What is South Carolina’s notice law for construction claims?
South Carolina has a law for construction defect claims called the notice and opportunity to cure or notice and opportunity to repair law and officially titled the “South Carolina Notice and Opportunity to Cure Construction Dwelling Defects Act.” The law provides that at least ninety days prior to filing a lawsuit for a construction claim, the property owner is to provide the responsible contractor with written notice of the construction defect. The notice must contain certain information about the defect (a description of it and a description of the results caused by it) and must be served on the responsible party by personally delivering it to the contractor or by sending it by certified mail to the contractor’s last known address. The contractor then has thirty days to inspect the defect, offer to fix the defect, offer to settle the potential claim, or deny the claim.
The law provides that if a property owner files a lawsuit without first providing the notice required by the law, the lawsuit can be stayed by the contractor until the property owner completes the process set out in the law. Also, contractors repeatedly argue that if repairs were made prior to sending the notice required by the law, the law cannot be satisfied by the property owner and a lawsuit cannot proceed.
A lawyer with experience handling construction defects can assess whether a notice needs to be sent prior to filing a lawsuit, what needs to be in the notice, and how to handle any response by the contractor. The key takeaway for property owners is to get a construction defect lawyer involved prior to repairing any construction defect.
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