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Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida

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Holding contractors responsible for defective construction work

When Florida business owners acquire new commercial real estate, it can be an incredibly exciting time for the business. The new property may satisfy a long-existing need and allow the company to further grow its operations. For example, a business that has been seeking to expand can take advantage of the space and location afforded with the new property, which might enable additional hiring or some strategic competitive advantage.

At the same time, it is important for businesses to proceed cautiously when purchasing commercial real estate, as there is no shortage of pitfalls that can accompany the new property. Recently, this blog has discussed some steps that can be taken by business owners along these lines, such as properly drafting a purchase agreement that includes a number of provisions designed to protect the business.

There may also be other protections in place afforded under Florida law. For example, when an entirely new property is built for the business, the contractor may be held to certain warranties originating from the construction of the property. Typically, the contractor agrees that the materials and equipment used will be new and of good quality, unless there is some agreement or requirement to the contrary. The contractor also warrants that his work will be free from defects other than those specified or inherent in the work. Finally, the contractor warrants that the work will conform to the requirements of the parties’ contract.

These warranties can wind up being crucial if a dispute arises between the contractor and the owner as to the quality of the work that was performed. Given the costs of construction and the impact of delays and other factors, a business can suffer damages easily running hundreds of thousands of dollars from the poor construction. Accordingly, the warranties may provide a matter of recourse for the business to hold the contractor accountable for the defective work.

Source: American Bar Association, “The Myth of the One-Year Warranty and Other Construction Warranty Issues,” accessed on Oct. 8, 2016

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