Builder Replies for Cracks in the Walls

Lawyers represented Perm apartment owners in their suit against the builder of their apartment block.

INTELLECT-S's attorneys Andrei Tronin and Natalya Tyurina successfully represented Perm apartment owners in their suit against the builder of their apartment block over poor construction quality.

A Perm condominium filed an action against the builder who would not accept the connection between widening cracks in the walls (apart from other defects) and its own poor workmanship. Earlier the builder, OAO PZSP, refused to remedy defects, claiming normal wear and tear and lack of proper maintenance. The condominium, represented by INTELLECT-S, sued.

After a year of irregular hearings adjourned for various reasons and stay of proceedings pending forensic expert examination, the Perm Territorial Arbitrazh Court dismissed the actions, finding, as followed from the expert testimony, no connection between the defects and "workmanship or actions of the builder".

The plaintiff, represented by Tronin and Tyurina, appealed to the Seventeenth Appellate Arbitrazh Court which reversed the trial court's judgment on grounds that it had misinterpreted the forensic expert opinion, the more so that the cracks in the walls were wider than permitted by the building standards. The appeals court granted the plaintiff the relief it sought, ordering the builder to remedy the defects of the block.

The appeals court's opinion holds, among other things, that the contractual relationships between a condominium and the builder of the property are not co-investment in new development, as was qualified by the trial court, but "consumer contracted work" of construction of an apartment block.

The appeals court's decision stood on cassation appeal at the end of February 2013.

Commercial Disputes, Constructing, Housing and Utilities, Real Estate, Real Estate Disputes

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