Apartment project converting to condos

Apartment photoWith the current trend of condos being more and more difficult to build due to litigation and claims, developers/owners are looking to build apartments instead.  The issue, for architects and engineers, that has come up lately is; will the apartment building be later turned into a condo?  How do architects and engineers best protect themselves in this situation?

This is one of those circumstances where it is so important to have a strong contract to begin with and documentation once the project has started.  When reviewing the contract be sure that it doesn’t include phases such as ‘Unit Owners Association’ or ‘Home Owners Association’.  This is a telltale sign that the project will be a condo at some point in time.  Most importantly ask your attorney to review the contract to best protect your firm against a potential condo claim if it is initially being built as an apartment.  If the apartment project has already been completed and later your firm discovers it has been converted to a condo project be sure to write a letter or have your attorney write a letter describing what you originally understood what the project use was.

Additionally, some insurance carriers may exclude condo project, be sure to read your Professional Liability policy and check with your insurance agent to know what the exclusions on your policy are.

Again most importantly, have a good contract to begin with for the apartment project and DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT.

If issues do arise be sure to contact your insurance agent to set up a pre-claim or claim with your Professional Liability insurance carrier.


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