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What is a latent defect in construction?

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2022 | Business Law

You run a construction company, so you’re always wary that clients may make claims that you have built them a defective property. In some cases, these claims have absolutely no grounds, such as when the client simply doesn’t like the aesthetic choices but you followed their plans and instructions perfectly. In other cases, defects may show up during the inspection and need to be corrected before the person takes ownership.

One type of construction defect is known as a latent defect. How is this different and how may it impact a claim?

It comes to light later

The biggest difference with a latent defect says that it’s not obvious to the homeowner, even if they were checking in during the building process, and it may even go undetected during the inspection. It is a hidden defect. However, it could come to light later when there are serious problems with the home.

For instance, some of the wiring in the building could be loose. It technically works when the inspector checks all the switches and outlets, but it comes loose shortly afterward. Parts of the home lose power, breakers are constantly triggering and it may be a fire hazard. This could be a latent defect and the client may make this claim, even if it’s been years since you actually built that house.

In a situation like this, it is very important for you to understand all of your legal options. Not only do you want to think about what to do in this specific case, but you have to consider what these claims are going to do to the reputation of your construction company.