Potential “Reform” of Construction Defects Law Could Affect Consumer Rights

Home Construction Defects ReformOver a year ago, I wrote to you about a City Council measure in Lakewood to amend Colorado’s construction-defects law. Now, state lawmakers intend to “reform” the state’s construction-defects law during this legislative session. Many lawmakers are looking for ways to increase the presence of condo builders in Colorado; however, in doing so they are making it harder for homeowners to bring legal action against these builders for faulty building practices. A recent article from the Denver Post that discusses this issue mentions that Lakewood, the first city to pass this type of law, has yet to receive a builder’s application for a condo project.

While an increase in the availability of condos in Colorado may help as housing prices and rents soar, by amending our state law to make it easier for builders, our state legislators would be doing a disservice to consumers who purchase the buildings. In fact, last year legislators tried to pass similar laws. This bill would have made mediation or arbitration, rather than litigation the method of dispute resolution in these types of cases and would have prevented consumers from seeking compensation for faulty construction in a court. It’s extremely important that those who choose to make such a big investment like buying a home have the best opportunity to redress their concerns and injuries. “Reform” would prevent this.

Currently, 12 cities throughout Colorado, including Denver, Colorado Springs, and many of the Denver suburbs, have initiated construction-defects measures. It will be important to watch what does happen this legislative session. Hopefully we don’t see law passing that hinders the ability of Colorado residents from protection in their investments and rights.

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