If you are a building contractor or developer, a construction defect claim could harm your professional reputation and ability to earn income. Furthermore, going to court can be expensive and time-consuming.
Fortunately, there are ways to defend yourself when facing a construction defect claim. In addition, you can proactively implement changes that help you prevent future claims.
Construction defect claim defenses
There are several legal defenses that can assist contractors who are facing construction defect claims. Under Utah law, plaintiffs must file defect claims within six years of the project’s completion. Claims made outside this limitation might not be defensible in court. In addition, the claimants should give contractors notice after discovering a defect and allow them a chance to fix the error.
You can also attempt to argue that the construction defect is not a result of your work. It is possible that another builder or a subcontractor caused the mistake. Furthermore, some natural phenomena, including wear over time and weather events, contribute to construction issues. The property owner is responsible for protecting the building from damage after the project is complete.
Preventing construction defect claims
When you construct a building, imperfections are inevitable. Hiring experienced builders, purchasing quality materials and using best practices on the worksite can all decrease the likelihood of a mistake. However, accidents can occur, and even excellent contractors and developers can sometimes face defect claims. Therefore, keeping thorough records and drafting contracts that help you defend yourself from claimants is useful. In addition, providing warranties to your clients and giving them a formal method for making complaints can help deflect legal disputes.
Construction defect claims can be disruptive and costly. However, you can utilize many legal defense options and strategies to avoid future legal issues.