Hoarding in Condominiums: When Individual Rights Clash with Community Concerns

The recent case of Board of Managers of the 48-54 West 138th Street Condominium v. Flora Burdock highlights the complexities that arise when an individual unit owner’s behavior impacts the health, safety, and well-being of a condominium community. In this case, the condominium board sought legal intervention to address a severe hoarding situation within Ms. […]

Navigating Sidewalk Shed Disputes: Insights for Condo or Coop Boards (NY)

The court’s decision in 157 W 18 OWNER, LLC v. THE BOARD OF MANAGERS OF THE SLATE CONDOMINIUMS provides clarity on the interpretation of RPAPL 871 and the enforcement of Building Code requirements in construction-related disputes. The ruling underscores the importance of demonstrating a substantial encroachment and balancing equities when seeking injunctive relief for property […]

Community Association Board Members can be Sued for Breach of Fiduciary Duty (NY)

The Board of Managers of the 72 Poplar Street Condominium and individual board members were sued by a unit owner who was overcharged common charges. The Board allegedly knew about the overcharge and eventually refunded the overpayments to the owner, and then called a unit owner vote to amend the Condominium’s bylaws to change the […]

Here Are the Top Reasons Why People Run for Co-op and Condo Boards (NY)

Serving on a co-op or condo board is nice work if you can get it. The pay is terrible (that is, nonexistent). The hours can be long. The level of satisfaction among shareholders or unit-owners can range from sky-high to the bottom of the basement. When things go wrong, it’s the board’s fault; when things […]

Unique Challenges for Condo and Coop Boards Facing Local Law 97 Requirements (NY)

New York City’s Local Law 97, passed in 2019, aims to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large buildings. By 2024, condominium and cooperative buildings over 25,000 square feet must meet strict emissions limits or face heavy fines. While the law’s environmental goals are laudable, the legislation poses unique financing challenges for condo and co-op […]

Condo, Coop, HOA Board vs. Dissidents – Navigating Contentious Times

In the intricate realm of community associations, addressing the process of compelling a vote to remove a board is a crucial but often overlooked aspect. One of the primary challenges arises when the sitting board refrains from calling a special meeting, necessitating potential litigation funded personally by the owners or shareholders.    Read the article…………………………….

City Has a Skeleton Staff to Enforce Compliance With Local Law 97 (NY)

Some 50,000 large New York City buildings, including thousands of co-ops and condos, will be required to comply with the city’s sweeping climate law, Local Law 97, which went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year. And how many inspectors does the Department of Buildings (DOB) have on staff to make sure those buildings […]

Business Judgment Rule: Lessons for Co-op and Condo Boards (NY)

The business judgment rule often serves as a perceived safety net for boards, shielding them from legal scrutiny. However, this rule is not an impenetrable shield and boards should be aware of the nuances. Simply put, the business judgment rule states that, with four exceptions, a court cannot overrule a co-op, condo or HOA board-issued […]

Co-op Boards’ Broad Powers Do Not Include the Right to Discriminate (NY)

Q: A shareholder in a co-op in Jackson Heights, Queens, is trying to sell her apartment — but the co-op board has used its considerable powers to reject a series of potential buyers. One sale was blocked because the board said the co-op’s financial information was unavailable while the co-op was undergoing an audit.   Read […]

Dealing with Marijuana Complaints in NYC Co-ops and Condos

The pervasive smell of marijuana in New York City is presenting challenges for co-op and condo buildings as residents complain about smoke and odors. Since August 2018, a mandate has required all residential buildings to establish a smoking policy and inform residents on the details.  Read the article……………………………..

New Law Affects Contractor Retainage for Co-ops & Condos: Add Another Item to Boards’ List of Things to Worry About (NY)

As if New York co-op and condo communities weren’t under enough pressure from sluggish sales, high interest rates, and the ever-increasing volume of work required to comply with environmental requirements like Local Law 97, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law on November 17 amending Sections 756-a and 756-c of the New York State […]

Navigating the Complex Landscape of E-Bike Bans or Restrictions in Condos, Coops and HOAs (NY)

In recent times, the proliferation of E-Bikes, coupled with concerns about their combustible batteries, has thrust the issue into the spotlight. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the bustling streets of New York City, where E-Bikes seem ubiquitous. The potential dangers, including fire risks, property damage, and casualties, have prompted association boards to grapple […]

Co-ops and HOAs Are Democracies. They Run on Laws

The board at a homeowners’ association (HOA) on Long Island has mandated that residents allow an outside inspector onto their properties to determine the condition of building exteriors and windows. If deficiencies are found, owners will be given time to correct them — then fined if they fail to do so.    Read the article…………………………..

Elevate Your Co-op Board Game (NY)

Ever found yourself navigating the tricky waters of a coop board with that one steadfast but hesitant volunteer? Picture this: a decision hangs in the balance, and despite the collective will of the board, this one individual assumes/ possesses the power to halt, delay, or even stop progress.   Read the article…………………………….

Holding Elections – Every Board’s Duty (NY)

Shared residential communities such as co-ops, condos, and HOAs are modern examples of classic Athenian democracy: citizens governing themselves through active participation in governance. The key to that governance is the regularity of elections to the community’s leadership—which in this case is the board of directors.    Read the article……………………………..

For Co-op and Condo Boards, Electrification Looks Better and Better (NY)

A growing number of co-op and condo boards are buying into the gospel of electrification — switching from fossil fuel-powered buildings systems to electric-powered ones as the electric grid gets greener and cleaner. This, they believe, is the best way to cut their buildings’ carbon emissions enough to comply with Local Law 97, which goes […]

Condos and Coops are Impacted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Changes

Government backed mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, issued temporary project review requirements relating to significant deferred maintenance in condominiums, co-ops, and similar developments. To assess a project’s eligibility, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each promulgated a standardized “Condo Project Questionnaire Form” to obtain information related to significant deferred maintenance, the plan for addressing […]

Challenges: Condo Boards and the Duty to Maintain Common Elements (NY)

In a recent legal battle, LiNQ1, LLC found itself at odds with 170 East End Condominium and its Board of Managers over allegations of negligence, breach of contract, and more. This case, indexed as No. 154594/16 Appeal No. 953 Case No. 2022-04598, serves as a cautionary tale for New York condominium boards, emphasizing the importance […]

Banning Short-Term Rentals: A Guide to Local Law 18 (NY)

Short-term rental platforms, such as Airbnb and VRBO, are a thorn in the side of many co-op and condo buildings in New York City. With the recent passage of Local Law 18, often referred to as the short-term rental registration law, boards are getting some welcome relief. The law primarily targets three key entities: the […]

Electrification Is Facing Some Strong Headwinds (NY)

Earlier this week Habitat reported on 420 Beekman Hill, a 110-unit Manhattan co-op that’s replacing the building’s steam heating, cooling and hot water system with rooftop electric heat pumps. The cost of the $3.2 million project is being defrayed by more than $1 million worth of incentives from Con Edison and the New York State […]

Perseverance Pays Off for the Board of the New Hampshire House (NY)

After a year of intense grassroots efforts, the board at New Hampshire House, a 139-unit condo in Rego Park, Queens, finally succeeded in persuading owners to take out a $3 million loan to repair the building’s facade. The board’s success means the condo will finally be able to perform the necessary repairs mandated under the […]

How to Handle New Construction Defects (NY)

When buying a condo apartment in a new construction, it’s very likely the building will have some defects, whether it’s issues with the roof, the elevator or amenities. Defect claims occur in about 90% of new construction condos in New York City, and approximately 30% to 40% of these end up in litigation.   Read the […]

Short-Term Rentals in Co-ops and Condos Plunge as New Law Kicks In (NY)

Many co-op and condo advocates applauded when the city adopted Local Law 18 last year — a tool for ending illegal short-term apartment rentals. And since the law finally went into effect last month, the reason for the applause has become clear.   Read the article…………………………….

In a Big Boost for Co-ops and Condos, State Revives J-51 Program (NY)

Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed legislation that will authorize the city to replace the J-51 program, which expired in June 2022, with the Affordable Housing Rehabilitation Program. The new program, Crain’s reports, will mirror J-51 by providing co-op and condo boards and landlords with property tax exemptions in exchange for renovating multifamily buildings.   Read the […]

The Evolution of Today’s Co-op Boards: “They Want Progress” (NY)

With condos dominating the market and commanding higher prices, some co-op boards have turned to new and in some cases offbeat measures to boost their coffers and lower their monthly maintenance costs. From investing in commercial property to renting out rooftop space, the buildings are changing their ways to contend with the economic challenges.  Read the […]

What is a working capital fund contribution for condos? Are these common in NYC?

If you’re looking to buy a condo in New York City, you’ve probably experienced sticker-shock at the extra cash you have to spend on closing costs. Those fees will likely include something called a working capital fund contribution for those purchasing a condo at a new development.   Read the article……………………………

The Property Management Contract (NY)

Retaining a new management company is not unlike getting married, but instead of romance, there’s a management contract. Each company has different clauses in their standard contract, and it’s important to understand the scope and limits of these terms. You should also know that you can negotiate a property management contract.   Read the article………………………………..

Castle Village Is a Snapshot of the Pressures on City Co-ops and Condos (NY)

When its 65-foot-tall retaining wall collapsed onto the Henry Hudson Parkway in 2005, shareholders in the Castle Village co-op were on the hook for $27 million in repairs. That trauma is ancient history, but today those shareholders are faced with rising costs that are less dramatic but possibly even more devastating. And they’re emblematic of […]

Bill Seeks to Put Off Local Law 97 Enforcement by a Decade (NY)

A new bill introduced to the city council by two Queens Democrats would push back enforcement of Local Law 97 by a decade, part of an effort to protect middle-class co-ops and condos in the outer boroughs.   Read the article………………………………

Time to Give Your Governing Documents a Tune-up? (NY)

Like the family car, co-op and condo governing documents need periodic tune-ups if you want to avoid costly breakdowns in relations between boards and residents. The “mechanic” guiding these tune-ups will be the board’s attorney. Here’s a check list:   Read the article…………………………

Castle Village Is a Snapshot of the Pressures on City Co-ops and Condos (NY)

When its 65-foot-tall retaining wall collapsed onto the Henry Hudson Parkway in 2005, shareholders in the Castle Village co-op were on the hook for $27 million in repairs. That trauma is ancient history, but today those shareholders are faced with rising costs that are less dramatic but possibly even more devastating. And they’re emblematic of […]

Simple Ways Co-ops, Condos, & HOAs Can Help the Environment

Nobel Prize–eschewing poet and folk-rock music legend Bob Dylan might have been the first person to be known as “going electric” (at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965), but as with much of his oeuvre, the world is now following in his footsteps. Now it is imperative that as many people, industries, businesses, and buildings […]

Q & A: Can a Condo Board Spy on Staff and Unit-Owners? (NY)

Q: The board president at our Midtown East condo building has installed cameras above the doorman’s desk and in the passenger and commercial elevators. We suspect the cameras monitor conversations, as well as everyone’s comings and goings. But only the board president and our superintendent can see the video footage. The doormen go outside so […]

3 Tips for Weathering Today’s Hard Insurance Market

Today’s so-called hard insurance market is the result of a perfect storm. Record personal injury claims have driven up the cost of liability insurance. Umbrella policies for excess liability protection are shrinking, with fewer carriers offering less coverage at higher prices. Property insurance premiums are soaring due to increased labor and material costs. And reinsurance […]

Condo Unit Owners have to Pay Their Common Charges

The Supreme Court in Richmond County threw out a condo unit owner’s defenses to a nonpayment case seeking a money judgment for common charge arrears. The Court found that the affirmative defenses by the investor condo owner were boilerplate and couldn’t withstand summary judgment.  Read the article………………………..

The Impact of Prevailing Wages Mandate on NYC Co-ops and Condos

Have you ever considered the potential ramifications of recent mandates on the territory of New York City co-ops and condos? Let’s delve into the intricate world of the prevailing wage mandate. If you’re a board member in a union-affiliated co-op or condo, this may or may not have an effect on you. However, for those […]

Condo Board’s Win-Win: Saving Money While Saving the Planet (NY)

Ray Murphy isn’t trying to save the planet. He’s trying to save money. As it turns out, he’s doing both.  Murphy has been the resident manager at the 29-story, 266-unit Avery condominium on the West Side of Manhattan since shortly after the building opened in 2009. In that time he has overseen three capital projects […]

Court Upholds Law Requiring Registration of Short-Term Apartment Rentals (NY)

In a ruling sure to thrill co-op and condo boards, Judge Arlene Bluth of New York State Supreme Court has rejected Airbnb’s attempt to overturn Local Law 18, which requires short-term rental hosts to register their units with the city before they can get paid. With the failure of Airbnb’s last-ditch legal ploy, Crain’s reports, […]

Fair Billing, Bright Futures (NY)

Sub-metering in master-metered buildings simplifies billing and brings brighter prospects for energy efficiency. Most co-op and condo owners in New York City are either directly metered by ConEd, or already sub-metered. However, there is still a small percentage of buildings that are master-metered. Those buildings need to install sub-meters before January 1, 2025 to comply […]

Co-p and Condo Buyers Are Responsible for Previous Alterations

In 2005, a shareholder at an Upper East Side co-op renovated his apartment after signing an alteration agreement in which he took responsibility for any damages that might result from the alterations. The agreement carried an additional requirement: if the apartment was ever sold, the new purchaser had to agree to assume responsibility for these […]

Condominium Closing Costs in NYC for Purchasers

It is no secret that apartments in NYC are expensive. In 2018 the average price of a condominium unit in NYC was $2,880,000. But what many purchasers and sellers fail to consider are the additional condominium closing costs in NYC that are involved in every real estate transaction beyond the purchase price.    Read the article………………………..

A Primer for Co-op and Condo Boards on How to Handle Hoarders (NY)

With aging populations, many co-op and condo boards are struggling with residents whose abilities to care for themselves are greatly diminished. In some cases, an elderly shareholder or unit-owner may only need greater attention from her neighbors and building staff.   Read the article………………………..