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What Are Latent Defects?

A Latent Defect is a defect that is not detected by ordinary inspection, but lies hidden until sometime later, when it’s discovered because it causes a problem that everyone can see.  An example of latent defects would be weak concrete in part of a bridge column, that looks the same as strong concrete, but collapses when a heavy truck drives over the bridge.

Whose Responsible for Latent Defects?

The Contractor is responsible for any latent defects discovered during the first 10 years after the Engineer has issued the Final Approval Certificate. The Contractor will not be responsible for any latent defects discovered 5 to 10 years after issue of the Final Approval Certificate.

All latent defects have to be proven which means proof of Contractor negligence during the construction phase has to be clearly identified and proven. For example, a visible crack in a wall is not considered a latent defect unless it can be proven that it occurred due to the Contractor’s poor workmanship which couldn’t be identified at time of completion.

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