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What Recourse Do I Have Against a Home Builder in Florida? – The Total Guide

28 Jun 2021

Florida law provides several remedies for homebuyers who need to deal with defects caused by builders or contractors while building a property. In this article, you will discover the legal recourses you have against a home builder in Florida. 

What Recourse Do I Have Against a Home Builder in Florida? – The Essentials 

In Florida, home construction is a multi-million-dollar business. Despite the economic recession in several real estate markets nationwide, the Sunshine State is standing strong, boosted by the activities of numerous builder-investors and an immense capital influx. 

Unfortunately, not all properties meet the highest standards in terms of quality, as builders seize opportunities to skimp materials or even choose lower quality raw materials to increase their profit rates. 

Anyone buying a property from a builder/contractor in Florida expects the home to be fit to live in, with all items working as they should and displaying a similar quality to other properties built/developed by the same individual/company.

Hence, if you bought a house in Florida but the roof is leaking, the air conditioning is not working, or the water is not coming out when you turn on the faucet, you can seek legal resources against the home builder in case. 

Quality of Construction in Florida – Are Homebuilders Exposed to Liability in Case of Failure? 

Like in many states nationwide, courts in Florida decided that people purchasing newly-built homes are entitled from the builder/developer that the premises are habitable and fit for their intended purpose, which is an implied warranty of fitness. 

Accordingly, an implied warranty of fitness demonstrates that the seller knows the buyer’s purpose for the property. Also, it shows the buyer relies on the seller to determine what he/she needs for that purpose.

Regardless if there are specific provisions in the purchase contract, warranties of fitness apply for all cases in which builders/developers fail to fulfill their duties. 

Enforcing a Builder’s Warranty in Florida – The Basic Steps 

Florida case law provides implied warranties of fitness. For those unaware, case law refers to provisions created by judges and their written decisions in court. 

Even though it is possible to enforce a builder’s warranty whether or not it is written on paper, the best approach is to have express warranties written within the purchase contract. 

In this sense, it is crucial to work with an expert title attorney to clarify the specific rights provided by an implied warranty of fitness, including the period in which they apply to the property and the specific items the builder is required to fix. 

Enforcing a Builder’s Warranty in Florida – Preparing the Paperwork

In essence, the ideal warranty should contain a promise that the builders’/contractors’ work will be free of defects and have full compliance with all requirements featured in the purchase agreement. 

If possible, it is good to include a term providing the builder/contractor is not allowed to use lesser-quality materials, as it could later compromise the quality of the construction. 

Plus, the warranty should establish that the buyer has a legal relationship with all contractors providing services on the property. This type of provision is crucial if you need to enforce a warranty against a builder in the future.

In any case, make sure to work with an expert title attorney to draft all warranties carefully. 

The language used in the terms and provisions needs to ensure you are protected, as courts in Florida have created several exceptions that excuse builders from providing services under a warranty – even if there are written warranties in the purchase agreement. 

Enforcing a Builder’s Warranty in Florida – It Is Crucial to Act in Time 

As provided by Florida Statutes, Chapter 558, builders/contractors involved in the construction of a property with defects must receive notice of any existing defects and an opportunity to fix them before the buyer can sue them. 

If possible, homeowners in Florida should notice builders/contractors within 15 days after discovering the defects. Also, Florida law has specific statutes of limitation, which require you to bring certain types of lawsuits to the court within a certain period. 

If your newly-built home has construction defects, you need to file a complaint within four years from the time you discovered (or should have discovered) the defect. 

Do You Need to Enforce a Warranty Against a Builder/Contractor in Florida? – We Can Help You

Enforcing a warranty against a builder/contractor can be a demanding task. At Marina Title, we have expert title attorneys that will assess your situation and find a feasible strategy to help you. 

Call us today at (305) 901-5628 or send us an email at Romy@MarinaTitle.com to get help immediately.

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