Wisconsin’s Right to Cure Act is a legal resource that allows contractors a chance to remedy construction defects that may be found before a lawsuit can be filed. It follows a strict timeline, which is important to adhere to. Regardless of whether you are a contractor or a consumer involved in a construction project subject to the Act, it is important to take the proper steps if a construction defect is found. For a brief overview of Wisconsin’s Right to Cure Act, please keep reading below.
Contractor notifies consumer
Under Wisconsin law, contractors are required to give the consumer a brochure prepared by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce (DOC). The brochure may be found here: https://dsps.wi.gov/Documents/Programs/UDC/RightToCureLaw.pdf. This brochure explains the process of how construction defects are to be handled. Contractors also must provide the consumer a written notice regarding the right to cure process at the time of contracting. Wisconsin Statute § 101.148(2)(a) requires the following notice:
NOTICE CONCERNING CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS
Wisconsin law contains important requirements you must follow before you may file a lawsuit for defective construction against the contractor who constructed your dwelling or completed your remodeling project or against a window or door supplier or manufacturer. Section 895.07 (2) and (3) of the Wisconsin statutes requires you to deliver to the contractor a written notice of any construction conditions you allege are defective before you file your lawsuit, and you must provide your contractor or window or door supplier the opportunity to make an offer to repair or remedy the alleged construction defects. You are not obligated to accept any offer made by the contractor or window or door supplier. All parties are bound by applicable warranty provisions.
Finding a defect
Defects of buildings may not be found right away. However, when a defect is found by the consumer, they must provide a written notice to contractor. The contractor then has the opportunity to respond and correct the defect before a lawsuit can be filed.
Right to Cure options and timelines
Consumer notifies contractor of defect: The Consumer must provide written notice of the alleged defect to the contractor at least 90 days before filing suit. The Contractor has 15 days to respond once they receive a claim of a defect by the Consumer. If the Contractor fails to respond within 15 days, the Consumer can file a lawsuit. When the Contractor chooses to respond, they have three options:
- Offer to repair, remedy, or pay/settle for the defect
- Written rejection of the defect claim
- Propose an inspection
Offer to repair, remedy, or pay: The Consumer can either accept or reject the offer that the contractor proposes. If rejecting the offer, the consumer has 15 days to provide a written notice of the rejection. The contractor will then have 5 days to respond by either providing another offer to fix the defect or decline to make another offer. If there is a failure to reach an agreement, a lawsuit may follow. If the consumer accepts the offer, the contractor should then proceed using the corrective actions agreed upon.
Written rejection of the defect claim: If the contractor provides a written rejection of the claim, the consumer may file a lawsuit.
Propose an inspection: If the contractor proposes an inspection, the consumer must respond within 15 days and allow the contractor to inspect the possible defect. If destructive testing is needed, the contractor must give a 5 days’ notice to the consumer and the contractor must then fully restore what was destroyed in the testing. When the contractor concludes their testing, they have 10 days to respond to the initial defect claim.
Need help with any Right to Cure claims?
Right to Cure claims are very strict in nature. The timelines and process need to be followed closely. If you need guidance or have any questions about Wisconsin’s Right to Cure Act, contact a construction lawyer with the expertise to help you. The attorneys at McDonald & Kloth, LLC can help you with the Right to Cure process and other construction law issues. Call us today at 262-252-9122 or use our contact fill form.