Bipartisan construction defect bill moves forward in Colorado

Posted at 8:27 PM, Apr 19, 2017

DENVER -- A group of bipartisan lawmakers in Colorado found common ground to move forward on a construction defect bill.

New apartment buildings are going up all over Denver, but new condominiums are almost nonexistent. Developers are wary of building in the market. 

"Developers were realizing it wasn't a matter if they would be sued, "said Kathie Barstnar. "It was a matter of when they would be sued." 

Barstnar is with the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance.

Under current law, it makes it easy to file a lawsuit on builders over leaky windows or foundation problems. All it takes is a homeowner’s association board to take a builder to court. Insurance cost for developers were going up. Other homeowners in the building couldn't refinance or sell because the titles were burdened by the lawsuit. 

"This is about protecting consumers, empowering homeowners and making sure that we finally reduce the risk to instill some confidence for people to break ground on attainable housing across the state," said Rep. Alec Garnett, D-Denver. 

Garnett is a co-sponsor of the bill. 

HB 1279 would require most unit homeowners to vote before any construction defect lawsuits are filed. Homeowners have 90 days to find problems before they can sue.

"The bill is a product of certainty for homeowners to build, homeowners to have a voice and for aspiring homeowners to build a future in Colorado," said co-sponsor Rep. Lori Saine, R-Weld County. 

The bill is expected to make it through to the governor’s desk. 

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