Wed, 28 May 2008
May 27, 2008
Finally, because condominium units are usually people's homes, there is often a higher level of emotional attachment. People generally expect higher quality in their homes than they do in the buildings in which they work. Furthermore, many owners are expecting lower maintenance when they purchase a condominium and are disappointed when they discover otherwise.
The solutions to the condominium litigation problem are not simple and will not happen overnight. Developers, contractors and design professionals will all need to change the way they do business.
And contractors will need to become better educated about the causes of construction defects and ways to avoid them.
Condominium buyers also need to change their practices. Rather than inspecting only the particular unit being purchased, a buyer should consider retaining a qualified professional to inspect the entire building. The buyer should also look into whether the developer is local or instead an out-of-state developer with few ties to the region, whether the developer or any of the developer's principals are purchasing some of the units or otherwise have a long-term interest in the project, and what other projects the developer has built.
Although the condominium litigation boom is likely to continue for some time, the risks can be minimized. Doing so will require careful attention by everyone involved in building.. selling.. and purchasing condominiums.
This article was written by Kenneth F. Childs who is a member of the construction and design practice group at the law firm of Stoel Rives LLP. I thank him for his kind permission in using this article written for The Daily Journal of Commerce,
Tue, 27 May 2008
Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in
THE DAILY JOURNAL OF COMMERCE,
August 16, 2007
The condominium market has grown dramatically in recent years and appears to be
on the verge of exploding. Buyers are getting in line to make offers, and some developers are even holding lotteries to select the people who will be given the first chances to make purchase offers. It's a seller's market.
However, the growth in condominium sales has fueled an almost equally aggressive growth in lawsuits. It seems as if nearly every condominium project in the Northwest has generated a legal claim of some sort, and several projects have resulted in sizable lawsuits.
Insurance industry statistics bear this out. One recent study of insurance statistics for design professionals found that professional fees for condominium projects represented 5 percent of all fees, and claims from the projects associated with those fees represented 20 percent of all claims. This four-to-one ratio of claims dollars to fees has resulted in the insurance industry rating condominium work for design professionals as "highly risky."
Insurance statistics for contractors similarly demonstrate the large number of claims associated with condominium work. Many contractors are prevented by their insurance carriers from performing any condominium work at all.
The same insurance industry study for design professionals also found that the major allegations asserted in condominium lawsuits related to waterproofing, HVAC systems, foundations and roofing.
Waterproofing is by far the most significant item and includes several building components including siding, windows, flashing and decks. Another common allegation in condominium cases is inadequate soundproofing.
The other states with high levels of condominium litigation are
Two environmental factors common to all these states are moisture and wind.