When can you sue for condo defects?

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2019 | Real Estate Law

When you purchase a new construction condominium, you expect a problem-free experience and a home or investment you can enjoy for years to come. Unfortunately, if the builder poorly supervised construction or cut corners on labor or materials, you could end up with a problem property.

Depending on the situation, Maryland homeowners may be able to sue the builder for costs associated with condo defects.

Legal remedies

Condo defect lawsuits may fall under either breach of contract or tort laws. If a defective condo leads to illness or injury, such as mold growth within the walls or a balcony collapse, you could sue for personal injury under Maryland tort law. Breach of contract occurs when the builder fails to perform to the level specified in the contract.

When you discover a defect, start by talking to the builder. Document the issue with images and video as appropriate and note when and how you uncovered the issue. Depending on the terms of your unit warranty and other factors, they may agree to fix the defect. Otherwise, you may need to file a lawsuit to recoup damages caused by the defect to your new construction condo.

Statute of limitations

Regardless of whether you have a contract or tort case, you must file your claim within three years of discovering the defect. Otherwise, the court will dismiss your case because it is outside the statute of limitations. Maryland also maintains a statute of repose. This law limits construction defect claims to 20 years after the date of construction. In other words, if you bought a new construction home in 2016 and just found a defect in 2019, you have until 2021 to file a lawsuit. However, if you bought a home built in 2002 and find a defect in 2020, you only have until 2022 to file.

Act quickly when faced with a defect to your new construction home. Over time, even small issues can lead to big, expensive problems if left unrepaired.