On Monday January 27, 2020, Colorado State Senator Robert Rodriquez introduced Senate Bill 138 to the legislature. This bill aims to increase consumer protection for homeowners by making it easier to file lawsuits against builders and developers for construction defects.
Homeowners are currently required to file a construction defect lawsuit within two years after they discover a “physical manifestation” of the defect (i.e. chips, cracks, sinking floors, water leaks, etc.). This time period applies even if a homeowner doesn’t learn what is actually causing the problem. In addition, construction defect claims expire if the issue is dormant for six or more years after the construction project is completed. This means homeowners who discover problems after that six-year deadline are simply out-of-luck, as all their legal recourse will have already expired.
Senate Bill 138, if passed, would change this. First, the two-year limitations period would not begin to accrue until a homeowner discovers the cause of the problem, not just the problem itself. Moreover, the new law would keep these claims alive for ten years after completing the construction project instead of just six. That way, homeowners would have more time to identify problems, resolve disputes with their builders, and properly repair any construction-related issues with their homes.
While supporters believe this bill provides homeowners with more protection, its opponents are concerned the changes could deter developers from investing in affordable housing projects and keep builders from participating in the market.
More information about this bill is available here.
Kim Newton is an Associate Attorney at Griffiths Law. Kim Newton’s practice focuses on Civil Litigation and Family Law.