In New York City, most construction disputes between co-op boards and co-op shareholders involve conflicts over upkeep, repairs, damage or building maintenance. In many cases, the house rules or by-laws address these issues only in a general way, and that can lead to different interpretations of what is permissible on the property.
Rent increases and higher property taxes have placed added financial burdens on many people throughout New York City, but a tax program included in the state's annual budget is meant to provide some relief. The $85 million program, dubbed "Circuit Breaker," will offer a state income tax credit for qualifying renters and small homeowners, including condominium owners and cooperative shareholders.
Thousands of buildings in New York are equipped with either rooftop or indoor water tanks. From these tanks, water is piped throughout the buildings for drinking, washing and fire suppression. According to city building codes, water storage tanks must be constructed of either steel or wood.
If you're in the market for a condominium in New York, it is a good idea to research the building, the condo board and the developers. One way to start this research is to seek help from an attorney with experience in the field. For example, reviewing the often complicated language of condo board minutes can help potential buyers decide if they want to go through with a deal.
The sponsors and developers of condominiums have a responsibility to make good on agreed-upon construction projects, and shoddy work is no substitute for a completed job. Civil litigation is one way for condominium residents to hold building sponsors accountable for construction defects, and with allegations of particularly egregious failures, state law enforcement may actually get involved.
Currently, state law in New York addresses condominiums and cooperatives with the following legislation:
Despite how much one may crave the companionship of a pet, lease agreements and condo bylaws often prohibit residents from owning pets on the premises. However, as we discussed in a previous post -- "When must a landlord waive a no-pets policy?" -- there are situations in which tenants and condo owners can fight to keep their furry companions.
Sometimes when a New York condominium owner seeks to renovate or otherwise alter the structure of the property, the alteration agreement or the condo's bylaws are ambiguous. This type of situation can lead to disputes between owners and management. Ideally, such a dispute can be resolved outside of court, but occasionally it is necessary to litigate for a favorable outcome.
It's no secret that New York's residential real estate market is competitive, perhaps especially so in the area of cooperatives and condominiums. Recently, "Saturday Night Live" even satirized what can be an intimidating co-op application process for potential residents. However, since co-ops and condos operate in the same residential marketplace, the applicant-vetting processes for the two types of living arrangements have begun to blend.
A condominium dispute is unfolding in Upper Manhattan. According to a lawsuit that was filed with the New York State Supreme Court, the Lenox condominium building in Harlem has a defective roof, widespread leakage problems and basic structural flaws. The building's board of managers has sued the former sponsor, whom the lawsuit has accused of breach of contract and fraud.