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Condominium Warranties and the Statute of Limitations

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It is important for all condominium purchasers to know the very strong warranties that come with their purchase of a condominium unit. A developer grants each first-time purchaser of a condominium unit implied warranties under Section 718.203, Florida Statutes. The warranties are for fitness of purchase and merchantability and commence upon the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy for the subject improvement and continue for three years or one year from turnover, whichever comes last, but in no event more than 5 years from C.O. There is also an implied warranty of fitness for purpose for contractors and suppliers providing labor and material to the construction of the Condominium improvements. This warranty commences upon the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy and continues for 3 years.

The warranty period should not be confused with the statute of limitations. An Association’s statute of limitations with regard to known defects is tolled until transition of the Association and expires 4 years from transition. This means that as to known defects, responsible parties have to be pursued within the 4 year period from transition. For latent defects, that is claims which are not known and cannot be discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence, suit can be brought for up to ten years from completion of each improvement. This means that so long as any suit is commenced within 4 years from the time the defects were discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of reasonable diligence, which shall not exceed 10 years, the suit will be timely.

Of course the Chapter 558, Florida Statutes, procedure may toll the statute of limitations, and I will discuss more about that next post.

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