Claiming Compensation for Property Damage due to Cracks in the Foundations  

Claiming damages for cracks in the foundations of an apartment building can often be a process filled with complexities. Most foundations crack over time, and minor cracks are often no cause for alarm. Major cracks however – those in excess of ¼ inch wide – indicate substantial ground movement and can result in serious structural damage.

A successful claim for compensation for property damage due to cracks in the foundations has to demonstrate that errors were made during the construction of the foundations, that the materials that were used were not of suitable quality or that mistakes were made in the preparation of the ground surrounding the foundations which caused the foundations to shift and crack.

The success of a claim also depends on there being an insurance policy against which to claim damages for cracks in the foundations of an apartment building. Most claims will be made against the main constructor of the property; but the main constructor may dispute the claim on the grounds that the party responsible for the construction defect is a sub-contractor or the supplier of the building materials – thus complicating the claim for cracks in an apartment´s foundation further.

Making a Claim for Cracks in an Apartment´s Foundation

Cracked foundations are likely to affect multiple owners and a claim for cracks in an apartment´s foundation is usually pursued by a Property Owners Association (POA) on behalf of all the owners in the apartment complex. Even when part of an apartment building is unaffected by the foundation issues – or separate apartment blocks unaffected altogether – all the owners in the complex will suffer if the construction defect results in a decline in the value of their home.

The name given to a claim for cracks in an apartment´s foundation conducted by a POA against a main constructor is the “Calderon Process”. The process involves the POA and the constructor attempting to resolve the framing issues by mediation before the need for litigation. However, if you are the owner of an apartment which is uninhabitable because of structural damage – or which presents a risk of personal injury – the 180-day mediation process prior to litigation may not be a suitable course of action for you to follow.

Individual owners can accelerate a claim for compensation for property damage due to cracks in the foundations through the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (the legislation which governs compensation for property damage due to cracks in the foundations), and if you wish to claim damages for cracks in the foundations of an apartment building using this legislation, it is recommended that you contact a construction defects lawyer without delay.

Time Limits for Claiming Compensation for Property Damage due to Cracks in the Foundations

One of the primary reasons for contacting a construction defects lawyer without delay is that time limits apply to claims for damages for cracks in the foundations of an apartment building. Signs that your apartment building has faulty foundations are not always apparent within a short period of time. It could take a particularly heavy rainfall or excessive extremes of temperate before cracks appear in the foundations and it is noticed that the property has a construction defect.

Each state has its own Statute of Limitations and, depending on the state in which you live, you could have anything from six to ten years in which to make a claim for cracks in an apartment´s foundation from the date of “substantial completion”. If you delay claiming damages for cracks in the foundations of an apartment building beyond the period allowed, it may be the case that your claim is time-barred and the constructor will not have to accept liability, repair the damage or pay any compensation.

There is also a time limit for how long after a construction defect is confirmed by an engineering expert that a “Notice of Commencement of Legal Proceedings” must be sent to the constructor of your property. Consequently, once cracks in the foundations of an apartment building are identified, you should contact a construction defects lawyer in order that an inspection by a construction expert can be organized as quickly as possible.

Speak with us about Claiming Damages for Cracks in the Foundations of an Apartment Building

If you have suffered property damage or depreciation in the value of your home due to cracks appearing in the foundations of your property, and you would like to find out more about claiming damages for cracks in the foundations of an apartment building, you should contact our construction defects helpline and discuss the problems you are experiencing with an experienced construction defects lawyer.

Once you have explained the problems you have with your property, you will receive professional and practical legal advice about claiming compensation for property damage due to cracks in the foundations and the reports and inspections that need to be completed before it is possible to proceed with a claim for cracks in an apartment´s foundation.

All calls to our construction defects helpline are completely confidential and you are under no obligation to proceed with a claim for cracks in an apartment´s foundation once you have spoken with us. Our aim is to guide you through the frequently complex process of claiming damages for cracks in the foundations of an apartment building so that you are in a knowledgeable position from which to decide whether you have a claim for cracks in an apartment´s foundation which is worth your while to pursue.

Claims for compensation for property damage due to cracks in the foundations are often contested by the constructor´s insurance company and, even when claims are resolved, it may still take an extended period before the defect is repaired. Expedite your claim for cracks in an apartment´s foundation by contacting our construction defects helpline today!

Disclaimer: Please note that no two claims for damages for cracks in the foundations of an apartment building are the same. Consequently nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice or as developing a plaintiff-lawyer relationship. You should always seek legal advice which is relevant to your individual circumstances from an independent construction defects lawyer.