Claims for Commercial Property Damage Caused by Incorrect Grading, Faulty Drainage and Negative Slope
Making a claim for faulty drainage in an office building can be a major process – not only because of potential disputes about liability issues, but due to having to close the office building while investigations are conducted to determine the original of the water damage and whether it has affected the foundations or external structure of the office building as well.
Faulty drainage issues are often a result of incorrect grading and negative slope, so that waste water runs towards the office building rather than away from it, or they can be caused by the settlement of the ground beneath the property – indicating a different type of construction defect (for example improper soil compaction) may be responsible for the faulty drainage.
Claims for commercial property damage caused by incorrect grading, faulty drainage and negative slope are likely to be contested by the constructor´s insurance carriers until an engineering expert can establish that the constructor of the office block was negligent in either the design or construction of the building. Even then, it can take a significant amount of time before the building can be used once again, resulting in a potentially considerable loss of income.
Time Limits for Claiming Compensation for Negative Slope, Incorrect Grading and Faulty Drainage
Although it would seem likely that the signs of faulty drainage might appear after a short period of time, this is not always the case. Sometimes it may be many years for the damage to the property to manifest. Poor air quality, mold, and mildew are all indicators that water is intruding into the property, and it might take unseasonable rainfall or a ground shift for it to become apparent that there is a problem.
Faulty drainage is known in the construction trade as a “latent defect” – a construction defect that could not have been reasonably identified during an inspection at the time the office building was completed – and therefore the owner of the property (on his behalf or on behalf of his/her commercial tenants) hasup to ten years from the date of “substantial completion” in which to claim for faulty drainage in an office building.
There are also restrictions on how long after the faulty drainage, negative slope or incorrect grading has been identified that a “Notice of Commencement of Legal Proceeding” must be sent to the constructor of the office building. Consequently, once a construction defect is suspected, you should speak with a construction defects lawyer as soon as possible so that expert investigations can begin. Any unjustifiable delay could see a potential claim for faulty drainage in an office building time-barred.
Making a Claim for Faulty Drainage in an Office Building
As mentioned above, compensation claims for commercial property damage caused by incorrect grading, negative slope and faulty drainage are usually made by the property owner on behalf any tenants who conduct business in the building. The landlord makes one claim for faulty drainage in an office building to recover everybody´s losses of property or income, and then settles with his or her tenants once the claim is resolved.
Following the “Notice of Commencement of Legal Proceedings” being sent to the constructor of the office block, the process for making claims for commercial property damage caused by incorrect grading, negative slope and faulty drainage enters a period of mediation. During this time potential solutions to the drainage issues are discussed in an attempt to prevent the claim for faulty drainage in an office building going to court. A construction defects lawyer will try to negotiate a satisfactory repair schedule and compensation for financial losses and property damage. Frequently a successful conclusion is achieved using this process.
Court action is usually a last resort to recover compensation for negative slope, incorrect grading or faulty drainage. Litigation most often revolves around determining who is actually liable for the drainage issues – the constructor, the supplier of the building materials or a sub-contractor – and whose insurance company is going to pay for the repairs to office building and compensate those who have lost money or property.
Speak with Us before you do Anything Else
If your office has suffered property damage due to any form of water intrusion, or you would like to know more about making a claim for faulty drainage in an office building, you should speak with us before you do anything else.
Our free construction defects helpline enables you to speak directly with an experienced construction defects lawyer who will provide you with information and advice about claiming compensation for negative slope, incorrect grading and faulty drainage.
All calls to our free construction defects helpline are confidential and you will not be under any obligation to proceed with claims for commercial property damage caused by incorrect grading. Our intention is to guide you through the often difficult process of claiming compensation for negative slope, incorrect grading or faulty drainage – ensuring a quick resolution to your claim for the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Disclaimer: Please note that no two compensation claims for commercial property damage caused by incorrect grading, negative slope or faulty drainage are identical. Consequently nothing in the above article should be interpreted as professional legal advice or as forming a plaintiff-lawyer relationship. You should always speak with a construction defects lawyer to receive independent advice about making a claim for faulty drainage in an office building.