A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the Related Companies, the sponsor of a luxury condominium building on the Upper East Side, must return a $510,000 buyer’s deposit, a decision that lawyers said could chill development in New York and across the country.The decision also could entitle hundreds of recent condominium buyers to back out of their agreements without fear of losing their deposits. “It’s a free ticket out,” said Stuart Saft, a real estate lawyer who was not involved in the case.Judge P. Kevin Castel of Federal District Court in Manhattan said an affiliate of Related had failed to comply with an obscure federal law known as the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act. That entitled the buyers, Vasilis Bacolitsas, a Greek shipping executive, and Sofia Nikolaidou, to rescind their sales contract for a $3.4 million apartment at the Brompton, at 205 East 85th Street, and to get back their deposit, plus interest.
By Charles V. Bagli, Sept 22, 2010 NYT

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