How to Claim for Property Damage due to Improper Soil Compaction

Claiming compensation for improper soil compaction beneath an apartment block is frequently difficult. A successful claim for property damage due to improper soil compaction has to show that, at the time the foundations of the property were laid, the preparation work had not been conducted properly. This often requires significant excavation work, inconvenience and cost before an engineer can determine that the constructor of the apartment block was negligent.

Improper soil compaction can have a number of consequences. Among the most common is the appearance of cracks in the structure of the property, leaks emitting from beneath the soil and foundation erosion. These signs of a construction defect may take many years to manifest, and it is important that – once these signs are identified – a lawyer is consulted to discuss the possibility of claiming compensation for property damage due to a construction defect.

Time Limits for Claiming Compensation for Property Damage due to a Construction Defect

The reason why speaking with a lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity is so important is that time limits exist to claim compensation for property damage due to a construction defect. Improper soil compaction is categorized as a “latent defect” – a construction defect that could not “reasonably” have been identified at the time the apartment block was constructed – and therefore claims for compensation for improper soil compaction beneath an apartment block must be initiated within ten years of “substantial completion”.

Time limits also exist for how long is allowed to send the constructor of your property a “Notice of Commencement of Legal Proceedings” after improper soil compaction has been identified. This is the first stage for claiming compensation for improper soil compaction beneath an apartment block, and initiates a process whereby a resolution is attempted before a claim for property damage due to improper soil compaction goes to court.

If there is any avoidable delay in claiming compensation for improper soil compaction beneath an apartment block, it is possible that a claim for property damage due to improper soil compaction could be time-barred by the Statute of Limitations. It may also be possible that the settlement of compensation for property damage due to a construction defect does not fully cover the cost of repairs if the signs of improper soil compaction are left unattended for an unreasonable period of time.

Claiming Compensation for Improper Soil Compaction beneath an Apartment Block

A claim for compensation for improper soil compaction beneath an apartment block is usually made by a Property Owners Association (POA) on behalf of all the owners of the property. Even when the signs of construction defects only affect those who own apartments at ground level, owners of upper floor apartments will also have the value of their properties decreased if the foundations of the apartment block are being eroded by improper soil compaction.

The name given to a legal action by a POA against the constructor of an apartment block  is the “Calderon Process”. It initially involves the POA and the constructor attempting to resolve the soil compaction issues by negotiation and mediation. However, if you are the owner of a ground floor apartment which is uninhabitable because of cracks and leaks, it is understandable that the 180-day negotiation/mediation is not a process you will be particularly happy with.

The claims process for recovering compensation for property damage due to a construction defect can be accelerated by using the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (the legislation which governs compensation for improper soil compaction beneath an apartment block); and, if you wish to take advantage of this Act to claim for property damage due to improper soil compaction, it is recommended that you speak with a construction defects lawyer as soon as possible.

Speak with us about Claiming Compensation for Property Damage due to a Construction Defect

If there are indications that your property has sustained damage due to a construction defect you are invited to call our construction defects advice helpline and discuss the damage to your property with an experienced legal professional.

When you speak with a member of our team, you will be provided with specific advice about claiming compensation for property damage due to a construction defect and be given information about the procedures that have to be conducted before a claim for property damage due to improper soil compaction can proceed.

You are under no obligation to proceed with a claim for property damage due to improper soil compaction once you have spoken with us, and all calls to our construction defects advice helpline are completely confidential. Our intention is to provide you and your POA with the information you need in order to make an informed decision about whether you have a claim for property damage due to improper soil compaction which is worth your while to pursue.

Disclaimer: No two claims for compensation for improper soil compaction beneath an apartment block are the same, and we advise all affected parties to seek independent legal advice relevant to their situation directly from a construction defects lawyer. Consequently nothing in the article above should be construed as legal advice or as creating a lawyer-plaintiff relationship.