BY JOHN KIRITSIS, ESQ., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M
In New York City (NYC) co-ops, repairs and maintenance are governed by a combination of laws, regulations, and the co-op’s governing documents, such as the bylaws and proprietary lease. Here’s an overview of the laws and considerations involving repairs in NYC co-ops:
- Warranty of Habitability:
Co-op shareholders are entitled to a habitable living environment. The warranty of habitability requires the co-op to provide basic services and maintain the premises in a safe and livable condition. Failure to address necessary repairs could breach this warranty.
- Co-op Bylaws and Proprietary Lease:
The co-op’s bylaws and proprietary lease often outline the responsibilities of the co-op and shareholders regarding repairs and maintenance. They may specify which repairs are the co-op’s responsibility and which are the shareholder’s responsibility.
- Common Areas vs. Individual Units:
Repairs and maintenance responsibilities are typically divided between common areas (shared by all residents) and individual units. Common areas are generally the responsibility of the co-op, while unit repairs are the shareholder’s responsibility.
- Reporting Repairs:
Shareholders should promptly report necessary repairs to the co-op management or maintenance team. Co-ops often have procedures in place for reporting repairs and addressing maintenance issues.
- Co-op’s Duty to Repair:
The co-op has a duty to address necessary repairs in common areas, such as hallways, lobbies, elevators, and building systems. Failure to address repairs could lead to legal disputes and breach of the warranty of habitability.
- Shareholder’s Duty to Maintain:
Shareholders are responsible for maintaining their individual units in good condition. This includes keeping the unit in a habitable state, addressing routine maintenance, and making repairs within the unit.
- Emergency Repairs:
In the case of emergency repairs that threaten safety or habitability, the co-op has a duty to respond promptly. Co-ops may have the authority to enter a unit to address emergency repairs even without the shareholder’s consent.
- Alterations and Renovations:
Shareholders who wish to make alterations or renovations within their units typically need to follow the co-op’s guidelines and obtain necessary approvals. The co-op may have the right to inspect the work and ensure it meets certain standards.
- Co-op’s Right of Entry:
Co-ops often have the right to enter units to inspect and make necessary repairs, especially in cases of emergency or when repairs are required in common areas that affect multiple units.
- Legal Disputes:
Disputes can arise between shareholders and the co-op over the responsibility for repairs or the timeliness of repairs. Legal remedies, mediation, or litigation may be necessary to resolve these disputes.
Navigating repair-related laws in NYC co-ops requires a clear understanding of the co-op’s governing documents and applicable laws. Both shareholders and co-op boards should seek legal guidance when necessary to ensure compliance with regulations and to address repair-related matters effectively.
Citations, References and Potentially Useful Resources for Further Information:
New York State Constitution
Federal Securities Regulation
New York State Martin Act
New York Condominium Act
New York State Security Regulations
New York Business Corporation Law
New York Limited Liability Company Law
New York Uniform Partnership Act
Federal Internal Revenue Code
New York State Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
New York City Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
Winston Churchill Owners, Inc. v. Regents Real Estate Associates
Board of Managers of the Park Regis Condominium v. Park Regis Owners Corp.
Park Sutton Condominium v. 447 E. 57th St. LLC
28 E. 10th Street Corp. v. Veras
Riverside Syndicate, Inc. v. Munroe
Essex House Condominium v. Marks
The Parc Vendome Condominium v. Atkinson
54-56 Meserole Street Owners Corp. v. Rossi
The Beekman Regent Condominium v. Bottiglieri
Chelsea 19th LLC v. West 19th Street Realty LLC
New York Department of Finance
New York City Department of Buildings
New York City Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
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