Denver Mayor Hopes Construction Defect Ordinance Will Spur Condo Building

October 13, 2015

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says lawsuits over condo construction defects have hampered much-needed housing development. He hopes a proposed ordinance will change that.

The ordinance would limit lawsuits over technical building code violations and would require a majority vote of condo owners to enter into a lawsuit. The city would also support contracts that require arbitration.

Hancock's proposal is similar to a bill that died during the legislative session this year.

“Nothing we're doing overrides the desire and need for us to still address this on a state level. And I think that's important here," Hancock said. "And if we can provide insight through our ordinances here to the state then let us to that.”

If the measure passes, Denver would join a handful of other cities that have enacted their own construction defects reforms. A council committee will hold its first discussion on the proposal later this month.

Supporters argue the ordinance could lead to more affordable housing, a critical need in Denver.

But homeowner's associations argue the condo defect measures favor developers and will result in a wave of shoddy construction as contractors cut corners.

Critics also say a hot rental market favors apartment development, and that is limiting condo construction, not the threat of lawsuits.