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Be a Good Neighbor When Granting Access

Jeffrey Heidings
President, Siren Management

Be a Good Neighbor When Granting Access

Setting the Scene

I manage an eight-unit condominium on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. An adjacent building’s manager requested access to our rooftop, which is built as a roof and terrace for recreational purposes. This has become a standard event in New York City. With all the construction and Local Law 11 work going on, buildings require access to neighboring buildings from time to time.

Following the Action

I recommended to the board that it have an attorney fashion an access agreement. In this particular case, the penthouse of the building also has limited common-element roof rights. That unit-owner had to be indemnified and protected. We did it in a very neighborly fashion. No fee was charged. We did make sure that the agreement contained a quid pro quo clause that allows us to have access to the neighboring building in case we needed to do any work on our roof or facades that would entail using their premises. We’re protected in that regard, and the work proceeded normally and is now completed.

Doing It Right

Neighboring buildings in New York City may eventually need access to your rooftop or facades to do their Local Law 11 work. This is not the time for a money grab. It’s the time for making a common-sense agreement that protects your co-op or condo and allows the neighboring buildings proper access – and ensures that they return the favor in the future if that becomes necessary.

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