The Lakewood City Council is set to hold public hearings on October 13 regarding a proposed city ordinance 0-2014-21 that will make it harder for community associations in Lakewood to sue for construction defects. Lakewood Mayor Bob Murphy has said, according to a Denver Post story, that the ordinance is critical for bringing more diverse housing options to Lakewood especially around stations along the RTD West Rail Line. The same justification has been made by several mayors throughout the greater Denver area over the last several months.  If you are concerned about limitations on your rights to sue for improper construction we suggest you reach out to both your city officials as well as your state representatives and senators as we are expected another effort by builders to get state-wide legislation passed when the State legislature opens in January.

5 responses to “Construction Defects Dead in Lakewood?
  1. Hi Loura,
    When I lived in Grant Ranch…I was the “one person” who pushed Richmond & most other builders into fixing the underdrain screw ups that virtually involved every owner in Grant Ranch. I tried to get the “Best class action liar in town” to take on all the builders in Grant Ranch, and guess what, nope there just wasn’t a case. So, I then took up the fight basically by myself. With little or no help from the Grant Ranch HOA or board of witch I was a member. After two years, I was able to help about half of the 1501 home owners get some remediation done by builders. I found it very hard to convince owners that the builders could have been so stupid. Once I convinced Judy Simonson /Grant Water & sanitation that owners where becoming informed she sort-of helped take on the fight.

    Strange, I don’t remember you or your company helping any of us.

    I think you’d just arrived on the maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt. Tell me why any owner would believe an HOA legal firm, would actually be there to help an owner? My question is why all of a sudden are you interested in helping “owners” with construction defects? As far as I know you are paid by HOA’s, and HOA’s typically don’t really help owners struggle with Builders. In fact as you know HOA’s are created by Builders to block owners from really fixing construction defects, thereby allowing the builder walk on down the road with most of their money banked.
    Lee H. DeMary

  2. I’m at a loss as to why such an ordinance should be at all necessary. All of these Municipalities have a Building Department. All of these Municipalities REQUIRE permits for New, Remodeled and Additional Construction. All of these Municipalities have Building Inspectors on the payroll to make sure that NO Shoddy Construction Work is being done and that the Contractor is following ALL the Construction Codes. So how could there possibly be Construction Defects when everything must be approved and inspected by the Municipalities throughout the entire Construction Process? Oh I see, the Inspectors that draw my tax dollars as wages are INCOMPETENT and LAZY, plus the Administration that they work for is only interested in the revenue that the Building Permits generate and could care less about what kind of Construction Work is being done on the projects that the Building Permits cover.
  3. I find this topic very interesting. Are we certain developers are not building condos because of the legislation passed in 2005, or is it because of the stringent FHA requirements? I was of the impression that the 2005 legislation, which was opposed by everyone in our industry, made it more difficult for CICs to sue and recover in construction-defect cases. That law, as I recall, imposed narrow restrictions, time-frames and statutes of limitation, which were intended to tilt the scales in favor of developers. (Which it did!) Now, all of a sudden, I’m supposed to believe that legislation made it harder on developers? How can this be? That legislation was proposed by builders who lobbied heavily for it, over the objections of our attorneys, communities and CAI. I distinctly recall, when our community had numerous defects and we reviewed them with 2 different asttorneys, both said “If you’re contemplating a suit, you’d better do so now, before this proposed law passes, otherwise you will have few chances of prevailing.” The republican-controlled General Assembly and governor’s office were only-too eager to pass this legislation on behalf of their developer buddies. Maybe someone can clarify what the real problem is, because I’m not buying any of this. What is it, exactly, that the builders’ lobby now wants, and why is it attempting to extort us? This having been said, I don’t think a city, even a home-rule one, has the authority to pass an ordinance that circumvents a state law. I would like to see some of our Democratic friends in the General Assembly pass a law that is fair to developers without being overly burdensome to the homeowners. Of course, I’m of the naive opinion that, if a builder builds a decent product, there would be no need for a suit. None of us should be forced to live with the defects that our community was stuck with, and which continue to plague us, even to this very day, ten years later!
  4. While I am generally for consumer protection, I have to question the current state laws. The consequence of the current laws seem to be that new construction for dwellings that would be governed by community associations have virtually disappeared. I either have to believe that all the construction companies in Colorado are corrupt and incapable of building reasonably defect free dwellings, or that the laws have gone too far by making it much too costly to construct these types of dwellings in comparison to building dwellings that will not be governed by community associations. It will be tricky business designing a law that will retain reasonable consumer protection while bringing down the current cost of construction, but it is a change I think is necessary.
  5. Yes, CDARA was sponsored by the building industry and is in the Developer Builder arena as more friendly. Since that right to repair was enacted, less than 10 percent of the work we see actually was corrected by a Builder/Developer. In the same light, we appreciate that the opportunity ALREADY exists for this remedy. As to arbitration, do not be fooled, it is neither less expensive, or typically rated as fair to the consumer. The rules of arbitration, being less strict allow for more work, more attorney fees, and longer time frames for decisions. As to the inspectors, we HOPE that they can be relied on, and we HOPE they care. However with state and local immunity (they are indemnified and have no actual responsibility) a Builder/Developer should only cautiously rely on the inspections. They win on interpretations as well, so they get final call without any real risk. We should not lose further rights as individuals, buyers or members of HOA’s. This legislation is simply unnecessary and all BUYERS BEWARE if you purchase in a town that allows such relaxed standards. As to costs of construction, there should be no difference to have done it right in the first place. The cost to repair defective work is in fact 10 fold the original cost to have done it right. You cannot judge awards against the fact the Developer/Owner thought they were paying for quality workmanship in the first place. Just this Engineers opinion, and everyone has their right to their own. Have a great day.
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