Filing a complaint with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (“ROC”) can often be a faster way to get your construction defect claim resolved than filing a lawsuit for breach of contract. The ROC has its own investigation process and will send an inspector to your home to evaluate the contractor’s work. Because contractors’ livelihoods depend on their license, many contractors are motivated to comply with ROC’s recommendations and orders, including fixing any defective workmanship.
Filing an ROC Complaint
Before you file an ROC complaint, make sure you have attempted to point out the defects to the contractor and get your issue resolved informally. If this doesn’t work, you should consider filing an ROC complaint.
Once the ROC receives a complaint, it will first make sure that the complaint applies to a licensed contractor. Then, the ROC will schedule a job site inspector to come look at the alleged defective work. If the inspector finds that the work meets the acceptable workmanship standards, the complaint will be dismissed. For work that fails to meet industry standards, the inspector will issue a written corrective order to the contractor outlining specifically what needs to be done to fix the defective work. The contractor has 15 days to comply with the order.
The ROC will then schedule a compliance inspection, unless you indicate in writing that the work has been corrected. Once again, the work will be evaluated. If the work is still not acceptable, the ROC will cite the contractor and schedule a hearing. At the hearing, the contractor may face suspension or revocation of their license, along with fines or other punitive measures.
If the contractor’s license is suspended or revoked, the homeowner may have the right to recover monetary damages from the residential recovery fund. The maximum recoverable amount is $30,000 per contractor, so this will not be sufficient to resolve every construction defect. Some homeowners may need to consider litigation in order to receive adequate compensation for their damages.
You can also file an ROC complaint and a lawsuit for damages due to a construction defect simultaneously. You will need to bring your claims within the relevant statute of limitations, which is typically six years for a breach of contract claim. Talk to a real estate lawyer with construction defect litigation experience for more information.
Chernoff Law handles real estate litigation matters throughout Arizona. Contact us by calling 480-719-7307 to discuss your real estate matters.