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New York Construction Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Construction Law and Contracts for New York on

Q: Is a oral contract with a remodeling contractor who has been given the code approved plans provable in a court of law?

Hired a contractor upon receiving a written estimate. He was provided with engineered building plans and the knowledge the code enforcement was involved. I was the permit holder. He received payment in advance due to him stating he could secure financing through Synchrony bank where he is a... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 20, 2019

Your question assumes a critical fact not established in this dispute. Just because you say the contract was oral does not make it so. IMPO, the remodeling contract you have with the contractor is clearly evidenced by the written estimate provided to you, apparently without objection. Paying the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Construction Law for New York on

Q: I live in a condo in New York City. Abatement for defective vent that blows foul smells into apartment?

The vent blows air into my apartment instead of withdrawing air as it should. Consequently, the whole apartment often fills several times a day with unpleasant cooking and bathroom smells from elsewhere in the building. My email records show that I have been complaining since 2008, sometimes... Read more »

Elaine Shay answered on Feb 25, 2019

If you are the owner of a condo unit, you do not have a typical landlord/tenant relationship with the board as you would in a coop apartment. Therefore, abatement may not be the correct term to use. If you want the situation corrected, you will need to have the formation documents carefully... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Construction Law for New York on

Q: You dream it, we build it Can I use this for my construction company as a slogan?

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 22, 2019

Assuming you don't violate any Intellectual Property rights if others have copyrighted this phrase, and assuming you don't falsely advertise your services and note clearly in contracts and on your website that this slogan is not a literal promise, it might be a useful slogan. More details are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Family Law, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York on

Q: how do you apply a mother-daughter to a single family house?

Elaine Shay answered on Oct 2, 2018

If you are asking how to allow use of a one-family house as a two family, you would have to amend the certificate of occupancy. This is sometimes but not always able to be done and may involve the services of an architect, expeditor or other other professional as well as an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on

Q: I moved two weeks ago to an apartment that is going through construction. Nobody told us it will take 3 months.

The realtor told us they are fixing the windows and it will take in till mid summer, that’s why we signed because our windows were done already.

A week after we move in,the management sends out a note that the Terri’s is going through a whole construction and we can’t go out to the... Read more »

Elaine Shay answered on Jun 18, 2018

Depending upon the specifics of your situation and how the repairs impact your tenancy, you may be entitled to a rent abatement or possibly recision of your lease. However, don't expect the landlord to be happy about it or easy to deal with. You may do better retaining an attorney to negotiate a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for New York on

Q: Coop board wants me to fix a patio that I had installed that they claim is pooling water into the stoop. Do I have to?

Approximately 6 years ago I had a patio installed that was built on a tilt towards my stoop. The board approved the patio being built (although neither I nor the board knew about the angle.). However the board claims that my patio causes water to pool on the stoop which is false because water... Read more »

Michael David Siegel answered on Apr 14, 2018

Hire an engineer or architect to state that fact. Submit formal report to board.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for New York on

Q: I know I'm sued for some money. But I've never served officially. Do I wait or ask them to serve me properly?

Some company didn't get the money from my Insurance company for their work on my house for only the "emergency" matters. But their invoice in very high over $169,000 for removing debris caused by fire and boarding up openings. So my insurance company hired a 3rd party to review the invoice to see... Read more »

Michael David Siegel answered on Mar 15, 2018

The case is likely efiled and viewable online. Playing the service of process game serves no purpose here. I would just look up the complaint and answer. The lien is the victory for them.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Construction Law for New York on

Q: My contractor hasn’t finished a home remodeling project after 7 months. How can I dispute the 40K charge?

I was initially told it would take 6-8 weeks. Multiple vendors are involved, but the entire project is managed by a major national chain. I live in NJ and the property is in NY.

Leonard R. Boyer answered on Jan 26, 2018

You need to retain a NY litigation attorney to resolve this matter. This type of case is best handled in State Court, although technically you might be able to bring an action in Federal Court in NJ, that would be much more expensive.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York on

Q: IN WHICH BRONX COUNTY COURT AREA CAN I OBTAIN INJUCTION TO STOP STREET CONSTRUCTION THAT DRILL INTO MY HOUSE WHAT FORMS?

UNANNOUNCED AND FOR 2 WEEKS CONTRUCTION WORK ON OUR BRONX STREET BLOCK CLAIMING UPGRADING YOUR GAS LINE. SHOCKINGLY THIS DAY I WOKE TO FIND THAT THEY HAVE DRILLED A MIGHTY HOLE ACROSS SMASHING SIDEWALK WHICH I HAD PAID FOR DIRECTLY INTO MY OWNER OCCUPIED TWO FAMILY HOUSE INTO THE FOUNDATION ALSO... Read more »

Barry Eran Janay answered on Oct 17, 2017

You most likely would have to file a notice of claim with the NYC Comptroller First and then file a suit in the NY Supreme Court, Bronx County.

3 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Contracts, Construction Law and Small Claims for New York on

Q: I purchased 2 boats from a very large and well known construction company.

I sent them a bank wire two weeks ago and they acknowledged receiving the money and we had very lengthy email exchanges discussing pickup. In the emails they discuss that they are ready to be picked up and are allowed to be released to me. I sent them a signed bill of sale they also acknowledged... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jul 10, 2017

What are the terms of your contractual agreements? More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for New York on

Q: I hired a contractor to remodel a basement apartment. He left my home in a dangerous shambles, can I sue?

Hired a contractor to do remodeling of apartment. He left my home in a dangerous shambles, with live electrical wires uncapped in the ceiling, panels falling off walls, electrical outlet uncovered, gaspipe extended using water sealant to seal space between pipes. He used unlicensed people for... Read more »

Mitchell A. Nathanson answered on Jun 20, 2017

If you can locate him and/or his company, you should definitely sue for breach of contract and replacement damage.

You should also report to your local BBB so that others don't suffer the same fate.

#LegalQ&A #NathansonLaw

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts, Construction Law and Government Contracts for New York on

Q: Can owner of project demand me to credit part of job based on payment schedule G703 form.

I am doing a 12 building government funded rent subsidized project. Owner rejected extra cost for work on 1 buildin arch. missed and went and hired another electrician to do extra and my work (part of my contract). Owner wants me to credit him the amount on on payment of schedules G703 form which... Read more »

Barry Eran Janay answered on May 23, 2017

The short answer is that you have to carefully look at the contract and scrutinize the obligations each of you have. The long answer begins with "it depends..." Basically the rules of contract law will government, when there is a breach each side has a duty to mitigate damages / losses.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for New York on

Q: Not able to pay contractor remaining installments because of sudden financial difficulties .

New York, NY | 11 minutes ago

A bit complicated and long question - I've hired a contractor company to renovate our apartment in New York City. We have a contract that only states that we will pay total cost divided by 5 installments. it is very vague and has nothing written about due date/... Read more »

Michael David Siegel answered on Apr 1, 2017

You should not have them do work you cannot pay for. That is going to lead to damages against you, and a lien on the apartment. You should tell them to stop work, and that you are not paying. Your breach entitles them to "quantum meruit" damages, which is payment for work done, which you say... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Collections, Construction Law and Consumer Law for New York on

Q: What happens to a case if a contractor who filed a lien and a lawsuit to foreclose on it then files for bankruptcy?

We terminated our contractor for breach of contract, then he filed a mechanic's lien and a lawsuit to foreclose on the lien. Now we have heard that he has filed for bankruptcy and we would like to know how that could affect his/our case.

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Feb 4, 2017

You may be able to file as a creditor or file a judgment lien in his bankruptcy case, if applicable. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for New York on

Q: Is it against the code to do construction work on a residence during weekends if owner is not living there?

The owner is undergoing a major renovation using a construction company. We hear noise past 6pm on weekdays and also sawing noise during the weekend. The dwelling is a two-family residence not near house of worship and the owner does not live there.

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 26, 2017

This may qualify as a nuisance and possibly a violation of your city's noise ordinance. You can make a complaint with the Police, and you might be able to sue the neighbor for nuisance. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for New York on

Q: I had received a total of 50,000 in grant money to fix my house the contractor didn't finish. its been 8 years?

My daughter at the time was just little and since this so called work has been done she is being hospitalized at least once a year with respiratory issues. My son has headaches all the time so bad he gets sent home from school and is on medication for them. but in reality it’s the house and may... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 23, 2017

Have a lawyer review the contract, communications, and facts of your legal issue to determine if there has been a breach of contract or negligence here. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for New York on

Q: I am renovating an apt in Manhattan. My contractor made a major error by replacing a gas branch line.

After demolition, I discovered a gas branch line that obstructed passageway into a proposed hallway. I asked my licensed plumber if it was ok to relocate it higher. He said it's "no big deal", it's commonly done; we shouldn't have a problem because we are not touching the building gas riser. After... Read more »

Barry Eran Janay answered on Oct 11, 2016

Basically, on the given facts the plumbing contractor was in breach of the contractual duty to perform in a workmanlike manner. A demand letter should be issued to the plumber subtracting the amount of work you paid him for the unacceptable work and adding the amount that you will need to pay to... Read more »

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