Douglas Reiser: Receive Notice of Construction Defects? 4 Things to Remember When Responding [WA]

Have you ever received a standard form Notice of Construction Defects (RCW 64.50.020) from one of your customers? This is not an inordinate occurrence. In fact, it happens to many of the best contractors out there.

The Notice of Construction Defects is a standard notice mandated by RCW 64.50, a chapter in the Revised Code of Washington, intended to provide a pre-litigation resolution process for contractors and consumers. The chapter applies only to those losses ?caused by a defect in the construction of a residence or in the substantial remodel of a residence.?(See ?Action? RCW 64.50.010). Thus, you will only receive one of these notices if you perform work on residential projects.

So, what do you do if you receive one of these notices? Well, you should actually be relieved; this means that your customer has not ignored procedure and stuck you in the middle of a premature lawsuit. A customer cannot file a lawsuit until forty-five (45) days after the notice has been delivered.

Follow these simple rules to put yourself in the best position and potentially resolve the dispute before a lawsuit ensues.