Municipal Ordinances Create Additional Opportunities for the Defense of Construction Defect Claims in Colorado

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Recent developments in municipal law are encouraging and warrant continued review as local jurisdictions take part in the regulation of construction defect claims.

August 22, 2022
Ricky Nolen - Colorado Construction Litigation Blog

Municipal ordinances may provide additional defenses for construction professionals where state law does not provide sufficient protection for Colorado’s builders. Colorado state law can be a minefield of potential liability for construction professionals. Even though the state legislature has stated that it must “recognize that Construction defect laws are an existing policy issue that many developers indicate adds to for-sale costs,” the legislature has remained hesitant to provide any meaningful protection from construction defect claims, resulting in almost unlimited exposure for Colorado’s construction professionals.

Given this background of state laws that do not go far enough in protecting Colorado’s construction professionals, it may be fruitful to review municipal ordinances for new defenses and to temper state law developments applicable to construction defect claims. This is an area of law that is only just developing in Colorado. In fact, the ordinances discussed in this article were only passed in the last two years with many cities only adopting the present versions of the ordinances in 2021. The two model ordinances discussed below are potentially helpful in three ways. The first model ordinance gives construction professionals a right to repair defects in the multi-family construction and in the common interest community context. The second model ordinance is helpful in two ways. First, it establishes that homeowners associations may not unilaterally circumvent ADR protections included in the original declarations for such communities.[1] Second, the ordinance reduces the risk that strict liability will be imposed on a construction professional where a building code is violated.

Mr. Nolen may be contacted at nolen@hhmrlaw.com



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