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September 23, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Buyer of ‘sensational’ $5.4M Rye mansion sues over leaky house

At $5.4 million, the buyer of a Rye mansion was expecting a “sensational home,” according to a lawsuit, but instead got a leaky house.

The buyer sued developer David Turiano and 135 Highland Road Associates LLC on March 8 in Westchester Supreme Court demanding $720,000 to fix alleged defects.

135 Highland Road

The house “was not constructed in a skillful and workmanlike manner,” the complaint states, “and suffers from numerous defects.”

The property was bought by a limited liability company, obscuring the name of the occupant in court and property records. The LLC is registered to attorney Edward Vergara, a partner in Arnold & Porter’s tax and private clients department.

The 7,976-square-foot house has seven bedrooms, six full and two partial bathrooms, five fireplaces, a library with bar, second office, playroom, wine cellar and 3-car garage, among its many features. The 1-acre parcel is next to the Apawamis Club.

When the house was advertised for sale in 2017, it was described as “stunning new construction,” the complaint states, a “rare find” with a “striking interior,” a “private country estate” built “of the finest materials.”

Purchased from the developer for $5.4 million in September 2017, the buyer mortgaged it for nearly $3 million and moved in on June 9, 2018.

Even before moving in, according to the complaint, problems were discovered. Water was allegedly leaking from the porch and front steps into the wine room, staining the walls, and requiring the room and steps to be demolished to find the leak. Remediation costs are estimated at $132,000.

Ceilings in the master bedroom and playroom need to be repainted for an estimated $3,000, according to the lawsuit, because of leaks. Two side roofs need to be waterproofed for an estimated $160,000. The owner paid $162,000 to fix a leaky bathroom shower and damaged rooms. Three chimneys need to be repaired for $200,000 to stop leaks.

The buyer claims that the developer must pay for the repairs under a $1 million limited liability warranty that covers defective workmanship for up to a year, plumbing, electrical and HVAC for two years, and major structural defects for six years.

The buyer submitted 17 claims and seven have been resolved. That leaves at least $720,000 in damages, according to the complaint, for repairs the buyer paid for and work that needs to be done.

Attempts to contact Turiano for his side of the story were unsuccessful.

The buyer is represented by Patricia W. Gurahian, of McCullough, Goldberger & Staudt of White Plains.