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Vincent Thomas Pallaci
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Vincent Pallaci’s Answers

270 total


  • What is the time limit to report Construction and Demo without permits some work was done years ago and there are issues

    I witnessed some demolition of walls for 3 bathrooms in my building but this was done back in 1995 no building permits were filed (all work done by non licenced worker hired by LL) and back in 1984 a portion of an apartments layout wa...

    Vincent’s Answer

    There is no time limit to report building code violations in New York City or to report unsafe conditions (including potentially dangerous structural issues). The process for reporting the issues is very simple. Call 311. Give the details of the violations and the DOB will (eventually) send out an inspector to review the allegations and if there are violations they will issue violations.

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  • Contractor informed by homeowner that work completed by others. Contract between bank (financing) and contractor.

    Homeowner did not sign contract. What kind of waiver does contractor need that not responsible for work completed by others? What if homeowner does not sign? Does bank get involved? Homeowner also owes payment for work contractor did do. What...

    Vincent’s Answer

    You should clarify your question and speak to a local construction attorney. Except for potentially added costs of completion, a contractor would rarely, if ever, be responsible for work completed by others (unless they contracted with the contractor and were subcontractors). If a contractor is owed payment for work that was performed then the contractor has a number of remedies including, but not limited to filing, a mechanic's lien against the property.

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  • I built a house in 2010, the builder didn't pay all of the subs and two put mechanics liens on my house.

    I had to bond for them to get my mortgage. What can I do to get my collateral back?

    Vincent’s Answer

    If a lis pendens is filed while the lien is still active then it extends the mechanic's lien for the life of the lawsuit provided that the lis pendens (a/k/a Notice of Pendency) is renewed every three years until completion of the suit. If there is a lis pendens, a lawsuit was filed against you and you have to defend that lawsuit to prevent the sale of your home. If you do not have an attorney, you need to speak with one immediately.

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  • If a neighbor whose land abuts our land and starts construction on a building and grades there land towards our land

    If a neighbor whose land abuts our land and starts construction on a building and grades there land towards our land so that I can see that the rain that falls and the snow melt will shed onto our land as well as the roof of the building, and I go...

    Vincent’s Answer

    Water runoff is a fact intensive issue in New York. If the construction that your neighbor performed significantly changed the natural flow of rain water (and snow melt) and is unreasonable then you MAY have a claim. You need to speak with a local attorney to discuss specifics of your situation.

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  • Can a contractor waive the right to place a mechanics lien on your house in the contract?

    I have an unusual situation where a tenant has agreed to do the needed renovations on my apartment in exchange for lower rent. He will have a contract with the home improvement contractor, and obtain proof of WC insurance as well as proof of insur...

    Vincent’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    "pre lien waivers" are void and unenforceable as against public policy in NY. You have a few options to protect you: 1) require the tenant to defend and hold your harmless against any claims by the contractor; 2) require the tenant to post a payment bond; 3) require the tenant to post a "bond to discharge all liens"; or 4) require the tenant to put the amount of the contract up in escrow before the work proceeds and require the contractor to submit all payment applications through an escrow agent and provide lien waivers in exchange for all payments.

    Bonds can be difficult and expensive to obtain (especially for someone that is not familiar or experienced in construction). The payment bond will likely require significant security and the bond to discharge all liens cannot be for less than the amount of the contract as a matter of law. No surety is going to issue a bond to discharge all liens to your tenant unless the tenant has sufficient collateral or an irrevocable lien of credit to secure the bond.

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  • Behind our house is a construction of a new buliding, they put up the construction fence inside our proeprty and then excavated

    do they have the right to do that? no written agreement whatsoever. is this permitted? they excavated a few feet from the house. what can we do ?

    Vincent’s Answer

    Contractors are not permitted to excavate on your property without your permission. The one sole exception would be if the contractor obtained a license pursuant to RPAPL Section 881. You would have received notice if an 881 Application was made. You should immediately speak to a local construction attorney. Timing is critical here. While a court may issue an injunction to stop the work, once the work is completed, it becomes much more difficult to have a court order it "undone."

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  • Settlement I being asked to pay is half of the claim, $780. Should I request a trial jury to fight the claim further?

    My contractor filed a small claim for 1448, as he stated that I didn't pay for things that were done in the house. Yet there were never discussions about what he wanted to be paid for beyond the original contract price. There were no additions...

    Vincent’s Answer

    It sounds like you received a decision from a small claims court arbitrator. If so, you can usually file for a trial de novo as of right. So you will need to make a quick decision because a trial de novo request is very time sensitive. The risk for you is having to pay an additional $700. If you are not paying an attorney, you will need to weigh the risk of whether it is worth it for you to proceed.

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  • Construction site next door caused dmage to my home and foundation. What would be the best way to recover damages reimburseme

    my 2 story next to his 6 story and he build 2 basement levels, 1lower than my foundation.He did not properly shore my home and he did not underpin.My house is full of cracks, broken walls, doors window sills...

    Vincent’s Answer

    Damage due to defective, deficient and improper underpinning and shoring is a very common cause of property damage - especially in the NYC area. You should put your home owner's carrier on notice immediately and also put the neighbor and neighbor's contractor on notice of the claim. Notice issues can be very sensitive so you really should speak to a construction attorney and discuss this. In some situations, there is "strict liability" for this damage especially where, as here, the excavation went below your foundation.

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  • Mechanic lien: Are Checks with “Payment In Full” In Memo Field Legally Binding in NY?

    A flood restoration company put a $12k mechanic's lien on my residence. They told me over phone to send a check for $4k and they will remove lien. I don't trust they will remove lien. If I send them check stating "payment in full" and they cash..w...

    Vincent’s Answer

    Payment should be simultaneously exchanged with the lienor's attorney and you should be provided with a lien satisfaction and final lien waiver.

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  • I had a in-ground pool installed in the summer of 2010. Every year since we have had an issue regarding the liner in the pool.

    The liner of the pool lifts/ and has separated from the wall of the pool itself. When the company that was hired to install the pool is called they not only charge me for the repair each time but also claims they do not have fault in the matter....

    Vincent’s Answer

    If the pool was defectively installed, the company that installed it likely has some liability for the repairs. If the repair would require removing the existing pool to install a drain at the bottom and then re installing the pool, the repair could be extremely expensive. You should consult with a local construction attorney as soon as possible. While you would generally have a period of 6 years to bring the claim under a contract theory, that could have been changed or limited by your contract.

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