Legislation has been introduced in the Colorado state Senate that would make it easier to file a construction-defect lawsuit against builders long after they have completed work on sorely needed condominium developments.
If passed, the proposal could slow, if not bring to a halt, a wave of condo projects in Denver and other cities in Colorado starved for lower-cost housing.
The proposal would, in fact, apply to all construction defect claims, not just those involving condo projects, and including single-family homes, apartments and commercial projects.
Introduced by Democratic Sen. Robert Rodriguez of Denver, the legislation would give owners 10 years to file a lawsuit alleging construction defects.
Homeowners now get six years to do so under 2017 legislative reforms that passed with unanimous support and which helped open the floodgates of condo development in the state.
Those reforms also require a majority of a condo complex’s unit owners — rather than just its homeowner association board — to consent to legal action against a developer for poor construction.
Whether the new legislation musters the support it needs to win passage is hard to say, although it’s notable that it was introduced without a House sponsor. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where, depending on its reception, it could languish without ever receiving a hearing. (CCIG will keep close tabs on the legislation and share updates as developments warrant).
The bill, not surprisingly, drew immediate fire.
The co-chairpersons of the Home Ownership Alliance coalition that lead the fight for reform — Colorado Concern president/CEO Mike Kopp and NAIOP Executive Director Kathie Barstnar — said the bill would mean higher costs for everyone, particularly first-time buyers.
“If passed, investment in affordable housing options like condominiums will diminish precisely when more development is desperately needed,” Kopp said.
Scott Carlson is the president of the Construction Practice at CCIG. Reach him at Scott.Carlson@thinkccig.com or 720-330-7925.
CCIG is a Denver-area insurance, employee benefits and surety brokerage with clients nationwide. We do more than make sure you have the right policy. We help you manage your long-term cost of insurance with our risk and claims management expertise and a commitment to service excellence.
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