Q: Hello, can I place a lien on the developer/owner of an urbanization for repairs paid for by me?

The developer owner of the urbanization has failed to fix major construction issues to a point where our home is posing a hazard to live in as we have land settling and and erosion of soil. House foundation leaks water through the floors and electrical wiring has serious overload issues. I have made some repairs. Can I assert a lien to developers empty lots within the urbanization?

1 Lawyer Answer
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • San Juan, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: To place a lien on the urbanization, you would need to file a lawsuit to justify the lien in terms of the amount that you would be claiming against the developer. Due to the state you describe, you can file the lawsuit directly before the Court of First Instance, requesting permission from the court to place a lien on the developer's project (I'm assuming it's the same project within which your home is located. However, you'll have to prove to the court that you made repeated attempts to the developer to repair your home. I advise that you first send a letter by certified mail with receipt request, notifying the developer of the condition your house is in (include photographs of specific damages). I would also retain the services of an engineer who can assess the impact of said damages and the estimated costs to repair them. This'll help you in establishing the amount that you would claim against the developer.

Be advised, depending on how many units have been built in your urbanization and how many residences have been sold there, the developer's main focus may be towards completing construction and selling the units; since each unit sold would go towards the mortgage that the developer has on the entire project.

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