The New Jersey Superior Court recently found that a condominium association that hired a contractor to install a window wall system on the 15th floor of the high-rise building can bring a construction defect suit for improper installation of the windows, and water intrusion, even though windows are unit owner property pursuant to the Master Deed. In Skyline Condominium Association, Inc. v. AAA, the Association hired AAA to install a window/wall system on the 15th floor of the building. The window/wall system began to experience problems and water infiltration and the Association sued AAA. AAA then filed a motion to dismiss the Association’s claims, arguing that the Association did not have standing to sue, given that pursuant to the Master Deed, windows are unit owner responsibility and not common elements. The Association, in response, argued that the window wall system is not a "window" as defined in the master deed, that pursuant to the master deed language, the Association can repair unit owner owned property when it deems necessary, and that the Association had a direct contractual relationship with AAA which created standing for the Association to sue AAA. Ultimately the court agreed with the Association, denying AAA’s motion and finding that the direct contractual relationship with AAA permitted the Association’s lawsuit to continue.
If you have questions related to building related construction defects, whether or not your association can recover damages on behalf of the unit owners, or if your master deed contains similar language that permits the association to act when it deems necessary, please email our community associations group.