In our last post, we started discussing how Sunshine State homeowners victimized by unscrupulous and otherwise insolvent contractors may be able to secure some measure of justice via the Florida Homeowners' Construction Recovery Fund.
To recap, this is a last resort fund set up by the state that can see aggrieved homeowners paid anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 provided that they are able to satisfy some rather strict eligibility requirements.
These requirements include the following:
- Entered into a signed written contract with a licensed contractor
- Secured an order of restitution or final judgment against the contractor
- Suffered a financial loss because of the contractor's violation of Florida Statute 489.129 (i.e., a "g" violation, "j" violation, or "k" violation)
What is a "j" violation?
Florida Statute 489.129 classifies a "j" violation as a contractor abandoning the construction project. This essentially means they have performed no work for 90 days, and that this termination of work efforts was done without providing any sort of prior notice to the homeowner or without cause.
What is a "k" violation?
A "k" violation is committed when a contractor signs a false statement indicating any of the following:
- Work is bonded
- Workers' compensation insurance and/or certain insurance protection has been provided
- All payments covering labor and materials, and subcontracted work have been made
Is it enough to simply have an order of restitution or final judgment against the contractor?
No. First, you must do everything possible to discover whether the contractor (i.e. judgment debtor) has any assets. If such assets are discovered, you must attempt to recover all or at least part of the money owed through them. Next, you must ensure that the order or judgment secured expressly declares that the losses endured were precipitated by specific violations of Florida Statute 489.129.
If you have questions or concerns regarding this or another complex construction law matters, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.