Chapter 558, Florida Statutes, the construction defect and notice statute, was changed by the legislature in the most recent term. The changes made by the legislature are as follows:
- The term “completion of a building or improvement” is now defined to include the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy or equivalent, or substantial completion. “service” was not previously defined.’s efforts to complete a project.
- Service of the Notice of Claim is to be by certified mail, hand delivery or courier with evidence of delivery.
- If the statutory notice is not provided then the court shall stay, not abate, the action.
- The notice requirement shall not interfere with the owner
- Notice is not required for a project that has not been completed.
- The trigger for the dates of completion under the statute are service rather than receipt of the notice.
- No construction lien rights shall accrue for destructive testing unless the owner contracts for the work.
- The timeframe within which information shall be exchanged is now to be within 30 days and includes specifications, as-built plans, photographs and expert reports.
- Chapter 558 shall apply to all contracts for improvements entered into after October 1, 2009.
The above changes are effective as of October 1, 2009. As always, if you are entering into a contract for construction work, or have claims relating to prior construction work, it is important to know your rights and remedies under the notice statute.