Compensation for a Settlement of Ground Causing Subsidence

Claiming compensation for subsidence in an apartment block can be a very complicated procedure due to the distinction made between subsidence being caused by the soil beneath a building´s foundations being unstable, and subsidence being caused by the soil beneath the building “settling” due to the weight of the building.

The settlement of ground causing subsidence is most commonly considered a construction defect, and your development´s insurers would likely refuse to compensate owners on the grounds that claims for a ground settlement due to faulty construction or design should be make against the constructor of your apartment block.

Claims for compensation for a settlement of ground causing subsidence are likely to be contested by the constructor´s insurers until a construction expert can prove that the builder of your apartment block was negligent in either the construction or design of your property, and then it can take a considerable amount of time to repair the damage to your home.

Time Limits for Claiming Compensation for Subsidence in an Apartment Block

Further complications to claiming compensation for subsidence in an apartment block exist with regard to the time limits for making claims and how soon after noticing the subsidence the owners commence litigation. As a guide, subsidence is considered to be a “latent defect” – one which could not have been reasonably identified at the time the property was built – and therefore owners in your apartment block have ten years from the date of “substantial completion” in which to make claims for a ground settlement due to faulty construction.

There is also the issue of how soon after the subsidence was discovered that a “Notice of Commencement of Legal Proceeding” is sent to the builder. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure, the notice should be sent within four years of the construction defect being identified. If action is taken after this date – or it is subsequently discovered that the subsidence existed far earlier than is being alleged – a claim for compensation for a settlement of ground causing subsidence may be time-barred.

Making Claims for a Ground Settlement due to Faulty Construction

If your potential claim for compensation for a settlement of ground causing subsidence falls within the ten-year Statute of Limitations, it is likely that the claim would be made by the Property Owners Association on behalf of all the owners affected by the construction defect. The name given to this legal action for a construction defect is the “Calderon Process” and it initially involves the Property Owners Association meeting with the property constructor to resolve the complaint by mediation.

For owners in your apartment complex that have not had their properties damaged by the subsidence, there is no rush to effect repairs and the 180-day mediation process is acceptable. However, in the case where subsidence has damaged your property beyond habitability, claims for a ground settlement due to a faulty construction should not be delayed by this process and you should discuss claiming compensation for subsidence in an apartment block with a construction defects lawyer as soon as possible.

Under the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (the legislation which affects claims for a ground settlement due to faulty construction in a multi-occupancy development) mediation is not necessary for claims that may potentially result in settlements of $5,000 or more, and a lawyer will be able to accelerate your claim for compensation for a settlement of ground causing subsidence so that your home is repaired without delay.

Speak with a Lawyer about Claiming Compensation for Subsidence in an Apartment Block

If you have suffered property damage due to any form of subsidence, and would like to know more about claiming compensation for subsidence in an apartment block, you should call our free construction defect legal advice service and discuss your property damage with an experienced construction defects lawyer.

By speaking with a member of our construction defect legal advice service, you will receive all the information you need about claims for a ground settlement due to faulty construction to determine whether you are eligible for compensation from your property constructor´s insurance policy, and whether you are within the Statute of Limitations to claim compensation for a settlement of ground causing subsidence.

All calls to our construction defect legal advice service are completely confidential and there is no obligation on you to proceed with claims for a ground settlement due to faulty construction or to act on any of the advice we provide. Our service aims to guide you through the complexity of claiming compensation for subsidence in an apartment block – ensuring that your claim is resolved for the maximum amount you are entitled to and that it is settled in the shortest period of time possible.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article about compensation for subsidence in an apartment block should be interpreted as legal advice or as forming a plaintiff-lawyer relationship. No two compensation claims for a ground settlement due to faulty construction are identical, and therefore the content of this page is no substitute for speaking directly with a construction defects lawyer and receiving advice about your own individual situation.