The Atlanta, Georgia, home defect and construction defect lawyers, at our firm strongly advocate you immediately seek legal representation upon finding any hidden defect(s) in your home. A latent (hidden) construction defect is one that could not have been discovered upon a reasonable inspection. Although these defects are not usually readily apparent, once discovered they usually will impact your home’s fair market value. Some examples include structural damage, defective building materials, soil damage, roof damage and termite infestation. Once you have knowledge of the defect, you should act and seek a legal remedy to your problem. Not acting or ignoring the problem could affect the legal rights and remedies available to you.
Oftentimes, Georgia homeowners are devastated when they discover serious home defects months or even years after they have moved into their home. In my practice as a Atlanta, Georgia, new construction defect attorney, I have had many clients come to me who think they are out of luck when they discover a latent defect in their new home.
Thus, the questions arises — What should homeowners do if they discover latent defects but the homebuilder or seller can not be located or will not correct the problem upon request. The first step is to contact an experienced Atlanta construction lawyer to evaluate your options. I have helped numerous homeowners locate the parties responsible for their home’s defects and obtain just compensation in order to repair the defects and/or compensate them for their home’s diminished value. Determining the identity of the party responsible for losses as the result of latent defects can be challenging.
First, under Georgia law, sellers have a duty to disclose all latent defects that are known and could not be discovered by a diligent inspection of the property. Often latent defects – such as improper installation of roof shingles – are not something that an independent inspector should be expected to locate during an inspection. As a result, if sellers know of the defect, they have the burden of disclosure. If sellers fail to disclose a defect, they may be held responsible for the homeowner’s loss. Types of claims may include fraudulent concealment, fraudulent inducement, misrepresentation, and breach of contract.
Where the construction defect occurs in a newly built home, potential defendants include general contractors, developers, and builders. Sometimes architects and designers may be responsible as well. Additional causes of actions may exist against builders of new homes including negligent construction and breach of express and implied warranties. Under
Georgia’s Right to Repair Act, homeowners must serve notice on contractors at least 90 days before filing a lawsuit. The Right to Repair Act provides allows contractors an opportunity to fix the defect, either fully or partially, settle by monetary payment, or a combination of the two.
However, you may still file a lawsuit if you are not satisfied with a settlement offer, the contractor fails to respond to the notice, or the contractor fails to follow through. An experienced Georgia real estate and construction defect lawyer will ensure you follow the proper steps to preserve your right to file a claim.
Once you contact a dedicated Georgia construction defect attorney, you may be able to recover the costs of repairs and the loss in value to your home as the result of the defect. You may also be able to recover the cost of temporary housing needed while the defect is repaired, the value of the loss of use, court costs, and in some instances, attorney’s fees.
Please contact the The Libby Law Firm immediately if you have discovered a latent or other defect in your home. We will find the responsible party and represent you in your endeavor recover the compensation you deserve.