New Home Construction Lawsuits Florida

Florida House Passes Bill Shortening Time To File Home Construction Defect Lawsuits

New Home Construction Lawsuits Florida
New Home Construction (TFP File Photo)

The Florida House on Friday passed a bill that would shorten the time for residents to file lawsuits about construction defects in their homes. The House voted 89-8 to approve the bill (SB 360).

The Senate also passed the bill last week, but the House made a change Thursday that will send the measure back to the Senate.

The bill deals with a series of issues, including lawsuits about “latent” construction defects — essentially defects that can remain hidden from homeowners for years — and what is known in the legal world as a “statute of repose.”

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The bill, in part, would shorten the statute of repose for filing lawsuits about latent construction defects from 10 years to seven years.

House sponsor John Snyder, R-Stuart, said the bill is part of trying to address the state’s affordable-housing problems, as builders face high insurance costs because of litigation.

“What we’re trying to do is send real relief to the folks that are trying to address the (housing) supply issue in our state,” Snyder said. “We know it’s a market issue.”

But Rep. Ashley Gantt, a Miami Democrat who voted against the bill, said the bill could prevent homeowners from filing lawsuits for latent construction defects.

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“It will not give consumers enough time … for the defect to manifest itself and then for them to then seek recourse in the courts for being made whole,” Gantt said.

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