June vs AC Access – Case

In this case, the claimant is suing the defendant for the return of her $5,000 down payment for the purchase and installation of two air conditioners in her apartment about three years ago.

I will here call the claimant “June”, and I will call the defendant “AC Access”.

The installation never took place. June’s co-op building on Fifth Avenue in New York City refused permission unless AC Access agreed to install several new features on the equipment and also in the apartment.

The equipment was custom ordered and included a separate outside compressor. The co-op’s requirements would have cost an additional $3,000 bringing her purchase to about $18,000.

June said that she was unaware that her building, like most New York City cooperatives, has restrictions regarding the installation of appliances that use water which may leak into other apartments in the building.

Drip pans, cutoff valves and the like are sometimes required by the co-op’s rules which are usually managed by its managing agent.

AC Access, who was an experienced installer, acknowledged that he knew that the installation might be a problem.

June declined to pay the additional costs and AC Access was then unwilling to proceed with the job. He tried to return the equipment to his air conditioning distributor for a credit but was turned down, claiming that his request came too late under their warranty.

You decide.

To see my decision, click on the link below. Decisions.


4 thoughts on “June vs AC Access – Case

  1. June did not provide AC Access with the building’s guidelines and requirements for AC installation. The additional cost was the result of the co-op’s regulations and not of AC’s making.

    While AC Access should have asked for June to provide approval from the co-op, it was ultimately June’s responsibility to meet the co-op’s regulations and to be so informed prior to entering an installation contract. Legally, she is not the owner of the apartment.

    It seems that June has no choice – if she wants cool summers – than to pay the additional $3,000. AC Access, while not providing good customer service, did not violate its agreement with June. The deposit does not have to be returned.

  2. Unfortunately, June should have known better. Cooperative apartments in NYC have by laws that require approval before making changes that can affect neighbors or the building appearance.
    Before deciding on the case, however, I would like to know which party was the cause for the delay and warranty expiration. It seems odd that a warranty covers custom equipment that was not properly vetted before the job started….but that’s what AC noted.
    June should have also in luded, in any contract, that the responsibility for permits and building approval should have fallen on AC’s shoulders.

    • Both of the parties caused the delay. AC Access could have given back June’s deposit, and June could have promptly demanded that he do so.

      The “warranty expiration” issue on the air conditioning equipment was not part of June’s case. It was simply an explanation put forward by AC Access for not acting promptly. It was a side issue between AC Access and his supplier.

  3. In my opinion June was at fault. Co op living in NYC can be very challenging to say the least. It should be common knowledge that everyone should be on board when having installations that could affect your neighbor. This would include the super and managing agent. Before any contract is signed a call to the managing agent and super would be standard procedure to make sure that the installation meets the co ops standard. June failed that test. The A/C person has no idea what the co op would demand for installation since every co op is different.

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