Construction Defect Statute of Limitations & Repose
Colorado homeowners, homeowners associations, and property owners must file a lawsuit concerning construction defects within a prescribed amount of time. This amount of time is commonly referred to as the “statute of limitations” and “statute of repose.” Different types of claims have different statutes of limitations and statutes of repose, but in Colorado, there is a set of limitations periods applicable to construction defect claims.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations that applies to construction defect claims can be found under C.R.S § 13-80-104. The statute requires that a claim for construction defects be filed within two years after the claim for relief “arises.” A claim for construction defects “arises” when “the claimant or the claimant’s predecessor in interest discovers or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered the physical manifestations of a defect in the improvement which ultimately causes the injury.” C.R.S. § 13-80-104(1)(b)(I).
Generally, what this means is that a homeowner, community association, or property owner must file the claim within two years after having discovered the construction defect itself or having discovered an obvious symptom of the construction defect. Although this statute appears straightforward, attorneys and courts often disagree about when the statute begins, when the statute ends, and what claims are barred if the time has expired. Griffiths Law always advises its prospective clients to seek full and complete legal advice in determining whether their claims are timely. Do not assume that your claim for construction defects is untimely under the statute of limitations without first speaking to an attorney.
Statute of Repose
In addition to a statute of limitations, Colorado also imposes a “statute of repose.” A statute of repose can also bar a claim for construction defects, but it operates slightly differently. Whereas a statute of limitations begins to run upon the discovery of the defect, the statute of repose begins to run upon “substantial completion” of the “improvement to real property.” C.R.S. § 13-80-104(1)(a). In Colorado, the statute of repose is six years, but it can be extended all the way out to eight years under certain circumstances. See id. at § 13-80-104(2). Just like the statute of limitations, attorneys disagree about when the statute of repose begins to run, what claims may be barred if the time expires, and whether the extension from six years to eight years applies. Similarly, do not assume that your claim for construction defects is untimely under the statute of repose without first speaking to an attorney.