Construction Defects and the SB800 Process

August 29, 2013 by David C. Swedelson

By David Swedelson, Partner at SwedelsonGottlieb, Condo Lawyer and HOA Attorney

constructiondefect.jpgYou may have heard an attorney refer to the "SB800 process" and not really understood what it was all about. SB800 refers to a California Senate Bill that became law about ten years ago, requiring and setting out a new procedure that had to be followed for construction defect claims and lawsuits against the builders and developers of condominium and homeowner associations. SB800, which was codified in Civil Code § 875 et seq., applies to homes and condominiums and provides the procedure for instituting construction defect claims for new residential property “sold” on or after January 1, 2003. Although the express legislative intent of SB800 was to improve standards and procedures for the administration of civil justice and early resolution of construction defects, according to the California Building Industry Association, SB800 would lead to increased production of affordable condominiums and townhouses. Not sure if that actually happened. But it is clear that a lot of condos have been built in the last ten years. This bill significantly changed the way defect cases were being handled.

SwedelsonGottlieb has handled dozens of defect lawsuits over the last 25+ years. We have been fortunate enough to have recovered millions of dollars for our condo and HOA clients. I have recently had a number of clients contact the firm asking about defect claims, and it became apparent to me that they did not understand the process. I updated and revised an article we prepared back in or around 2003 when SB800 became law. The article explains the reasons for the changes and what SB800 requires as it relates to construction defect claims. Follow this link for the article.