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What are my options for construction defects on my property?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2022 | REAL ESTATE LAW - Real Estate Law

In Georgia, part of purchasing and owning real estate is having repairs, maintenance and improvements done. This is true for residential and commercial property. As with any construction project, there is always a chance that it will not go as planned.

For owners who spot construction defects, it is important to be fully aware of what rights they have and what the contractor is obligated to do to fix the problem. In these cases, it is always wise to have a basic understanding of the law and to have help if obstacles arise.

How the Right to Repair Act impacts construction defects in Georgia

When a property owner finds a construction defect, they can take steps based on the Right to Repair Act. The contractor must be informed in writing a minimum of 90 days before filing a legal claim. The notice must say that there is a claim for construction defects and it is being sent because it is the law to do so. The defects must be listed. If, for example, there is water damage or mold, it must inform the contractor of this. Evidence and inspection reports should be provided.

In some cases, more defects are found after the notice has been sent. If that happens, there must be a separate notice. The contractor will be given 30 days to reply. They have the right to settle without an inspection or to inspect the damage. They can repair the damage, make a financial settlement or both. The contractor might also inspect the property and say there is no defect.

The property owner can reject the offer the contractor has made. The contractor will then have 15 days to make another offer to fix or pay for the construction defect. The owner can just decide to reject all offers outright and after all of the requirements have been met, file a lawsuit. The court will look at the offer and decide if it is reasonable. If it was found to be reasonable, the legal remedies will be limited and no attorney’s fees can be paid.

With construction defects, it is wise to have help with real estate law

Contractors and property owners have the same objective of a project being completed to the satisfaction of the owner. However, that does not always come to fruition and problems arise. Often, this can be settled through discussion and negotiation.

In some cases, however, there is endless dispute and the case must go to court. Property owners should have professional assistance under these circumstances. Consulting with those who understand real estate law can be helpful throughout the process.