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New York is “Florida” when it comes to new construction defects

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“New York used to be known as a well-built city, but the last construction boom had so many problems, it’s really like being in Florida,” assistant New York State attorney General Marissa Piesman said last night at a forum for frustrated co-op and condo owners.  

Piesman, who works in the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the attorney general’s office, seemed to be on intimate terms with the fallout of the construction boom and the increasing difficulty of addressing complaints.

“It used to be that a phone call from the Attorney General’s office would be sufficient but in the last two years since the economy tanked, it’s been hard to get sponsors to be responsive,” she noted. 

Faced with a tsunami of construction defect complaints, the AG’s office now attempts to mediate rather than litigate. But whether it gets involved at all depends on the scope of the problem: Bigger fish get fried first.

“We’re more likely to get involved when there’s a systemic problem across a whole building rather than a problem affecting one individual,” she said.  

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