What to know about the Builder Defect Bill HB 1279

Recently, a bill was presented in regard to real estate called House Bill 1279. This particular bill has to do with condominiums where there would now be a measure requiring that a majority of homeowners in a condo complex first approve a construction defects action against a builder, rather than just the association board. This bill has already passed the Colorado House a couple of weeks back where it passed 64-0 vote and now, a few days ago, it passed in the Senate 33-0.

 

This bill is one amongst a handful of other bulls introduced this legislative session designed to deal with the state’s long-running defects issue. If you have noticed, there has been a lack of condos being built in Colorado because of developers’ fears with the legal environment around condo construction. Builders have said countless times that the legals surrounding condo constructions have become so controversial that is has turned developers away because they are too afraid they could be sued. On the other side of that argument, legislators have argued for the past four sessions over whether the cost of insurance and litigation are really the roadblock or whether builders are trying to turn a blind eye to some shoddy work.

 

With this new bill, it gives the builder a chance to present their side and possibly offer a remedy to the problems brought to light by the residents. It also requires a majority of residents to approve the lawsuit against the builder.

 

One reason this bill is being pushed so hard is because condos have been sited as affordable places for people to live. I know personally I have a lot of first time homebuyers who would be able to stand a better chance in this hectic Denver real estate market if there were more condominiums to choose from in their price range. The median price for a condo in metro Denver last month was $260k as opposed to $400k for a house.

 

One sponsor of the bill, Reps. Jack Tate R-Centennial had this to say about the bill: “First, it acknowledges there is a problem. And second, this is a positive corrective measure to addressing the problem we have when it comes to construction litigation issues.” (Joey Bunch, ColoradoPolitics.com). This bill will not change any of the laws that currently stand in regards to construction but it does ensure informed consent before any lawsuits are brought against builders.

 

This is a bill I will continue to watch closely as new condominiums are being built all around Colorado. It’s an exciting time for Denver and the surrounding burbs as we continue to grow and offer more affordable housing for every bu