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.
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.
About two years ago, residents of a Harlem cooperative wrote a letter drawing attention to what they claimed were construction defects in their city-subsidized building. The letter was sent to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and this year the letter was disseminated to state legislators.