Sunday, December 22, 2013
Beware of developers that call themselves "Bad Ass"
From the Daily News:
A dozen first-time homeowners say a developer known as the Bad Ass Group steered them into purchasing shoddily-built homes that the city had not even cleared for permanent occupancy.
The group filed an $18 million class-action lawsuit in Bronx Supreme Court Friday against at least six companies — including real estate agents, attorneys, an architect and a builder — that collectively did business as an umbrella entity called the Bad Ass Group.
“Our American Dream has been stolen,” said one homeowner, Johanny De La Cruz, during a rally in front of the courthouse Friday, after they filed the court papers that sought damages for a litany of alleged offenses including breach of contract, fraud, conspiracy, negligence and attorney malpractice.
The residents complained they were rushed into buying the properties, and began having problems with heat, black mold, sewage backups, plumbing, leaky roofs and faulty boilers almost as soon as they moved in.
Another homeowner, Martha Diaz, sounded a similar tune.
“When it rained, the water came inside of the house,” said Diaz, a mother of seven who purchased her two-family house for $618,0000 in 2006.
On top of that, the plaintiffs said, the developer never obtained permanent certificates of occupancy for the houses of horror, which put the homeowners on the line for thousands in fines from the city.
When homeowners complained, they said the Bad Ass Group referred them to lawyers they now believe were in cahoots with the schemers, who did nothing to resolve the approvals or stop the city fines from accruing, said Andre Ramon Soleil, the homeowners’ attorney.
The group is also suing the city, charging that the Department of Buildings was negligent in issuing temporary approvals before the properties were inspected — a policy that has since changed.