BY JOHN KIRITSIS, ESQ., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M
Condo declarations, often referred to as the “Declaration of Condominium,” are important legal documents that establish the structure, rules, and regulations for a condominium property in New York City (NYC). These documents set out the rights and responsibilities of condo unit owners and govern the operation of the condominium. Here’s a legal guide to NYC condo declarations:
- Definition and Purpose:
The condo declaration is a foundational legal document that creates the condominium as a legal entity and defines the rights and obligations of unit owners, the condo association, and other parties involved in the property.
- Contents of the Declaration:
Typically, the condo declaration includes important information such as:
Legal description of the property and individual units
Unit boundaries and common areas
Ownership and undivided interests in common elements
Voting rights and procedures
Rules and regulations governing the property
Maintenance fee assessments and budgeting
Bylaws of the condo association
The condo declaration must be recorded with the appropriate city or county office to become legally effective. Recording ensures that the declaration is a public record and binds all current and future unit owners.
- Amendment Process:
Modifying the condo declaration requires a certain level of approval from the unit owners, often through a supermajority vote. Changes to the declaration may involve alterations to unit boundaries, common areas, voting rights, or other significant matters.
- Resale Certificates:
When selling a condo unit, the seller typically provides the buyer with a resale certificate that includes essential information from the condo declaration. This helps the buyer make informed decisions.
- Unit Owner Rights and Obligations:
The condo declaration outlines the rights and obligations of unit owners. This includes their responsibilities for maintenance, compliance with rules, and participation in association activities.
- Association Powers and Duties:
The declaration defines the authority and responsibilities of the condo association, including its role in enforcing rules, collecting assessments, maintaining common areas, and managing the property.
- Common Area Use and Maintenance:
Condo declarations address the use and maintenance of common areas, specifying how they are managed and who is responsible for their upkeep.
- Dispute Resolution:
The declaration may include provisions for resolving disputes among unit owners, between unit owners and the association, or other related matters.
- Legal Consultation:
Given the complexity and legal significance of condo declarations, it’s recommended to consult with legal professionals who specialize in condominium law. An attorney can review and explain the declaration’s provisions, assist with amendments if necessary, and ensure compliance with NYC regulations.
Understanding and adhering to the provisions of the condo declaration is crucial for both condo unit owners and associations to maintain a well-functioning and harmonious community.
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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