March 29 Florida Senate passed SB 360 Causes of Actions Based on real Property Improvements off the Floor. This as a reminder is the Construction defects bill sending it to the Governor for his signature. The bill has not yet been presented to him, but we will let you know once that occurs.
SB 360 amends existing law with respect to causes of action based on improvements to real property. The bill shortens the timeframes within which a property owner may bring a cause of action against a builder for alleged construction defects. It also narrows the scope of certain statutory civil actions against builders for Florida Building Code violations.
Specifically, the bill:
· Revises the commencement of the 4-year statute of limitations by changing the listed potential commencement dates and causing the statute to run based upon whichever date is earliest instead of latest;
· Shortens the 10-year statute of repose to 7 years;
· Revises the commencement of the 7-year (currently 10-year) statute of repose by changing the listed potential commencement dates and causing the statute to run based upon whichever date is earliest instead of latest;
· Provides that if a newly constructed single-dwelling residential building is used as a model home, the time to bring a construction defect action begins to run from the date that a deed is recorded first transferring title to another party;
· Provides that if a project involves the construction of multiple buildings, each individual building must be considered its own improvement for purposes of determining the limitations period in the bill;
· Provides a definition for “material violations” in connection with statutory civil actions against builders for alleged Florida Building Code violations, and amends existing law to limit recovery for material violations only; and
Includes a savings clause to ensure that claimants having time remaining under the existing statute of limitations have at least 1 year from the effective date of the bill to initiate a construction defect action.
Click here for the Staff Analysis
Click here for the final bill Text
After four years this bill finally made it to the finish line and we do expect the Governor to sign it into law. Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.
- Edward Briggs, Vice President of Government Relations & Community Affairs