Denver passes condominium construction defect reform
On November 23, 2015, the Denver city counsel passed an ordinance on condominium construction defects. Under the ordinance, a project cannot be called defective in a civil action if it was built and maintained in conformance with the building code, and building codes violations can only be cited in a lawsuit only if they can be linked to damage or injury.
While the apartment boom bloomed, the condo construction has lagged over the past decade. Officials are hopeful that this new ordinance will tackle the accessible and affordable housing challenge in Denver and help to jump-start more condo construction. Some individual condo owners opposed the new ordinance. The owners are understandably afraid that it will burden homeowners with correcting mistakes made during construction.
The ordinance goes into effect Jan. 1.
Denver is not the first municipality that passed a construction defect reform. While Lakewood was the first to pass such legislature, Lone Tree, Aurora, Littleton, Parker and Commerce City soon followed. And it does not stop with Denver. Only one day after Denver passed the defect ordinance, Colorado Springs’ city counsel unanimously approved a construction defect ordinance on first read.
The legality of municipalities passing ordinances that conflict with current state law on construction defects will be a major hurdle in actually enforcing these ordinances.