Suit Over Developer’s Failure to Give Notice Ruled Time Barred

Under the New York City Administrative Code, where construction of a building will cause a neighboring property to become non-compliant with the City’s chimney requirements, the developer must provide the building owner with specified notice that the new structure will cause non-conformity for the existing building. While the statute requiring notice provides a remedy to the affected building owner, the statute of limitations to assert that remedy runs not from when the notice was provided but from when a temporary certificate of occupancy is issued. So held the Appellate Division, First Department in West Chelsea Building v. Guttman.

In West Chelsea Building, Steven J. Harfenist and Andrew C. Lang, representing the developer, successfully persuaded the Appellate Division that the affected building’s time to commence a lawsuit over the non-conformity caused by the developer was not tolled by the failure of the developer to provide the statutory notice. The lack of any language in the notice statute creating a tolling of the statute of limitations doomed any claim filed after three years from the issuance of the temporary certificate of occupancy- the event the Appellate Division determined started the time to commence a law suit.

Source: New York Law Journal