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New York City Real Estate Law Blog

Who is responsible for a construction defect?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2020 | Construction Defects

A construction defect is the last thing that any unit owner or homeowner’s association wants to find.

Whether it is a damaging leak or a dangerous foundation, your first thought is to repair the defect as quickly as possible and eliminate the risk it poses. However, when it comes to construction defects, it is critical that you hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence.

Who could be responsible?

There are often several parties involved in a single construction project. And any number of these parties could be responsible for the defect, including:

  • The architect or designer, if the blueprint or plan for the project is improper or not up to New York’s building codes;
  • The developer or builders, if they vary from the plan or conduct poor workmanship; or
  • The general contractor or the subcontractor for negligent construction and property damage.

Even the property owner could be responsible in certain cases if they are actively involved in the construction process.

How do you determine who is responsible?

Who is responsible for the defect depends on several details, including:

  1. What the defect is, and what caused it;
  2. The party’s negligence and strict liability; and
  3. The responsibility outlined in the contract.

Every construction project involves several contracts between almost every party, such as the property owner and the general contractor or the contractor and the architect, to name only a few. These contracts should explicitly detail who is responsible for what type of defect.

It is critical to review all of the contracts related to the project to determine these three factors, as well as who is responsible for the construction defect affecting your property.