Q. I live in a condo with construction defects. It
has been a little over 3 years, and the condo board has been in discussion with
the sponsor and developer about these problems, but nothing has been legally
and officially filed with them. Is it too late for me to file something against
the sponsor on my own?
A. That depends,
in part, on what sort of defects you are talking about, say our experts.
“If the defects are in the common elements, it is up to the board
to bring an action,” says real estate attorney Robert Braverman. “If, on the other hand, there are
problems in the unit—such as floors, fixtures or appliances—then the owner may
have a claim against the sponsor which may or may not be time-barred.”
Claims based on the sponsor’s negligence, for instance, have
a three-year statute of limitations.
“Negligence is the primary claim rely on in these cases,”
says attorney Jeffrey Reich. However,
he says, it’s not too late to sue for breach of contract.
“Claims based on breach of contract have a six-year statute
of limitations,” says Reich. “If the writer’s purchase contract required the
developer to deliver a unit free from defects, the writer would have a viable
claim. Additionally, if the writer’s
unit is located in a building that is five stories or less, there may be claims
under the statutory housing merchant implied warranty that may apply and for
which there is a six year period.”
Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.