Sloppy band aid repairs by the sponsor’s construction company were the standard response to numerous calls by unit owners complaining of serious leaks in this 32 unit new construction condominium in Brooklyn. Each time a unit owner or the board called the sponsor to get a leak fixed, the sponsor was agreeable and told the unit owner or the board to call the subsidiary construction company. Each time, weeks would pass, but finally a single worker would arrive at the building with tar, tarp, caulk, and even duct tape to try to stop the water incursion. Since the condominium was less than five stories tall, the sponsor was obligated to make repairs under the statutory new home warranty. The sponsor, knowing this, did not refuse to make repairs, but rather did so in a manner so as to dissuade the unit owners and the board from making warranty claims/calls. After all, black tar applied to the ceiling of an apartment to stop a leak is not only ineffective, but also aesthetically abhorrent.
Finally, after some terrible rains that led to continued leaks to all of the units and a literal flood in the basement, the board turned to Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. for help. At first, the sponsor did not respond to our demands, but once the lines of communication were opened between Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. and sponsor’s counsel, the story changed.
At first we came to an agreement for a sponsor work protocol by which the sponsor’s construction company would be permitted to perform work to stop the leaks. The detailed sponsor work protocol was designed to protect the condominium, and included a comprehensive scope of work, engineering oversight and approval, insurance, and warranties. Once this work was underway, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was able to step back from the project and wait for the work to be completed – saving the board from spending unnecessary legal fees.
9 months later, after the work was completed to the board’s satisfaction, the board came back to us and asked us to pursue the remaining construction defect claims. Despite the fast approaching expiration of the statute of limitations, we were able to negotiate a cash settlement with the sponsor to cover the additional construction defects, and expenses, including our legal fees. The final cash settlement figure was 600% higher than the sponsor’s initial offer.
In addition to the foregoing, sponsor stopped paying its common charges and assessments for the two units it still owned and rented out. We were able to collect all of the unpaid fees directly from sponsor’s tenants by sending RPL 339-kk rent demand letters.
Adam Leitman Bailey, and John M. Desiderio represented the board in this matter and continue to be the corporate counsel for the building.