If a defect is detected within one year of completion:
- Ask the developer to fix it.
If a defect is found after one year but within six years after completion:
- Check if the defect is covered by warranties provided by the developer.
- Determine whether the defect is due to the developer. This can involve calling in a building expert.
- If it is the developer's fault, ask the firm to fix it.
- If the developer refuses, homeowners may consider suing the developer for breach of contract.
- If the unit was bought on resale, the owner cannot sue for breach of contract but may be able to sue the developer on tort, which is breach of duty of care.
Suing the developer for breach of contract is seen as an easier option, as suits under tort allow the developer to offer the defence of having hired an independent contractor, for instance.
If a defect is found between the sixth and 15th year:
- Homeowners may be able to sue the developer within three years after the date that they could have reasonably found out about the defect.
- Building and legal experts may have to be called in to determine what is a reasonable date.
If a defect is found after 15 years:
- Homeowners can no longer sue developers to fix defects and may have to work with the Management Corporation Strata Title to resolve the problem or fix it themselves.
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