This is part 5 of Randy Sawyer’s 16 Part series on UCIOA. You can read Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4 here.

Section 87, subsection (e)

Subsection (e) of UCIOA’s Section 87 is further evidence of the vague wording throughout the bill and the hastened procedure created to attempt to deal with what are ordinarily complex issues. Subsection (e) provides:

§87(e) – Within 30 days of receipt of the settlement offer, the association shall notify the declarant of two business dates during the 45-day period following the date of the association’s notice, the first of which will not be earlier than 10 days following the date of the association’s notice, on which a majority of the executive board will be prepared to meet with the declarant to discuss the association’s claims and the settlement offer. The association and the declarant may be represented at the meeting by attorneys and independent consultants.

The first sentence of subsection subsection (e) is poorly worded. This language appears to require the Association to provide two meeting dates within 45 days of its original notice to the developer of the defect claim, which would of course be absurd because by the time the developer’s settlement offer comes, those 45 days would likely have passed.

Also worth noting is that, by the time subsection (e) comes into play, the 180 day tolling period for the applicable statutes of limitation provided under subsection (b) will have run. The timing in subsection (e) above when added to time periods in other subsections will erase the 180 day tolling period. That means that the statutes of limitations on the Associations’ claims will begin to run before the arbitration process required in Section 87 makes any real headway.

In addition, the timing of the procedure up to this point in Section 87 makes no practical sense. Those experienced in construction defect litigation in community properties know that many if not most construction deficiencies in a condominium project develop slowly over a few years and do not become visible until several freeze/thaw cycles have occurred from the changing seasons have taken place. UCIOA’s procedure do not allow sufficient time for the Association to identify all of its claims before requiring negotiation between the Association and the Sponsor/Developer.