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Construction of house in progress

At MacQueen & Gottlieb, we have experience with construction defects and in protecting consumer rights in Arizona. Our attorneys have experience representing consumers in understanding and pursuing their interests and any available rights with construction defects. As a consumer hiring a construction contractor in Arizona, you have rights to a legal remedy should there be a breach of contract, negligence on behalf of the builder or any construction defects.

Breach of Contract

Arizona offers a six-year statute of limitations on breach of contract actions (ARS § 12-548). This gives you, the homeowner, the ability to consider legal remedies if the home, add-on or remodel you contracted for was not delivered as promised. A good example would be having construction documents in place that promise specific additions and materials, but the finished product is lacking in some or many of those materials (e.g. your basement was left unfinished; your add-on was incomplete; the builder did not comply with city code.).

Negligence Against the Builder

Proving construction defects in Arizona can sometimes mean that you need to demonstrate that the builder was negligent. Bear in mind that there is a two-year statute of limitations for negligence (A.R.S. 12-542).

Three things need to be established to do so:

  1. A duty or process was established that the builder had to follow by law (e.g. city code).
  2. The builder did not meet or follow the established standards.
  3. It is obvious that the builder was careless, resulting in poor standard of care and construction defects.

Construction Defects

Construction defects and consumer rights in Arizona require a different legal approach than in most other states. In Arizona, construction rights, contractors and residential builders are overseen by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC). Minimum standards are in place to protect consumer rights, with additional laws in place (A.R.S. § 32-1154) that ensure compliance with various building codes and ordinances.

According to ROC: “All work shall be done in a workmanlike manner.” What this means is that if your construction project was not built in a professional manner that follows the ROC guidelines as well as state/city laws and ordinances, it may be considered a construction defect. The most common remedy to this is something called a “corrective work order,” where the builder may be required to correct any found issues.

Time Limits

As with most legal matters, there are established timelines for legal remedies. According to the Statute of Repose for improvements to real property (A.R.S. § 12-552(A)), a homeowner has eight years from the completion of their home to file a lawsuit against the builder. If, however, a defect is found during the eighth year, the law affords one additional year to file suit (A.R.S. § 12-552(B)).

The attorneys at MacQueen & Gottlieb have vigorously represented clients with complicated real estate disputes in Arizona for years. Our firm is prepared to help you defend your interests with construction defect and consumers rights in Arizona when necessary. Contact us today  to schedule a consultation or make an appointment online.

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