Construction Defect Claims are on the Rise Due to Pandemic-Related Issues

Exterior high rise apartment

Developers have faced a variety of pandemic-related challenges including a disrupted supply chain, shut downs, shipping delays, labor shortages, and increased material prices.

April 25, 2022
Beverley BevenFlorez – CDJ Staff

According to a recent New York Times article, pandemic-related issues such as “stop-and-start construction, global supply chain issues, pressure from lenders and yo-yoing housing prices” has caused an increase in construction defect suits for new apartment developments: “Complaints and legal claims are already emerging, signaling that a confluence of all factors amid the Covid crisis could continue to be a problem for new construction — from entry-level studios to top-tier penthouses — for years to come, according to lawyers and development consultants.”

A Times analysis of Department of Buildings data by Marketproof demonstrated an increase in complaints beginning March 1st, 2020: “During the first year of the pandemic, new residential buildings recorded an average of five complaints per building, a 46 percent jump from the same period the previous year.”

Steven D. Sladkus, a partner at Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas told the Times that his “'phone’s been ringing off the hook' with complaints from homeowners in new condo buildings” regarding “heating problems, poor sound insulation, fire safety issues and faulty elevators.”

Developers have faced a variety of pandemic-related challenges including a disrupted supply chain, shut downs, shipping delays, labor shortages, and increased material prices. In 2020, the lack of availability of vaccines caused some construction to halt: “Suddenly one guy calls in sick and the whole crew of electricians can’t show up,” Steven Zirinsky, co-chair of the building codes committee at the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects told the Times.



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