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New York condo boom dogged by construction complaints


New York is experiencing a housing boom, fueled in part by rising property values and Mayor de Blasio's drive for more housing construction. But there is evidence that as more buildings are going up, some construction companies and developers may be taking shortcuts that result in serious construction defects. According to a recent news story engineers, architects and attorneys say they have seen an increase in calls about shoddy construction problems on new buildings.

At one new condo development in Brooklyn, concrete has fallen from the balconies and façade onto the sidewalk and the street. The 12-story, 156-unit building opened in 2010; the problems began to appear in 2013. The condo board retained an architectural firm that concluded faulty construction was the cause of the problems. According to the architectural firm, railings were not properly anchored and the concrete was improperly laid on the ledges and balconies. At other developments residents and condo boards have complained of burst pipes, leaky roofs and failure to properly install sprinklers and other fire safety features.

Construction litigation in New York can be complex and challenging. Condo boards can sue project sponsors for breach of contract, fraud or negligence, depending on the factual circumstances. But the limited liability companies formed by project sponsors often dissolve once all the units in a building are sold.

Locating responsible parties and their assets can be difficult. And while is essential to commence litigation before statutes of limitation expire, structural and other defects in a building may not become apparent for months or even years. Having experienced construction litigation counsel on your side can be critical.

Source: New York Times, "New, but Far From Perfect: Construction Defects Follow a Brooklyn Building Boom," Ronda Kaysen, March 6, 2015

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