Whether you are a construction contractor yourself or the owner of a construction company that works with contractors, it is likely that you will face a construction defect claim at some point in your career. Defects can occur for a variety of reasons either during or after the development of a construction project, but it is often the contractor that tenants will pin the blame on first.
As part of a construction business, it is crucial for you to understand exactly when a contractor is not liable for a defect so that you can fully defend your professional reputation. You can then take the best steps toward protecting yourself against a construction defect claim.
Proving that a contractor is not liable for construction defects
As the name implies, a construction contractor is responsible for carrying out the terms of a contract and is therefore not liable for any construction defects if they follow the contract exactly. The only exception is when a contractor agrees to terms that they know will not work or that will result in a defect. Any contract drafted and signed in good faith and then followed accordingly is one that proves that the contractor is not responsible for any defects.
Protecting your business against a construction defect claim
Whether or not your or your contractor is responsible for a defect, you still must defend yourself against a defect claim by compiling the necessary documents. This includes work orders, building inspections and schedules. It is also wise to have comprehensive construction liability insurance in place in case a court rules in favor of a claim against you.
Contractors are responsible for defects that are the result of negligence or acts of bad faith on their part. Contractors who follow outlined terms in good faith are not liable.