While strict liability claims and negligence claims against a developer for construction defects do not permit the recovery of attorney’s fees, a court may award attorney’s fees, or even punitive damages, to a condominium association or homeowner in the case of fraud.
When a builder develops a community that is governed by CC&Rs, the developer is required to pay monthly assessments to the association for each unsold unit or lot after the first sale is closed. If the developer fails to pay assessments on unsold units and fails to report the delinquency in the financial records and minutes, a good claim for fraud exists. Such fraud may rise to the level of justifying a claim for attorney’s fees and/or punitive damages.
When the law offices of Michael T. Chulak & Associates represents a condominium association in a construction defect claim, we make it a point to determine if the association has a viable claim for fraud and/or punitive damages.