Construction defects in Seattle condominium buildings pose unique problems. The individual units are owned separately, while the common areas, including the roof and exterior walls, are owned jointly by the homeowners association.
If a ground floor owner discovers water damage in his or her unit, but the source is a leak that starts in the roof or an upstairs window, it is the homeowners association that must take care of it.
Nearly every condominium built in King County over the past ten years has been investigated for construction defects and/or water damage. Very few exhibited signs of damage before they were inspected. You can see how extensive the damage can be under a wall that shows no sign of decay or concern.
Statute of Limitations: Although there is a four-year statute of limitations to bring an action against a condominium developer, we have had success with older claims. Nevertheless, it is essential that the homeowner’s association begin the inspection process as soon as possible so that, if appropriate, we can commence an action against the developer before the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations.
Hiring an Attorney: The attorney plays a crucial role in protecting the interests of the condominium owners. The attorney will have to work with the inspector, coordinate experts, including structural engineers and builders, as well as assist the board in making decisions about litigation and inspections. The board should retain an experienced construction attorney who has handled condominium claims before. This is no place for an inexperienced attorney to learn the ropes.
These photographs show some examples of recent cases that we have encountered;
with damages like these you want to make sure you have skilled, experienced attorneys on your team.