Complex Claims Compensation for Improperly Installed Doors and Windows

A city-funded complex of affordable condos in New York is claiming compensation for improperly installed doors and windows against the developer.

The Waters Edge at Arverne complex is located in the Rockaways district of New York. Consisting of 65 two-story buildings, the complex was intended to provide affordable condos for low and middle-income families in Queens. When it was completed in 2009, the price of a two-bedroom unit was $188,000, and a three-bedroom unit cost $300,000.

Despite being a relatively new construction, residents have complained that their properties have been subject to water damage due to improperly installed doors and windows. The condo board has undertaken some repair work on behalf of the residents, but has already run up $10 million in repair bills – an amount the board is reluctant to recover from the residents as it may force some from their homes.

A report into the extent of the water damage and the work required to correct its causes found that it could cost many millions more for the construction faults to be repaired. The condo board took legal advice and are now claiming compensation for improperly installed windows and doors against the developer of the project, the Briarwood Organization. A second claim has also been made against the project´s designers, AIA Architects and Associates.

In addition to claiming compensation for improperly installed doors and windows, the board alleges that there are construction defects in the roof and guttering that has led to standing water, leaks and further water damage. It has also been claimed that heating boilers were not installed according to the manufacturer´s instructions and that, as a result, many rooms are difficult to heat.

The action against the Briarwood Organization also alleges violations of the Building Code – specifically that circuit-breaker boxes for both the upper and lower condos are located in the upper condos garage and both water shut-off valves for each building are located in the upper unit. Lawyers for the Briarwood Organization and AIA Architects and Associates have so far declined to comment, but the city issued a statement to the effect that the developer has been in talks with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development with regard to the alleged Building Code violations.