State of Florida House Bill 1089 Gives Developers Advantages

It is important to note that when a project is initiated as a rental/apartment complex and the developer, somewhere along the way, decides to make the project a condominium, then House Bill 1089 gives them certain, arguably inequitable advantages, at the buyer’s and community association’s expense.

HB 1089 (Construction Contracting)

1. Provides that the statutory condominium warranties given as a matter of law to condominium associations by developers and contractors DO NOT APPLY when construction begins before the project is designated by the developer as a condominium.

This is a significant change in the law providing that statutory condominium warranties will not be given to associations if a project begins as an apartment building and is subsequently converted to a condominium while construction is ongoing.

2. Lawsuits for construction defects must be filed within four years of completion of construction, except claims for latent defects, which must be filed within four years of discovery and, under no circumstances, more than ten years after completion of construction.

This may be relevant to buyers at Cite, which was formely Village on Bayshore Dr (rental) and Opera Tower and 1800 Club, which were both initially planned to be rental and, subsequently, changed to condominium. The significance is that if there are construction defects, it will be more difficult to sue the developer and, in some cases where law suits are not feasible, get the orignal contractor to even fix the defect under warranty. In other words, the incoming condominium association is liable.

construction defects are more the exception than the rule, but now-a-days one can almost come to expect certain developer shortcomings and construction defects. HB 1089 does nothing to protect the consumer. In fact, it is the unit owner’s bank account that will have to fund any construction defect for such communities.

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