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A Community Manager's

Guide to Construction Defect Claims

New buildings can conceal far-reaching faults. It’s a property manager’s worst nightmare — rainstorms damage buildings and bring owner complaints. Is legal action necessary? With our new book, you’ll learn about the resolution process for construction problems, and how to handle complex claims.

Construction Defect Claims

For decades, litigation over the defective construction of multi-family projects has been a frequent component of a community manager’s portfolio. Low-rise, wood frame condominiums, apartments, and townhouses have long been susceptible to construction mistakes which lead to disputes with contractors and developers. High-rise projects can also exhibit poor construction. Community associations and owners of apartment buildings have found many reasons to sue builders. What leads to construction defects? Often it is a shortage of skilled labor in times of high real estate prices and demand. When there is strong sales potential, builders are eager to supply inventory, but good construction takes time and talent; when time and talent are in short supply, substitutions are made, which can lead to poor quality and subsequent claims.

Construction defects may be noticed almost immediately by new buyers, or they may lurk within a building for years before the damage they cause is detected. These problems can be as obvious as an actively leaking roof, or they can be as subtle as cracking caused by soil problems that develop several years after purchase. They can be easy to fix or potentially catastrophic, and their severity will strongly influence whether or not the builder or contractor will make repairs without the compelling force of litigation.

Here we cover construction defects in new construction. Defective repairs in new and older buildings are a topic covered in our companion book: “A Property Manager’s Guide to Reconstruction Projects.” Property managers must have a basic understanding of the elements of a construction claim, so they can adequately advise their clients, retain or recommend appropriate professionals, and monitor the claims process. That information follows. We hope this resource will be useful to both you and your clients.

Leading with Exceptional Legal Talent, Extensive Resources and Decades of Experience.

Berding|Weil represents building owners, community associations, corporations, and real estate investors, throughout California and other states.

Our attorneys draw on many years of Community Association and Construction Law experience to provide creative and individualized solutions for our clients.

Above all, we focus on the long-term welfare of our clients, offering expert legal services and competitive fees.


As one of the largest and most experienced construction defect litigation departments in the nation, we have recovered over 1.9 billion for our clients.

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