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    Florida Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: In Title XXXIII Chapter 558, the Florida Legislature establishes a requirement that homeowners who allege construction defects must first notify the construction professional responsible for the defect and allow them an opportunity to repair the defect before the homeowner canbring suit against the construction professional. The statute, which allows homeowners and associations to file claims against certain types of contractors and others, defines the type of defects that fall under the authority of the legislation and the types of housing covered in thelegislation. Florida sets strict procedures that homeowners must follow in notifying construction professionals of alleged defects. The law also establishes strict timeframes for builders to respond to homeowner claims. Once a builder has inspected the unit, the law allows the builder to offer to repair or settle by paying the owner a sum to cover the cost of repairing the defect. The homeowner has the option of accepting the offer or rejecting the offer and filing suit. Under the statute the courts must abate any homeowner legal action until the homeowner has undertaken the claims process. The law also requires contractors, subcontractors and other covered under the law to notify homeowners of the right to cure process.

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    Commercial and Residential Contractors License Required.

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    Tri-County Home Builders
    Local # 1073
    PO Box 420
    Marianna, FL 32447

    Ponce de Leon Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Tallahassee Builders Association Inc
    Local # 1064
    1835 Fiddler Court
    Tallahassee, FL 32308

    Ponce de Leon Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Building Industry Association of Okaloosa-Walton Cos
    Local # 1056
    1980 Lewis Turner Blvd
    Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

    Ponce de Leon Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Home Builders Association of West Florida
    Local # 1048
    4400 Bayou Blvd Suite 45
    Pensacola, FL 32503

    Ponce de Leon Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Florida Home Builders Association (State)
    Local # 1000
    PO Box 1259
    Tallahassee, FL 32302

    Ponce de Leon Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Columbia County Builders Association
    Local # 1007
    PO Box 7353
    Lake City, FL 32055

    Ponce de Leon Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Northeast Florida Builders Association
    Local # 1024
    103 Century 21 Dr Ste 100
    Jacksonville, FL 32216

    Ponce de Leon Florida Building Consultant 10/ 10

    Building Consultant News and Information
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    With VA Mechanic’s Liens Sometimes “Substantial Compliance” is Enough (but don’t count on it) [UPDATE]

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    The Ponce de Leon, Florida Building Consultant Group is comprised from a number of credentialed construction professionals possessing extensive trial support experience relevant to construction defect and claims matters. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to the nation's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, Fortune 500 builders, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, and a variety of state and local government agencies.

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    Ponce de Leon, Florida

    Six Reasons to Use Regular UAV Surveys on Every Construction Project

    October 14, 2019 —
    UAVs are the future of the construction industry. From accurate 3D modeling simulations to regular safety and maintenance checks, UAVs can improve construction projects in many ways—and the value and applications for UAVs is consistently growing. Drones are agile, cost-effective and safe. Here are some reasons why UAV surveys should be part of any construction project. 1. UAV scans are much faster than human inspections Drones can cover large territory much faster than human inspectors can. They can also be used over more difficult terrain, and they can survey areas that are otherwise inaccessible. A drone survey can be completed in a day; not only does this mean that the territory is well-surveyed each time, but it also means surveys can be done more frequently. Construction projects need to be inspected regularly and on time if the project is to meet its deadlines. Delayed construction projects can cost a company millions of dollars, as construction projects need to be completed stage by stage, usually on a strict timeline. Drones will improve the consistency of the project and, in turn, this will improve the reputation of the company itself. Reprinted courtesy of Dustin Price, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Dreyer v. Am. Natl. Prop. & Cas. Co. Or: Do Not Enter into Nunn-Agreements for Injuries that Occurred After Expiration of the Subject Insurance Policy

    January 20, 2020 —
    While Nunn-Agreements[1] may be appealing for both plaintiffs and defendants where an insurer unreasonably fails to defend a lawsuit, a recent opinion from The Honorable Marcia Krieger in the United States District Court of Colorado[2] (“Opinion”) demonstrates the importance of first confirming that there exists a viable insurance claim before proceeding with such a Nunn- Agreement. The facts giving rise to the Opinion were as follows. In March 2015, a Homeowner couple (the “Homeowners”) suffered damages to their home resulting from a brushfire. Fortunately, the Homeowners were insured, they submitted their claim to their homeowners’ insurance carrier which was in effect at the time of the brushfire (the “Insurance Carrier”), and the Insurance Carrier paid the claim. Ostensibly as part of the Homeowners’ remediation efforts to their home they removed a large bush which left a hole in the ground. After paying the claim, in August 2015 the Insurance Carrier cancelled or elected not to renew the Homeowners’ policy. In October 2015, a repairman working on the Home (the “Repairman”) was injured after his ladder fell over allegedly because of the hole in the ground caused by the bush that had been removed. As a result of injuries caused by the fall from the ladder, the Repairman brought suit against the Homeowners. In response to the Repairman’s claim, the Homeowners again tendered to their Insurance Carrier. This time, however, the Insurance Carrier denied coverage on the basis that the Repairman’s injuries occurred after the expiration of the relevant policy. Without insurance coverage, the Homeowner’s entered into a Nunn-Agreement with the Repairman, conceding liability, and assigning any claims they might have had against the Insurance Carrier in lieu of execution of any judgment against the Homeowners. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Jean Meyer, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC
    Mr. Meyer may be contacted at

    When is a “Notice of Completion” on a California Private Works Construction Project Valid? Why Does It Matter for My Collection Rights?

    January 27, 2020 —
    What is a Notice of Completion? A “notice of completion” is a document recorded by the owner of property where construction work was performed. Specifically, it is recorded at the Office of the County Recorder in the County where the work was performed. The notice of completion tells the world at large that the construction project is complete. It also triggers the deadlines for those who have not been paid to make their claims for payment. Is an Owner of a California Private Works Project Required to Record a Notice of Completion? No, there is no requirement that an owner of a California private works construction project record a Notice of Completion. However, there are consequences which depend on whether an Owner elects to record the notice or not. For My Collection Rights, Why Does it Matter Whether a Notice of Completion Has Been Recorded? The date of recording of a valid notice of completion sets the deadline for those who have not been paid for work performed and materials supplied to a California construction project to pursue such important collection remedies as the “mechanics lien”, the “stop payment notice” and the “payment bond claim.” These are very powerful collection remedies for those who have not been paid. If the deadline to pursue these remedies is missed by a claimant, then the claimant’s right to pursue these remedies is also missed. One of these remedies, the mechanics lien, will enable the claimant to sell the owner’s property where the work was performed in order to get paid. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of William L. Porter, Porter Law Group
    Mr. Porter may be contacted at

    Singapore Unveils Changes to Make Public Housing More Affordable

    September 23, 2019 —
    Singapore may increase its supply of public housing next year as the city-state introduced measures Tuesday aimed at making such homes more affordable. Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said the measures would help more Singaporeans from lower to upper-middle income households buy their first homes. The Housing & Development Board, which is the body responsible for public housing, would probably have to increase supply in 2020 to meet the additional demand expected to stem from the changes, according to a joint statement from MND and HDB. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Katrina Nicholas & Joyce Koh, Bloomberg

    Traub Lieberman Partners Lenhardt and Smith Obtain Directed Verdict in Broward County Failed Repair Sinkhole Trial

    September 03, 2019 —
    On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, Traub Lieberman Partners Michael Lenhardt and Burks Smith won a Directed Verdict at trial in a dispute over Sinkhole Loss coverage in Broward County Circuit Court. The lawsuit arose out of a claim for Breach of Contract involving an alleged “failed repair” of a 2005 sinkhole at the insureds’ property. The Plaintiffs argued that their Policy Limits did not apply because the carrier allegedly undertook the subsurface repairs, relying on Drew v. Mobile USA Ins. Co., 920 So.2d 832 (Fla. 4thDCA 2006). The Plaintiffs asserted that because the insurance company allegedly hired the below ground repair company, a “new contract” was formed, and the Plaintiffs should be entitled to limitless repairs to their home, notwithstanding the Policy Limits. This argument obviously presented the carrier with very significant exposure. Attorneys Lenhardt and Smith provided a vigorous defense for the insurance company at trial, during which they presented the jury with evidence that the carrier did not, in fact, hire the subsurface repair company. They further established to the jury that the insureds actually signed a contract with the repair company directly, and that the defendant did not invoke the Our Option repair clause of the Policy. After the Plaintiffs rested their case, Mr. Lenhardt and Mr. Smith moved the Court for entry of a directed verdict. The defense argued to the Court that the Plaintiffs could not prove their case to the jury based upon the facts presented as a matter of law, thus entitling the insurance company to a defense verdict. Reprinted courtesy of Michael Francis Lenhardt, Traub Lieberman and Burks A. Smith, III, Traub Lieberman Mr. Lenhardt may be contacted at Mr. Smith may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    New York Court Holds That the “Lesser of Two” Doctrine Limits Recoverable Damages in Subrogation Actions

    September 23, 2019 —
    In New York Cent. Mut. Ins. Co. v. TopBuild Home Servs., Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69634 (April 24, 2019), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently held that the “lesser of two” doctrine applies to subrogation actions, thereby limiting property damages to the lesser of repair costs or the property’s diminution in value. In New York Cent. Mut. Ins. Co., New York Central Mutual Insurance Company’s (New York Central) insureds, Paul and Karen Mazzola, suffered a fire to their home. After the fire, New York Central paid the Mazzolas $708,465.74 to repair the property. New York Central brought a subrogation action against TopBuild Home Services, Inc. (TopBuild), alleging that the fire was caused by negligent work performed by TopBuild. New York Central sought to recover the repair costs it paid to the Mazzolas. TopBuild conceded liability but disputed the proper measure of damages. TopBuild filed a motion for partial summary judgment, arguing that under the “lesser of two” doctrine, New York Central could recover only the lesser of the costs to repair the property or the property’s diminution in value. TopBuild, therefore, asserted that New York Central was not entitled to the repair costs of $708,465.74 but, rather, could recover only the property’s decline in value following the fire – approximately $250,000.[1] In response, New York Central argued that New York’s “lesser of two” doctrine does not apply to subrogation actions because an insurance company cannot mitigate the payment it makes to its insured. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Michael L. DeBona, White and Williams LLP
    Mr. DeBona may be contacted at

    DC Circuit Rejects Challenge to EPA’s CERCLA Decision Regarding Hardrock Mining Industry

    September 23, 2019 —
    In a decision that will likely be welcomed by the electrical power, chemical manufacturing, and petroleum and coal products manufacturing industries, on July 19, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held in the case of Idaho Conservation League et al., v. Wheeler, that EPA acted reasonably in deciding not to issue CERCLA financial responsibility regulations for the hardrock mining industry. CERCLA (a.k.a., Superfund) was enacted in 1980 and amended in 1986, and Section 108(b) of CERCLA provides that EPA shall promulgate requirements that classes of facilities establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility “consistent with the degree and duration of risk” associated with the production, transportation, treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous substances. However, no action was taken to implement Section 108(b) until 2009, and then only as the result of litigation challenging EPA’s failure to act. EPA and the petitioners agreed to a schedule by which the agency would propose financial responsibility rules for the hardrock mining industry—which was the initial class of industry facilities selected for the possible application of these rules—and the DC Circuit approved this schedule in 2016, which contained the court’s caveat that EPA retained the discretion not to issue any rule at the conclusion of the rulemaking. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
    Mr. Cavender may be contacted at

    Is Your Home Improvement Contract Putting You At Risk?

    February 10, 2020 —
    If you are like many contractors, odds are that your home improvement contract (HIC) is not compliant with California law, putting you at risk for disciplinary action, voiding of the contract, and even criminal prosecution. Generally, the laws allow parties to contract how they wish. However, California HICs are an exception and California Business and Professions Code (BPC) requires much in the way of content, form and formatting for a HIC to meet the legal requirements. This is because California has written its laws to provide broad protections to homeowners when it comes to construction work performed at their residence. However, in attempting to promote this goal, the laws surrounding HICs have produced requirements that are confusing and fail to account for the realities of a home improvement project, making it difficult and uncomfortable for contractors to comply. A HIC is required for home improvement projects that change a residence or property. Specifically, the law defines a “home improvement” as “the repairing, remodeling, altering, converting, or modernizing of, or adding to, residential property and shall include, but not be limited to, the construction, erection, replacement or improvement of driveways, swimming pools, including spas and hot tubs, terraces, patios, awnings, storm windows, landscaping, fences, porches, garages, fallout shelters, basements, and other improvements of the structures or land which is adjacent to a dwelling house.” (BPC section 7151.) A HIC is not required for new residential construction; for work priced at $500 or less; the sale, installation, and service of a fire alarm or burglar system; or a service and repair contract (which has its own requirements). When a HIC is used, BPC section 7159 specifies certain content, form, and format requirements, all of which must be followed to produce a compliant HIC. While this article will not discuss all of these requirements, it will discuss some of the problems commonly seen in HICs. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Hannah Kreuser, Porter Law Group
    Ms. Kreuser may be contacted at