Shoddy construction on new condo buildings – including ones with multi-million-dollar apartments – is not exactly news in New York City. A problem that gets far less press is the shoddy and incomplete work in “fully renovated” apartments.
The buyer of a co-op in Beechhurst, Queens experienced this first-hand. A year after the purchase, bathroom tiles started cracking and falling from the walls. Investigation revealed that the shower had no waterproofing. “The co-op (board) must have approved the renovations,” the distressed shareholder writes to the Ask Real Estate column in the New York Times. “Am I really responsible for fixing this problem?”
If the seller knew that the shower lacked waterproofing and failed to disclose that to you, then you “may have a fraud claim against the seller,” says real estate attorney Slava Hazin.
The shareholder would not have a claim against the co-op, however. While the co-op board approved the renovation plans, they have no way of knowing if the waterproofing was installed. A better course than filing a lawsuit in such cases might be to get an estimate from a contractor to do the work properly. “The repair costs might be a lot less than hiring an attorney like me,” Hazin said.
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