Monthly Archives: December 2018

The Great “Washing Machine” Dispute

This was originally published on the SGR blog.

Nancy McCaskill  bought the shares for a cooperative apartment in Mount Vernon, New York in April 1998. At the time she entered into possession a washing machine was installed.

In 2014, the Board of Directors enacted the following House Rule 21:

The Board of Directors having determined that the plumbing systems of the Buildings are not sufficiently robust to allow use of washing machines without damage to the plumbing and to other apartments, washing machines, dryers or combination washer/dryer machines are not permitted to be used or kept in any apartment.

The cooperative did not contact McCaskill regarding her washing machine after enactment of House Rule 21.

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Murder in Apartment 3P

Copyright by, and republished with permission of, Habitat Magazine.

It was a grim and bloody night at the Sea Cliff Towers co-op on Staten Island. The New York Times carried this terse account:

“A fight between two friends who were dating the same woman ended in the death of one of them, the police said yesterday. On Wednesday night, Michael Cafferata, 33, was visiting Michael Kett, 41, in Fort Wadsworth. The two argued, and Mr. Kett stabbed Mr. Cafferata with a steak knife, the police said. Mr. Kett fled, but was later arrested and charged with second-degree murder.”

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Now that I have your attention:  Litigation abounds over the right to keep/return the deposit when a real estate transaction fails.  Several recent examples follow:

Ward Capital Mgt. LLC v. New Pelham Parkway N. LLC, 2018 NY Slip Op 06797, App. Div. 1st Dept. (October 11, 2018)

Supreme Court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint; granted their counterclaims to retain plaintiff’s $1 million downpayment; and denied plaintiff’s cross-motion for summary judgment.

The Appellate Division, as follows, summarily affirmed:

Defendants made a prima facie showing of their entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. They submitted evidence that the contract of sale between the parties for the sale of four real estate properties clearly stated that “time is of the essence” as to the closing date and that, through an amendment to that contract, the parties scheduled the closing for October 18, 2013. Defendants also provided evidence that all parties appeared at the proposed closing on that date, defendants were ready, willing and able to close, and plaintiff did not have the liquid cash to pay the purchase price…Since the real estate contract provided that the time of closing is of the essence, performance on the specified date was a material element and plaintiff’s failure to perform on that date constituted material breach[.]

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