When owners of co-op apartments or condos in New York City want to renovate or remodel their units, significant legal issues can arise. The bylaws of the condo association or the co-op corporation must be consulted, as well as local building codes and city and state laws.
Before beginning a remodeling or reconstruction project, most condo and co-op boards will require the homeowner to sign an alteration agreement. This agreement generally requires the owner to agree to detailed restrictions on work affecting load-bearing walls and plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems.
In a major renovation the homeowner will usually want to have their contractor prepare plans which will then be reviewed by the condo or co-op board to make sure the proposed alterations don't adversely affect the building as a whole. The alteration agreement will typically require the homeowner to comply with local laws and building codes.
The homeowner will also have to enter into a binding construction contract with the general contractor who will be undertaking and overseeing the work. It is critical that this contract be drafted so as to minimize the risk of future construction disputes and construction litigation.
Our law firm can advise co-op and condo owners throughout the construction process. We can review and help negotiate alteration agreements and construction contracts. We can also advise the homeowner as to specific laws that may affect the project. If a dispute does arise, we can work to negotiate a practical and cost-effective resolution. You can find more information about our co-op and condo renovation practice on our web page.