plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems.
California State Senator Mark DeSaulnier has publically criticized the construction of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and asked for a criminal investigation to be conducted. The senator claims that the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, charged taxpayers $6.5 billion for the construction of a substandard bridge that was built in part by a Chinese firm.
The California Board of Equalization tower located in Sacramento is under legal fire with litigation threats on the horizon. The tower reportedly houses 2,200 employees and has suffered multiple issues since it was built more than twenty years ago. Those problems include floods, toxic mold, falling panels, hazardous chemicals and even bats.