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Why a latent defect can be more complicated

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Real Estate Law

When running an HOA, construction defects can be a serious complication. The neighborhood or community is expanding, and that development needs to go smoothly to get new homeowners into their houses. But a construction defect can delay this process or may mean that the homeowner feels their house isn’t worth the amount of money that they paid.

In some cases, these issues are known as latent defects, which are defects that are easily discoverable. For instance, the new homeowner walks through the house and finds that some of the wiring was done incorrectly, and the lights don’t work. This is something they’re going to find out on Day One. But with a latent defect, things can get a bit more complex.

Latent defects are hidden

The issue with latent defects is that they are hidden and far more difficult to discover. In fact, there are some defects that may not even come to light for weeks, months or years after the homeowner moves in. This can raise all sorts of questions about who was responsible for the defect and who caused it. This can lead to disputes between an HOA and a construction company.

An example of a latent defect would be if the roofing company made a mistake so that there’s a small leak where water can get through the roof. The homeowner isn’t going to know about this the first time that it rains, but the cumulative damage can be significant. Water damage inside the home could cause rot, mildew, decay, mold and many other issues. It could also damage the structural integrity of the roof itself, leading to further problems in the future.

While these cases may be complex, there are legal solutions, so those involved in a dispute need to be well aware of their options.