Protecting The Best Interests Of Commercial Clients In The Construction Field And Other Industries

How is a latent defect different? 

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2023 | Construction Law |

In the construction industry, disputes will often happen due to perceived defects. The client will be unhappy because the construction has not been done up to their standards. These defects may mean that the building is unusable, unsafe, or simply not what the client thought they were paying for.

There are two main types of defects, which are known as patent defects and latent defects. A patent defect is one that you would generally notice immediately, whereas a latent defect is one that is hidden. This likely hasn’t been done intentionally, but the defect may not show up until a later date.

Examples of how this can happen

For a patent defect, things may be clear immediately. For instance, maybe the builder used the wrong roofing materials or painted the building the wrong color. Perhaps they built it on the wrong lot or maybe some of the systems that were done by subcontractors – like plumbing and electrical – just don’t work properly. 

But a latent defect may make it appear, on initial inspection, that everything has been done correctly and that there are no issues with the property. An example of this could be a small leak in the roof that only leads to water damage over time. Another example of a latent defect could be if the lot was not prepared properly, so the building is settling unevenly, leading to extensive damage inside.

These issues can be a bit more difficult to identify, but they are still defects and can have a major impact on the value and quality of the property. That’s why it’s important for those who find themselves in this situation to know what legal options they have.