By Tim Gordon
The Colorado Supreme Court has finally weighed in and held that the 90-day tolling period for indemnification claims related to construction defects actions also tolls the statute of repose, ending years of confusion and making the tolling provision effective. Goodman v. Heritage Builders, Inc., 2017 CO 13.
By: Rebecca Dow
The lack of more affordable housing in Colorado has been well documented over the last several years, and there have been a number of attempts to address reform of the current laws by legislative action. More than 13 communities with 2.5 million residents have passed local ordinances to promote condo development to provide owner-occupied, multi-family housing by putting in place reforms to reduce the threat of expensive, time-consuming litigation over construction defects. Since 2015, a broad, bipartisan coalition of mayors, economic development groups, affordable housing groups, and representatives of the construction and housing industry (the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance or HOA) have attempted to find a state-wide legislative solution to the housing crisis. The HOA notes that condos are only 3.4% of new housing starts in the Denver metro area, compared to 20% in 2007.
The HOA’s most recent construction defect reform bill (SB156) was introduced on February 1st in the Colorado legislature, offering a more robust reform proposal regarding construction defect disputes. SB156 as introduced appears to be an improved version of SB177, which was introduced in 2015, and ended in a quick death in a “kill” committee in the Senate. The 2017 bill includes the previous bill’s provision that prevents the removal of binding arbitration clauses in the declaration of a common interest community, and states that any amendment or removal of a mediation or arbitration provision in a common interest community declaration cannot apply to claims that were originally described in the declaration. This means that an amendment or removal of a binding arbitration provision in the association declaration will not be applicable to a construction defect claim. This new and improved bill makes this protection also applicable to non-CCIOA party wall agreements, REAs and similar documents, which contain mediation or arbitration requirements–protecting those documents from amendments to strip out mediation or arbitration provisions for construction defect claims. Read more
By Tim Gordon
Good fences may make good neighbors, but construction projects often make bad ones. In Begley v. Ireson, 2017COA3, Begley and Hirsh wanted to demolish the old house on their property and build a new home. They hired an architect, submitted plans to Denver for approval, and hired a contractor to perform the work. But the work abruptly stopped after their neighbors complained and scared off the contractor.