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Let me explain the white Attorney in Christ seal. By faith alone I received eternal life as a free gift from Jesus Christ. I strive to glorify Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A.Him in all that I do, including my law practice. In my life, I fall short of that goal at times, but I press on. God does not discriminate against people because of their race, faith, age, gender or any other factor. He loves everyone and offers the free gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. I enjoy praying with clients of like faith, and seeking God’s help in all that we do. Because God does not discriminate in His love, I do not discriminate in my legal practice. I answer my own telephone at 321.237.2869 and welcome your call. Construction Attorney │+Personal Legal Care+

A Basic Guide to Latent Defects and Buying a Florida Home

After buying a home in Florida, people often discover hidden defects such as structural problems, mold, and termites. Nothing in this website constitutes legal advice. I am only making a few general comments for consideration. I have not included every important step and the order of actual steps may not follow the order of the steps below. I am only making general comments about the way that I handle some construction defect cases. I cannot offer any legal advice without being retained in writing first and payment arrangements made. 

Step One

If some problem in your home causes you health problems, such as trouble breathing, or allergic reactions, or any other health concern, be sure to go to your doctor immediately and fully disclose your concerns. If you suspect something in your new home is causing the problem, be sure to tell your physician. I prefer that you see a Florida licensed physician so that expert testimony will support any health claim. If the doctor advises you to move out, then follow the physician’s advice, and be sure that advice has been put in writing to you. If you move out, be sure to keep track of all expenses in moving out. If you have personal injuries, seek legal advice.

Step Two

Review you insurance policy and contact your insurance agent. Tell your agent about the problem and see if any available insurance coverage may help. You may want to consider a public adjuster. If you have any questions about your insurance policy, seek legal advice.

Step Three

Review your contract for sale and purchase. If the contract has a disclosure section, carefully check and see what defects were disclosed by the Seller before closing. Obviously, if you did not include a disclosure report from the Seller, do not make the same mistake twice. If anyone made any promises to you about the home being in good condition, you want to know that fact. If the contract says the sale is “AS-IS,” Florida law may still impose an obligation on the Seller to disclose any known defects. Therefore, check the sale and purchase contract very carefully. If you had a home inspection, be sure to contact your home inspector about whatever defect you found and see if the inspector missed it. If it was truly hidden, then no one may have found it. At other times, a careful inspection may have found the defect before closing the sale. If you have any questions about your purchase and sale contract, seek legal advice.

Step Four

Try to understand the scope of the defect and the damage it is causing. Often, receiving a professional estimate of what damage exists and why it exists can be very helpful. A good repair estimate should describe the scope of work, although the scope of work may change after repairs begin. For example, if the roof leaks, then contact a roofer to give you a free estimate. When you first notice the defect, be sure to take pictures of the defect and begin a log of what problems existed and when did you first notice them. Take pictures and videos to document the conditions as you first found them. When possible, do not destroy them. Often, you want to give the Seller and any other party responsible for the damages time to have a full and fair opportunity to fix the problem before you hire someone else to the fix the problem. Timing here can be very important. Seek legal advice.

Step Five

Contact the Seller and make them aware of the problem. Document any contact you have with the Seller. If you had a realtor helping you, contact your realtor and see what help they can provide. Be sure to put your requests in writing and keep copies of all interactions. Do not record conversations without explicit permission from the other person. If you have questions about how and when to contact the Seller, seek legal advice.

Step Six

At all times, try to work with others to find the best solutions. In some cases, the Seller does not have the money to make repairs. Suing a seller for hidden defects does not always make sense if you will spend large sums to obtain a judgment that may be uncollectable. Each case requires careful, individual analysis. Seek legal advice.

Step Seven

Hire an experienced attorney who has a background in personal injury, construction defects, real estate contracts, and mold problems, if you see mold anywhere. For further information about mold law, see lawmold.com. If you find a significant construction defect, see the attorney right after your visit the physician in Step One. Often, the sooner you contact an attorney for help, the better.

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I answer my own telephone at 321.779.1211 and welcome your call. I do not provide legal advice during the free consultation, but we can discuss your concerns.

Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A.     Office: 1360 S. Patrick Dr., Suite 1A, Satellite Beach, FL 32937