Roberta Campbell Loses $4.7 Million Down Payment in Legal Tussle Over NYC Luxury Apartment


Talk about a bad case of buyer's remorse.

The ex-wife of Intuit CEO William Campbell lost her $4.7 million down payment on a swanky pad in Manhattan's Upper East Side after she backed out of her contract to buy the $18.5 million home because a few amenities were missing.

Roberta Campbell had complained to a judge that her luxury apartment at the Mark Hotel (pictured below) was uninhabitable after a 2009 inspection found missing microwaves, unfinished floors, a missing glass shower enclosure, missing cooktop grates and a lack of hot water, heat, air conditioning and gas, among other things. She asked the judge to order that her down payment be returned to her.

But this week, District Judge William H. Pauley III ruled against her, saying that most of the problems could have been fixed in a matter of days, which meant that the apartment couldn't be ruled uninhabitable. As for the heat, hot water, air conditioning and gas, they simply weren't turned on at the time of the inspection because no one was living in the apartment, he said. But all of the systems were installed and functional, so Campbell's claim was denied.

Pauley also determined that Campbell's contract explicitly stated that it was possible that not all of the luxury services would be available at the time of closing.

"Based on the evidence presented at trial and the one-sided language of the parties' agreement, [the Mark Hotel] is entitled to the down payment," Pauley said.

He also ruled that the Mark Hotel could collect interest accrued on the $4.7 million down payment and is entitled to be reimbursed for any reasonable legal fees.

It hasn't been all bad news for Campbell, though, in the meantime. In late 2009, after refusing to purchase the place at the Mark Hotel, she bought a $17.5 million, 3,840-square-foot apartment at 15 Central Park West which, as the judge observed, is "one of the most desirable addresses in Manhattan."

And it hasn't been all good news for the Mark Hotel. It hasn't been able to sell any of its condos and, according to Curbed, it has lowered the prices on all of its units -- except the $60 million penthouse.

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