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New board members need to stay on top of controversial policies – like subletting.
AUTHORArlene Waye, Principal
PAGE #pp. 30-31
Life in a condo isn’t looser than life in a co-op, but you need to stay on top of your house rules to know this.
THE BIG PICTURE
Your home shouldn’t be a hotel, but condos tend to have more difficulty with this concept than co-ops do. It’s really important for board members to familiarize themselves with their cooperative’s bylaws or their condominium’s house rules.
It’s crucial that you have your sublets monitored and vetted in the building, even in a condo. Recently, we were asked to take on a 60-unit building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I met with the board, we talked about their sublet policy, and they said, “We don’t really have a sublet policy.”
A year later, we got calls from several of the residents in the building that one of the units was having loud parties with a lot of people coming and going. We located the owner of the unit, who happened to live in Europe and was subletting the apartment. The sublessor had put up an Airbnb ad and was running a hotel out of the condominium unit. That raised a number of issues, especially one of safety.
In the end, new board members should familiarize themselves with building policies. The house rules stated that in this particular building there was a 12-month minimum for a sublet, and the sublessor had to be vetted by the managing agent and approved by the board of directors. It’s important to have a sublet policy in place. It’s even more important to enforce it.