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Latent defects make construction claims more complicated

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Construction Law

All construction claim defect claims can be complicated. As a homeowner or a property owner, you may be very certain that you didn’t get what you paid for because of the defects, and you want to make things right by seeking compensation. At the same time, the contractor or construction company may aggressively claim that their team did not make any errors and that the problem is on your end.

One thing that can make this even more complex is when it is a latent defect, not a patent defect. Patent defects are those that people can generally identify right away. For instance, you may walk into your new home and see that the builder has installed entirely the wrong type of flooring or painted the walls the wrong color. These are very obvious defects that you can address instantly.

What is a latent defect?

But a latent defect is one that is hidden. It can make the situation more complicated because you might not notice it for months or even years.

For example, say that it starts leaking in your home. You believe that water is getting in through the roof. 

If it was a brand new home and the roof had just been installed, you would know that it was a defect. But if you’ve been living in the home for years, then the builder may contest that the leak is just the result of wear and tear or even that the damage was caused by local storms. It could really be a latent defect, meaning that the contractor made an avoidable error while installing the roof, but there are more reasons for disputes with a latent defect.

As such, if you’re working through this process, be sure you know what legal steps you can take.