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In 1986, the Latent Damage Act introduced an extension to the ordinary six-year statutory limitation period. This extension is available for negligence claims for latent defects – a defect in a property, caused by a fault in design, materials or workmanship, that existed at the time construction was completed but was not apparent at the time of completion. It does not apply to personal injury claims.
Where there is a latent defect, the time limit is the later of:
subject to an overall limit of fifteen years from the accrual of damage.
In other words, the Latent Damage Act introduces an element of 'discoverability' which provides for a further period of three years from the discovery of the latent defect, and yet still provides some element of certainty to construction contractors with the creation of a final claim date of fifteen years from the accrual of damage.
However, the Latent Damage Act is of limited application to some construction claims. Many construction contracts restrict the scope of liability to the types of liability that are expressly set out in the original contract - such restrictions are introduced through what are sometimes called 'exclusive remedy' or 'entire agreement' clauses – and do not include liability for negligence, other than for negligence causing death or personal injury as this cannot be excluded under English law. In these cases, the Latent Damages Act will not apply.
Good evening. While not an expert in UK law, the common law is nearly universal. However, I did some checking online for UK law relating to latent defect claims and delays in discovery of defects. It appears that you may be well within the statute of limitations. This is what I've found so far on this issue:
Now for the more important issue, that of the ability to sue dissolved corporations. Here is where you may have a real problem.
The companies have been dissolved for over 3 years now.
I have not been able to find an answer to this online. In the US, you may sue a dissolved corporation for up to 2 years following the dissolution of the company, depending on the jurisdiction. This time period allows creditors of the company to come forward with their claims and for the company to resolve its outstanding debts before being "closed" for good. So in the UK, the law is probably somewhat similar and you potentially have a real issue here. Depending on the amount of money needed for correction of the latent defects, it may be worth looking into with a local barrister or solicitor. I wish you the best of luck. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. My name is Steve.
I was aware of the Latent Damage Act - it does not apply because our building was constructed in 2003 - we are "out of time".
The question was in relation to malfeasant directors dissolving a limited company to escape liability. The two individuals have a history of forming and dissolving limited companies every 3 to 5 years and leaving a trail of unpaid suppliers and poor construction work in their wake.
The "question" is the fact that they dissolved these companies several years before we discovered the defects mean the [bast*rds] have managed to get away with it. Yes or No please.
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