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Florida Construction Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Florida on
Q: FL Surveyor Mistake - new construction home positioned too close to drainage easement

The construction VP from our FL builder notified us that the surveyor made a mistake in the location of our house on the lot in the plot plan. It is too close to the drainage easement. Construction started, the tie in location was confirmed, and the house is now almost to the drywall phase. The... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 6, 2022

Was the surveyor working for the builder or for you? If the surveyor was working for the builder, you could perhaps sue both for the cost of redoing the job.

It doesn't appear that a variance would work if the structure of the home could be compromised. Perhaps you are suggesting...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Florida on
Q: Having a house built. 15 months so far moving slowly. GC changed the locks preventing me access to the house.

Had a roof leak friday causing damage to ceiling, walls, baseboards, insulation, etc. GC did nothing for 5 days to address the damage. GC keeps house at 85 degrees. Extremely worried about mold. GC claims he had sheetrock and insulation removed yesterday but when I went to check the locks were... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 4, 2022

What is your question? Arrange with the contractor to inspect the premises; that way the contractor can make sure it is secure. You don't want the place left unlocked, do you?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Florida on
Q: Can I build a fence on my neighbors property with an "Exclusive Ingress/Egress Landscape and Wall Easement"?

Our "subdivision", built in 2005, is a collection of 1+ acre lots cut up from a former orange grove. There are no traditional subdivision roads. Instead each group of four parcels shares a non-exclusive ingress/egress easement. Our lot is at the end of one of these easements and there... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 23, 2022

Sure, depending on the exact terms of the easement. It appears that the "exclusive" was included to make sure that only you, or subsequent owners of your lot, could use the easement for access. But if it also includes a "wall" easement, it should be no problem for you to build... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for Florida on
Q: Can I fire the roofing co named in my insurance sett. If they are named on ck bc I think they are scammers!?

We settled with ins co to get a new roof. It was one of those companies that knocked on our door. At first they were great; promised us new roof, carpet, paint, etc. now that we got settlement they said we will give u 7500. Use that where u want but that’s all and that’s not even in writing. I... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Jan 26, 2022

Lawyers on this website are not allowed to call anyone. This website is designed for general information. You need to take the paperwork to a lawyer for a consultation as soon as possible. The lawyer hired to negotiate the settlement was not your lawyer and worked for the roofing company. Do... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Florida on
Q: Once I have terminated a construction contract by notifying the builders, can I hire another builder & finish the house?

My construction contract for a new home had a termination clause that required the Owner to provide three written notifications to terminate the contract. The contract was materially breached, and I have completed those notices. I have received no response from the opposing parties (developer and... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Dec 28, 2021

One would have to read the contract to be sure. But yes, you can probably find someone else to finish the job. It is doubtful that you would have to file suit (a motion would be part of a lawsuit); leave that up to party who you claim breached the contract to sue you, if they think such a suit... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law, Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Contracts for Florida on
Q: Does refusal to adhere to a 5-year workmanship warranty create breach of contract and void the required arbitration?

Extensive damage occurred in my house after work was done by a company. The damage was undetected for almost four years due to its location. Once found, expensive repairs were required. Three outside specialists confirmed the cause of damage was the poor workmanship. The company refuses to pay any... Read more »

David H. Relkin
David H. Relkin
answered on Nov 16, 2021

You ask a very good question and one that I have been asked many times. An arbitration provision is valid even if the contract involved fraud. In other words, simply because fraud was involved in the transaction, that does not void the manner in which you have agreed to resolve the dispute. This is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Estate Planning, Construction Law and Municipal Law for Florida on
Q: In Eatonville FL, we need to know if there are exceptions for Code of Ordinances, sec. 60.77, such as noise or privacy.

We live in a corner lot, and we would like to build a 6 foot fence on the property perimeter. We'd like to know how far can we take the fence to the line property, and if we can consider one of the "fronts" of a corner property as a "side". Only the "main"... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Oct 26, 2021

The Eatonville Code of Ordinances is here:

http://eatonville-fl.elaws.us/code/coor

A brief review of it doesn't reveal any problem with what you want to do, but of course you should contact the Planning Department and get a permit. They should be able to guide you.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Construction Law for Florida on
Q: My inhearents is being stolen and iam the admenstator and my daughter is not allowing me to do my job amd is keepung an
Henry George Ferro
Henry George Ferro
answered on Oct 7, 2021

This is not a criminal law case. It appears that if there is an inheritance and you are the administrator of the estate…you are the one that controls the distribution and management of the assets. How is your daughter keeping you from doing what you need to?

Doesn’t make sense…

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Construction Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: I'm a tenant at an apt bldg. They were given a 45 day notice to do an inspection. Am i obligated to pay rent ?

the company has 45 days to higher a structural designer to certify the bldg is in habitable condition, or, pull permits and do the repairs in that timespan. Am i obligated to pay rent under these conditions, knowing the bldg is poss going to be evacuated for repairs or possibly shut down?

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Jul 20, 2021

Of course you are required to pay rent.

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2 Answers | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Florida on
Q: How can i make a contractor finish the job i hired him for, and commit to the contract?

I hired a contractor for home improvement job, he is not responding and not finishing the job. He already got half the money. The contract says he has to finish everything by end of April 2021, and yet it's not done.

How can i get him to finish the job?

Linda Liang
Linda Liang
answered on Jul 6, 2021

I would remind him of the contract he signed and the consequence if he breaches the contract. I would put everything in writing to show him that you are very serious.

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Florida on
Q: I have a contract with a pool company he is half way through and informed up he can’t move forward without a permit

He informed us he isn’t registered in our country to get a permit. The pool was to be completed 6-8 weeks it’s now week 9. What can I do to push him forward?

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Jul 3, 2021

See if you, rather than him, can apply for the permit. If your county/city requires the professional to apply for it, and he has no ability to apply, he should never have contracted with you to begin with. Discuss that issue with him and determine if you can reach some amicable resolution, such... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Florida on
Q: How do I get my pool finished with no contract permits pulled by company now they won't return calls. Started not finish

I was working for pool company Cool Pools for 3 years was friends with owner for 12 years started a pool and enclosure build with him. Pool got finished mostly but now he won't do the enclosure and has been ignoring my calls for months without a response. I lost my job with with them after... Read more »

Linda Liang
Linda Liang
answered on May 3, 2021

You can hire another company to finish the work and sue them in small claim court

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Florida on
Q: just signed a pool contract & gave 5k deposit nothing has gone to permit yet company revoked by bbb can i request refund

last night april 15 , 2021 i saw the news is investigating this pool company olympus pools for many complaints and unfinished projects. since we are not all the way in financially a down payment given on credit card for 5,000/ can i back out with the reason extremely leery, worried that they will... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 17, 2021

Request a performance bond.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Florida on
Q: Can I pursue litigation or negotiations for Construction Defect based on insurance denial letter verbiage?

My insurance company denied my claim stating "While the field adjuster’s inspection did reveal evidence of water intrusion to the interior of your home, the policy will not provide coverage for interior water intrusion unless a peril created opening is present to allow for coverage of the... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Mar 12, 2021

What the verbiage means is that the water damage appears to have been caused by a previously-existing defect in the structure.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Contracts for Florida on
Q: what recourse does a FL GC have against a business owner who will not pay final payment of signed contract? CO issued
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
answered on Mar 3, 2021

You may have to sue them for the final payment. Or try hiring a very experienced Florida lawyer to send them a strong warning letter first. Usually works if the lawyer is good.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Florida on
Q: HOA asking me to sign an agreement that removes my door/window from common elements. Do I have to sign?

A report from the HOA's engineer states that the HOA's replacement window and my current window is the same in kind and quality.

I replaced my sliding door and window in 2016 to impact windows (cat 5 and up). These hurricane window standards have not been changed. The condo docs... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jan 14, 2021

It comes down to this: do you want the HOA to be responsible for damaged windows or do you want to assume the responsibility? If you want the HOA to be responsible, don't sign the agreement.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Rights, Construction Law and Employment Discrimination for Florida on
Q: I'm being told that i can not work in a community because a HOA board member doesn't like me.
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Dec 2, 2020

A Florida attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for four weeks. As a general premise in any type of discrimination matter, one usually needs to demonstrate violation of rights as a protected class. There aren't a lot of details to go by here, but based on these brief facts, it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Florida on
Q: Who is liable for pool access safety when the contractor fills the pool but construction is not finished?
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Oct 8, 2020

Both the contactor and the homeowner are potentially liable.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law and Construction Law for Florida on
Q: How long do I have to return a customers deposit. I've had a stroke (cause for delay). Is it criminal?

Its been a few months and now the customer has threatened to involve police. Is there a procedure they have to follow that could protect me? I want to return their funds but they no longer respond to me. Not sure if i should Venmo or zelle back their funds.. Should I send their money to them,... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Sep 27, 2020

No, it's not criminal. Send them a check by certified mail.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Florida on
Q: My pool contractor keeps telling me he will not finish the coping until 2 months later and the pool has not been touched

It’s been 6 weeks with nothing done and their excuse is we have other pools we are working on, is that a claim they can say to not work on my pool legally

My other question is when does the time start for my pool to be completed if we signed a contract on April 1 let and made deposit, the... Read more »

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Aug 19, 2020

The pool contractor's deadline is solely based on the contract language, and if there is no language about that, then based on a "reasonable" time to complete the job. Your issue is common with pool contractors, as well as other types of home construction contractors. You should... Read more »

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