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Legislative Alert: New Law Impacts Bidders’ Access to Public Records and Evaluation Committee Meetings

On June 2, 2011, Governor Scott signed HB 7223 into law. This new legislation amends Florida's Public Records and Sunshine Laws, by expanding "exemptions" applicable to bids, proposals and replies to sealed competitive solicitations, and closes evaluation meetings from the public in certain instances....

Long-Term Building Preventative Maintenance

Some counties in Florida now require buildings to be recertified when they reach a certain age and require problems discovered during the recertification inspection to be repaired in very short periods of time. Whether your building is subject to such a recertification program or not, it is never too early to implement a long-term preventative maintenance plan for your building to avoid being caught by surprise with costly repairs....

LIVE WEBINAR

Disaster Planning for the 2011 Hurricane Season - Are You Ready to Weather the Storm? Wednesday, June 1, 2011 10:00 AM– 11:00 AM EDT (9:00 AM – 10:00 PM CDT) Hurricane Season is officially here. While we have had a couple of years in Florida that have perhaps lulled us into a certain complacency, the prediction in 2011 is for nine hurricanes in the Atlantic. Are you ready to weather the storm? Join Bill Strop, who will moderate this webinar, and Rob Rubin and Sanjay Kurian, to learn about recent cases and experiences resulting from recent disasters that will affect how you prepare yourself and your community before the storms hit. William Strop, Esq. Fort Lauderdale Sanjay Kurian, Esq. Fort Myers Robert I. Rubin Esq. West Palm Beach . Click here to register and you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to participate ...

Supreme Court accepts review of Lakeview Reserve v. Maronda Homes

In the recent case of Lakeview Reserve Homeowners v. Maronda Homes, 48 So. 3d 902 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010), Florida's 5th District Court of Appeal found that a homeowner's association had a claim for breach of common law implied warranties of fitness and merchantability against a builder/developer for defects in the roadways, drainage systems, retention ponds and underground pipes.  The Fifth District found that these items immediately supported the homes by making them "habitable, and so, fit for its intended purpose."  In reaching this decision, the Fifth District certified conflict with the Fourth District's 1985 opinion of Port Sewall Harbor & Tennis Club Owners, Association, Inc. v. First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Martin County, 463 So. 2d 530 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985).  The Port Sewall case relied on the Florida Supreme Court's prior decision in Conklin v. Hurley, 428 So. 2d 654 (Fla. 1983), which the Fifth District distinguished. In light of the conflict between the appellate districts, the Florida Supreme Court has...

Construction Contracting for the Owner – Scope of Work

It is an easy enough question, what is the scope of your project? For example it may be simply to reroof the building. However, what materials should be used, what will be done with damaged plywood decking, does the existing roof need to be pulled off or can it be roofed over? These are all basic questions that need to be addressed from what appeared to be a simple question. As the owner, the scope is very important for purposes of knowing what your expectations are and that the contractor understands those expectations.  The scope will also impact the price. In our reroof example, what is the contractor doing with the air conditioner stands on the flat roof? Are they being removed and put back, or the being removed and new ones put in? Can the work be done with the air conditioning units in place?  Whether a reroof or any construction work...

Construction Contracting for the Owner: The Owner – Contractor Relationship

   In choosing a Contractor, often the Owner chooses a Contractor through a bidding process. Sometimes the Owner engages a Contractor on their own.  However the Contractor is contracted it is important to spell out the details of the terms. Courts will not protect an Owner from a bad deal that the Owner has voluntarily entered. This means that those multimillion dollar one page contracts floating around (I have seen a number of them over the years) will be enforced by a court if the Owner does not live up to the terms, no matter how one sided. In the bidding process, the Owner, with the help of the Design Professional, sends out a bid packet to various contractors and invites them to bid on the project.  The Owner and Design Professional then evaluate the bids and review the responsiveness of the bid, the responsibleness of the bids (is the bidder lowballing now in hopes of issuing...

Construction Contracting for the Owner: The Owner – Design Professional Relationship

Once the owner has decided to undertake a project they generally retain the services of a design professional. The design professional is the engineer or architect hired by the owner to be used at various points throughout the project. General discussions between the owner and design professional should include the owner’s expectations of the projects, budgets, specific materials which need to be used or special considerations about the project. In both renovations and new construction these discussions would also include aesthetic considerations.  Although all these discussions may happen, the scope of the design professional’s relationship with the owner is that which is spelled out in the contract between the owner and design professionals. An owner in retaining the design professional needs to define his expectations of the design professional, and those expectations should be reduced to a written contract. As an owner, if you want the design professional to provide contract administration then you must ask...