April 04, 2020
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Senate Bill 3046

Senate Bill sb3046c1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046

    By the Committee on Regulated Industries; and Senator Bennett





    315-2489-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to construction defects;

  3         amending s. 558.001, F.S.; revising legislative

  4         findings and declarations; amending s. 558.002,

  5         F.S.; revising definitions; amending s.

  6         558.003, F.S.; providing requirements for

  7         filing actions alleging construction defects;

  8         requiring abatement, upon timely motion, of

  9         certain actions filed that do not comply with

10         certain requirements; amending s. 558.004,

11         F.S.; revising requirements, procedures,

12         criteria, and limitations in provisions

13         relating to notice and opportunity to repair

14         construction defects in certain structures;

15         providing requirements and procedures for

16         making, accepting, or rejecting settlement

17         offers; providing for consequences of certain

18         actions relating to settlement offers;

19         specifying legal obligation to make certain

20         repairs or monetary payments under certain

21         circumstances; providing a mutual duty to

22         exchange certain discoverable evidence;

23         providing requirements and limitations;

24         amending s. 558.005, F.S.; revising certain

25         contract content provisions; providing a notice

26         form; providing application; providing

27         severability; providing an effective date.

28  

29  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

30  

31  

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1         Section 1.  Section 558.001, Florida Statutes, is

 2  amended to read:

 3         558.001  Legislative findings and declaration.--The

 4  Legislature finds that it is beneficial to have an alternative

 5  method to resolve construction disputes that would reduce the

 6  need for litigation as well as protect the rights of

 7  homeowners. An effective alternative dispute resolution

 8  mechanism in certain construction defect matters should

 9  involve the claimant filing a notice of claim with the

10  contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional

11  that the claimant asserts is responsible for the defect, and

12  should provide the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or

13  design professional with an opportunity to resolve the claim

14  without resort to further legal process.

15         Section 2.  Section 558.002, Florida Statutes, is

16  amended to read:

17         558.002  Definitions.--As used in this chapter act, the

18  term:

19         (1)  "Action" means any civil action or arbitration

20  proceeding for damages or indemnity asserting a claim for

21  damage to or loss of a dwelling or personal property caused by

22  an alleged construction defect, but does not include any civil

23  action or arbitration proceeding asserting a claim for alleged

24  personal injuries arising out of an alleged construction

25  defect.

26         (2)  "Association" has the same meaning as in s.

27  718.103(2), s. 719.103(2), s. 720.301(7), or s. 723.025.

28         (3)  "Claimant" means a homeowner, including a

29  subsequent purchaser, tenant, or association, who asserts a

30  claim for damages against a contractor, subcontractor,

31  supplier, or design professional concerning a construction

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1  defect or who asserts a claim for indemnification for such

 2  damages. The term does not include a contractor,

 3  subcontractor, supplier, or design professional.

 4         (4)  "Construction defect" means a deficiency in, or a

 5  deficiency arising out of, the design, specifications,

 6  surveying, planning, supervision, observation of construction,

 7  or construction, repair, alteration, or remodeling of a

 8  dwelling, any appurtenance to the dwelling, or the real

 9  property to which the dwelling or appurtenance is affixed

10  resulting from:

11         (a)  Defective material, products, or components used

12  in the construction or remodeling;

13         (b)  A violation of the applicable codes in effect at

14  the time of construction or remodeling which gives rise to a

15  cause of action pursuant to s. 553.84;

16         (c)  A failure of the design of a dwelling to meet the

17  applicable professional standards of care at the time of

18  governmental approval; or

19         (d)  A failure to construct or remodel a dwelling in

20  accordance with accepted trade standards for good and

21  workmanlike construction at the time of construction.

22         (5)  "Contractor" means any person, as defined in s.

23  1.01, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other

24  organization that is legally engaged in the business of

25  designing, developing, constructing, manufacturing, selling,

26  or remodeling dwellings or attachments thereto.

27         (6)  "Design professional" means a person, as defined

28  in s. 1.01, licensed in this state as an architect, interior

29  designer, landscape architect, engineer, or surveyor.

30         (7)  "Dwelling" means a single-family house,

31  manufactured or modular home, duplex, triplex, quadruplex, or

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1  other multifamily unit in a multifamily residential building

 2  designed for residential use in which title to each individual

 3  unit is transferred to the owner under a condominium or

 4  cooperative system and includes common areas and improvements

 5  that are owned or maintained by an association or by members

 6  of an association, and also includes the systems, other

 7  components, and improvements, and other structures or

 8  facilities, including, but not limited to, recreational

 9  structures or facilities, that are appurtenant to and located

10  on the real property on which the house, duplex, triplex,

11  quadruplex, or other multifamily unit is located, but are not

12  necessarily part of the structure at the time of completion of

13  construction.

14         (8)  "Service" means personal service or delivery by

15  certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known

16  address of the addressee.

17         (9)  "Subcontractor" means a person, as defined in s.

18  1.01, who is a contractor who performs labor and supplies

19  material work on behalf of another contractor in the

20  construction or remodeling of a dwelling.

21         (10)  "Supplier" means a person, as defined in s. 1.01,

22  who provides only materials, equipment, or other supplies for

23  the construction or remodeling of a dwelling.

24         Section 3.  Section 558.003, Florida Statutes, is

25  amended to read:

26         558.003  Action; compliance abatement.--If A claimant

27  may not file files an action subject to this chapter without

28  first complying with the requirements of this chapter. If a

29  claimant files an action alleging a construction defect

30  without first complying with the requirements of this chapter

31  act, on timely motion by a party to the action the court shall

                                  4

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1  abate the action, without prejudice, and the action may not

 2  proceed until the claimant has complied with such

 3  requirements.

 4         Section 4.  Section 558.004, Florida Statutes, is

 5  amended to read:

 6         558.004  Notice and opportunity to repair.--

 7         (1)  In actions brought alleging a against a

 8  contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional

 9  related to an alleged construction defect, the claimant shall,

10  at least no later than 60 days before filing an action

11  involving a single-family home manufactured or modular home,

12  duplex, triplex, or quadruplex, or at least 120 days before

13  filing an action involving an association of one or more units

14  in a multifamily residential building, serve written notice of

15  claim on the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design

16  professional, as applicable, which notice shall refer to this

17  chapter. If the construction defect claim arises from work

18  performed under a contract, the written notice of claim must

19  be served on the person with whom the claimant contracted. The

20  notice of claim must describe the claim in reasonable detail

21  sufficient to determine the general nature of each alleged

22  construction defect and a description of the damage or loss

23  resulting from the defect, if known. The claimant shall

24  endeavor to serve the notice of claim within 15 days after

25  discovery of an alleged defect, but the failure to serve

26  notice of claim within 15 days does not bar the filing of an

27  action, subject to s. 558.003. This subsection does not

28  preclude a claimant from filing an action sooner than 60 days,

29  or 120 days as applicable, after service of written notice as

30  expressly provided in subsection (6), subsection (7), or

31  subsection (8).

                                  5

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1         (2)  Within 30 5 business days after receipt service of

 2  the notice of claim, the contractor, subcontractor, supplier,

 3  or design professional may inspect involving a single-family

 4  home, manufactured or modular home, duplex, triplex, or

 5  quadruplex, or within 50 days after receipt of the notice of

 6  claim involving an association of one or more units in a

 7  multifamily building, the person receiving the notice of claim

 8  under subsection (1) is entitled to perform a reasonable

 9  inspection of the dwelling or of each unit subject to the

10  claim to assess each alleged construction defect. The claimant

11  shall provide the person receiving the notice under subsection

12  (1) and such person's contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or

13  design professional and its contractors or agents reasonable

14  access to the dwelling during normal working hours to inspect

15  the dwelling to determine the nature and cause of each alleged

16  construction defect and the nature and extent of any repairs

17  or replacements necessary to remedy each defect. The person

18  receiving notice under subsection (1) shall reasonably

19  coordinate the timing and manner of any and all inspections

20  with the claimant to minimize the number of inspections. The

21  inspection may include destructive testing by mutual

22  agreement. Prior to performing any destructive testing, the

23  person receiving notice under subsection (1) who desires to

24  perform the testing shall notify the claimant in writing of

25  the type of testing to be performed, the anticipated damage to

26  the dwelling which will be caused by the testing, and the

27  anticipated repairs that will be necessary to repair any

28  damage caused by the testing. The person receiving notice

29  under subsection (1) and such person's contractors or agents

30  performing the testing are is responsible for repairing any

31  damage to the dwelling caused by the testing. The claimant

                                  6

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1  shall be given reasonable notice of the date and time of such

 2  testing and may be present to observe same. No such testing

 3  shall render the dwelling uninhabitable. Failure to repair any

 4  damage caused by the destructive testing shall be grounds for

 5  disciplinary proceedings pursuant to s. 489.129(1)(g).

 6         (3)  Within 10 days after receipt service of the notice

 7  of claim involving a single-family home manufactured or

 8  modular home, duplex, triplex, or quadruplex, or within 30

 9  days after receipt of the notice of claim involving an

10  association of one or more units in a multifamily residential

11  building, the person receiving the notice under subsection (1)

12  may contractor, subcontractor, supplier, and design

13  professional must forward a copy of the notice of claim to

14  each contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design

15  professional whom it reasonably believes is responsible for

16  each defect specified in the notice of claim and shall note

17  the specific defect for which it believes the particular

18  contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional is

19  responsible. Each such contractor, subcontractor, supplier,

20  and design professional may inspect the dwelling as provided

21  in subsection (2) within 5 business days after receiving a

22  copy of the notice.

23         (4)  Within 15 5 business days after receiving a copy

24  of the notice of claim pursuant to subsection (3) involving a

25  single-family home manufactured or modular home, duplex,

26  triplex, or quadruplex, or within 30 days after receipt of the

27  copy of the notice of claim involving an association of one or

28  more units in a multifamily residential building, the

29  contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional

30  must serve a written response to the person contractor,

31  subcontractor, supplier, or design professional who forwarded

                                  7

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1  served a copy of the notice of claim. The written response

 2  shall include a report, if any, of the scope of any inspection

 3  of the dwelling, the findings and results of the inspection, a

 4  statement of whether the contractor, subcontractor, supplier,

 5  or design professional is willing to make repairs to the

 6  dwelling or whether such he or she disputes the claim is

 7  disputed, a description of any repairs they are he or she is

 8  willing to make to remedy the alleged construction defect, and

 9  a timetable for the completion of such repairs.

10         (5)  Within 45 25 days after receiving the notice of

11  claim involving a single-family home, manufactured or modular

12  home, duplex, triplex, or quadruplex, or within 75 days after

13  receipt of a copy of the notice of claim involving an

14  association of one or more units in a multifamily residential

15  building, the person who received notice under subsection (1)

16  each contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design

17  professional must serve a written response to the claimant.

18  The response shall be served to the attention of the person

19  who signed the notice of claim, unless otherwise designated in

20  the notice of claim. The written response must provide:

21         (a)  A written offer to remedy the alleged construction

22  defect at no cost to the claimant, including a report of the

23  scope of the inspection, the findings and results of the

24  inspection, a detailed description of the proposed repairs

25  necessary to remedy the defect, and a timetable for the

26  completion of such repairs;

27         (b)  A written offer to compromise and settle the claim

28  by monetary payment and a timetable for making payment to be

29  paid within 30 days after the claimant's acceptance of the

30  offer; or

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1         (c)  A written offer to compromise and settle the claim

 2  by a combination of repairs and monetary payment, including a

 3  detailed description of the proposed repairs and a timetable

 4  for the completion of such repairs and making payment; or

 5         (d)(c)  A written statement that the person contractor,

 6  subcontractor, supplier, or design professional disputes the

 7  claim and will not remedy the defect or compromise and settle

 8  the claim.

 9         (6)  If the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or

10  design professional offers to remedy the alleged construction

11  defect or compromise and settle the claim by monetary payment,

12  the written response must contain a statement that the

13  claimant shall be deemed to have accepted the offer if, within

14  15 days, or 45 days for an association, after service to the

15  written response, the claimant does not serve a written

16  rejection of the offer on the contractor, subcontractor,

17  supplier, or design professional.

18         (6)(7)  If the person receiving a notice of claim

19  pursuant to subsection (1) contractor, subcontractor,

20  supplier, or design professional disputes the claim and will

21  neither remedy the defect nor compromise and settle the claim,

22  or does not respond to the claimant's notice of claim within

23  the time provided in subsection (5), the claimant may, without

24  further notice, proceed with an action against that person the

25  contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional

26  for the claim described in the notice of claim. Nothing in

27  this chapter shall be construed to preclude a partial

28  settlement or compromise of the claim as agreed to by the

29  parties and, in that event, the claimant may, without further

30  notice, proceed with an action on the unresolved portions of

31  the claim.

                                  9

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1         (7)(8)  A claimant who receives rejects a timely

 2  settlement offer must accept or reject the offer made by

 3  serving the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design

 4  professional must serve written notice of such acceptance or

 5  rejection on the person making the offer contractor,

 6  subcontractor, supplier, or design professional within 15

 7  days, or 45 days for an association, after receiving service

 8  of the settlement offer. If a claimant initiates an action

 9  without first accepting or rejecting the offer, the court

10  shall abate the action upon timely motion until the claimant

11  complies with this subsection. The claimant's rejection must

12  contain the settlement offer with the word "rejected" printed

13  on it. After service of the rejection, The claimant may

14  proceed with an action against the contractor, subcontractor,

15  supplier, or design professional for the claims in the notice

16  of claim only after first timely and properly serving a notice

17  of rejection of the settlement offer without further notice.

18         (8)(9)  If the claimant timely and properly accepts the

19  offer to repair an alleged construction defect, the claimant

20  shall provide the offeror and the offeror's agents reasonable

21  access to the claimant's dwelling during normal working hours

22  to perform the repair by the agreed-upon timetable as stated

23  in the offer. If the offeror of a contractor, subcontractor,

24  supplier, or design professional and the contractor,

25  subcontractor, supplier, or design professional does not make

26  the payment or repair the defect within the agreed time and in

27  the agreed manner, except for reasonable delays beyond the

28  control of the offeror, including, but not limited to, weather

29  conditions, delivery of materials, claimant's actions, or

30  issuance of any required permits, the claimant may, without

31  further notice, proceed with an action against the offeror

                                  10

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1  based upon contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design

 2  professional for the claim in the notice of claim. If the

 3  offeror a claimant accepts a contractor's, subcontractor's,

 4  supplier's, or design professional's offer and the contractor,

 5  subcontractor, supplier, or design professional makes payment

 6  or repairs the defect within the agreed time and in the agreed

 7  manner, the claimant is barred from proceeding with an action

 8  against the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design

 9  professional for the claim described in the notice of claim or

10  as otherwise provided in the accepted settlement offer.

11         (10)  If the claimant accepts the offer of a

12  contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional to

13  repair an alleged construction defect, the claimant shall

14  provide the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design

15  professional and its contractors or other agents reasonable

16  access to the claimant's dwelling during normal working hours

17  to perform the repair by the agreed-upon timetable as stated

18  in the offer.

19         (9)(11)  The failure of a claimant or a contractor,

20  subcontractor, supplier, or design professional to follow the

21  procedures in this section is admissible in an action.

22  However, This section does not prohibit or limit the claimant

23  from making any necessary emergency repairs to the dwelling as

24  are required to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the

25  claimant. In addition, any the offer of a contractor,

26  subcontractor, supplier, or design professional to remedy an

27  alleged construction defect or to compromise and settle the

28  claim by monetary payment does not constitute an admission of

29  liability with respect to the defect, and shall not be

30  admissible in an action to show the existence of a defect.

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1         (10)(12)  A claimant's mailing of the written notice of

 2  claim under subsection (1) tolls the applicable statute of

 3  limitations relating to any person covered by this chapter and

 4  any bond surety until the later of:

 5         (a)  Sixty days, or 120 days, as applicable, after

 6  receipt of the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design

 7  professional receives the notice of claim pursuant to

 8  subsection (1); or

 9         (b)  Thirty days after the end of the repair period or

10  payment period stated in the offer, if the claimant has

11  accepted the offer. By stipulation of the parties, the period

12  may be extended and the statute of limitations is tolled

13  during the extension.

14         (11)(13)  The procedures in this chapter section apply

15  to each alleged construction defect. However, a claimant may

16  include multiple defects in one notice of claim. The initial

17  list of construction defects may be amended by the claimant to

18  identify additional or new construction defects as they become

19  known to the claimant. The court shall allow the action to

20  proceed to trial only as to alleged construction defects that

21  were noticed and processed as set forth in this chapter and as

22  to construction defects reasonably related to, or caused by,

23  the construction defects previously noticed. Nothing in this

24  subsection shall preclude other actions.

25         (12)(14)  This chapter does Sections 558.001-558.003 of

26  this act do not:

27         (a)  Bar or limit any rights, including the right of

28  specific performance to the extent such right would be

29  available in the absence of this act, any causes of action, or

30  any theories on which liability may be based, except as

31  specifically provided in this chapter act;

                                  12

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    Florida Senate - 2004                           CS for SB 3046
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 1         (b)  Bar or limit any defense, or create any new

 2  defense, except as specifically provided in this chapter act;

 3  or

 4         (c)  Create any new rights, causes of action, or

 5  theories on which liability may be based.

 6         (13)  The person receiving notice of claim under

 7  subsection (1) shall be deemed, for insurance purposes, to

 8  have been legally obligated to make the repairs or the

 9  monetary payment as if the claimant had recovered a judgment

10  against such person in the amount of the cost of the repairs,

11  and the amount of the monetary payment, if any, if the

12  claimant has accepted the offer.

13         (14)(15)  To the extent that an arbitration clause in a

14  contract for the sale, design, construction, or remodeling of

15  a dwelling conflicts with this section, this section shall

16  control.

17         (15)  Upon request, the claimant and the person

18  receiving notice pursuant to subsection (1) shall have a

19  mutual duty to exchange all available discoverable evidence

20  relating to the construction defects, including, but not

21  limited to, expert reports, photographs, and videotapes, if

22  any. In the event of subsequent litigation, any party who

23  failed to provide such evidence shall be subject to such

24  sanctions as the court may impose for a discovery violation.

25  Expert reports exchanged between the parties may not be used

26  in any subsequent litigation for any purpose, unless the

27  expert, or a person affiliated with the expert, testifies as a

28  witness or the report is used or relied upon by an expert who

29  testifies on behalf of the party for whom the report was

30  prepared.

31  

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 1         Section 5.  Section 558.005, Florida Statutes, is

 2  amended to read:

 3         558.005  Contract of sale; provisions; application.--

 4         (1)  Except as otherwise provided in subsections (3)

 5  and (4), the provisions of this chapter shall control every

 6  contract for the design, construction, or remodeling of a

 7  dwelling entered into on or after July 1, 2004, if the notice

 8  as set forth in subsection (2) is conspicuously set forth in

 9  capitalized letters as Upon entering into a contract for the

10  sale, design, construction, or remodeling of a dwelling, the

11  contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional

12  shall provide notice to the owner of the dwelling of the

13  contractor's, subcontractor's, supplier's, or design

14  professional's right to offer to cure construction defects or

15  pay to settle alleged construction defects before a claimant

16  may commence an action against the contractor, subcontractor,

17  supplier, or design professional. Such notice must be

18  conspicuous and may be included as part of the contract.

19         (2)  The notice required by subsection (1) must be in

20  substantially the following form:

21  

22                   CHAPTER 558 NOTICE OF CLAIM

23         CHAPTER 558, FLORIDA STATUTES LAW CONTAINS IMPORTANT

24  REQUIREMENTS YOU MUST FOLLOW BEFORE YOU MAY BRING ANY LEGAL

25  ACTION FILE A LAWSUIT FOR DEFECTIVE CONSTRUCTION AGAINST A

26  CONTRACTOR, SUBCONTRACTOR, SUPPLIER, OR DESIGN PROFESSIONAL

27  FOR AN ALLEGED CONSTRUCTION DEFECT IN YOUR HOME. SIXTY DAYS

28  BEFORE YOU BRING ANY LEGAL ACTION FILE YOUR LAWSUIT, YOU MUST

29  DELIVER TO THE OTHER PARTY TO THIS CONTRACT CONTRACTOR,

30  SUBCONTRACTOR, SUPPLIER, OR DESIGN PROFESSIONAL A WRITTEN

31  NOTICE REFERRING TO CHAPTER 558 OF ANY CONSTRUCTION CONDITIONS

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 1  YOU ALLEGE ARE DEFECTIVE AND PROVIDE SUCH PERSON YOUR

 2  CONTRACTOR AND ANY SUBCONTRACTORS, SUPPLIERS, OR DESIGN

 3  PROFESSIONALS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INSPECT THE ALLEGED

 4  CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS AND TO CONSIDER MAKING MAKE AN OFFER TO

 5  REPAIR OR PAY FOR THE ALLEGED CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS. YOU ARE

 6  NOT OBLIGATED TO ACCEPT ANY OFFER WHICH MAY BE MADE BY THE

 7  CONTRACTOR OR ANY SUBCONTRACTORS, SUPPLIERS, OR DESIGN

 8  PROFESSIONALS. THERE ARE STRICT DEADLINES AND PROCEDURES UNDER

 9  THIS FLORIDA LAW WHICH MUST BE MET AND FOLLOWED TO PROTECT

10  YOUR INTERESTS.

11         (3)  After receipt of the initial notice of claim, a

12  claimant and the person receiving notice under s. 558.004(1)

13  may, by written mutual agreement, alter the procedure for the

14  notice of claim process described in this chapter.

15         (4)  This chapter applies to all actions accruing on or

16  after July 1, 2004, and all actions commenced on or after such

17  date, regardless of the date of sale, issuance of a

18  certificate of occupancy or its equivalent, or substantial

19  completion of the dwelling. Notwithstanding the notice

20  requirements of this section for contracts entered into on or

21  after July 1, 2004, this chapter applies to all actions

22  accruing before July 1, 2004, but not yet commenced as of July

23  1, 2004, and failure to include the notice requirements of

24  this section in a contract entered into prior to July 1, 2004,

25  does not operate to bar the procedures of this chapter from

26  applying to all such actions.

27         Section 6.  If any provision of this act or the

28  application thereof to any person or circumstance is held

29  invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or

30  applications of this act which can be given effect without the

31  

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 1  invalid provision or application, and to this end the

 2  provisions of this act are declared severable.

 3         Section 7.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.

 4  

 5          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
 6                         Senate Bill 3046

 7                                 

 8  The committee substitute amends s. 558.003, F.S., to provide
    for the abatement of an action by the court upon a timely
 9  motion.  It deletes the requirement in s. 558.004(1), F.S.,
    that the claimant must provide evidence that depicts the
10  nature and cause of the construction defect.  It amends s.
    558.003(2), F.S., to provide for coordination of inspection,
11  notice, and other requirements regarding destructive testing.

12  The committee substitute amends s. 558.003(4), F.S., to
    require notice within 15 days instead of 15 business days.  It
13  amends s. 558.003(5)(a), F.S., to delete the report of the
    scope of inspection, and the findings and results of the
14  inspection of the written offer.  It amends s. 558.003(7),
    F.S., to provide that the court shall abate an action if a
15  claimant initiates an action without first accepting or
    rejecting an offer of settlement.
16  
    The committee substitute amends s. 558.003(8), F.S., to allow
17  for reasonable delays to the agreement to repair an alleged
    construction defect.  It amends s. 558.003(9), F.S., to
18  provide for emergency repairs required to protect the health,
    safety, and welfare of the claimant.  It eliminates the
19  inspection report exclusion to admissibility of evidence.  It
    provides that the mailing of notice tolls the statute of
20  limitations.  It provides that the notice requirement of s.
    588.003(1), F.S., does not preclude other actions.
21  
    The committee substitute creates s. 558.003(15), F.S., to
22  provide for the exchange of information between the parties,
    and the use of expert reports in subsequent litigation.  It
23  amends the contract notice form in s. 558.005(2), F.S., to
    provide that the deadlines and procedures in Florida law must
24  be followed in order to protect the claimant's interests.  It
    amends s. 558.005(4), F.S., to provide for the applicability
25  of ch. 558, F.S., to actions accruing on July 1, 2004, but not
    yet commenced as of that date.
26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

                                  16

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

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