During yesterday’s Denver Business Journal’s State of the Cities forum, the mayors of Denver and Aurora agreed there needs to be changes to the state’s construction defect laws.  Claiming that there is too much liability risk for builders, developers and subcontractors because it is easy for associations to sue for defects, particularly in condominiums.  Mayor Hancock said that the existing law “has chilled owner-occupied development for quite some time now.”  Mayor Hogan explained that the focus should be on building communities, not rental properties.

3 responses to “More Evidence that Construction Defect Bill Likely
  1. Are you kidding me? I agree with Anonymous. The mayors’ statements clearly demonstrate that they are in the pockets of the developers. About 9 years ago, the legislature passed construction-defect “reform” that makes it nearly impossible for anyone (HOA or individual) to prevail in construction-defect cases. That bill severely limited the rights of consumers, and imposed strict time frames in which each step of the lawsuit process has to be completed. And now there is “too-much liability risk” for builders and contractors? Excuse me? Did I miss something? My only hope is that legislation will be introduced this session, while both houses are under the control of the Democrats. That is our only hope of protecting the public from rape by big business!
  2. It is understandable that the local governments would like to develop longstanding communities and generate growth in their cities. I just don’t think that construction defect legislation is the most effective format for this improvement. By changing CD standards, builders and developers may find opportunities to jump into this growing market and not only contribute to urban sprawl, but also build sub-standard communities that the residents will be stuck with due to limited legal recourse. What the Greater Denver area needs is thoughtful urban planning with an emphasis on walkability, quality, safety and environmental impact. These are all trending in the apartment industry, why not ours? When the local governments incentivize good building practices instead of poor ones, residents will be happier, communities will develop and Denver will grow.
  3. Does this law need changes? Absolutely, but those changes need to strengthen the law, not weaken it. A good contractor has little to fear if he builds according to design and specifications, and does the work well that he is being paid for. The problem is that some contractors are willing to take short-cuts and do shoddy work when they know the defect may not show up for years. We have witnessed construction defects over nearly every aspect of construction and the general contractors defense is always the same, it was the subs fault, or a bad design, or…. the list goes on. We recently served as an expert witness in a $15M claim where the work was so bad that entire roads had to be replaced, should the homeowner be told “sorry, it’s your problem now?”
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