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Repair Responsibility

McMunn v. Steppingstone ManagemenT Corp.

This case revolves around the question of who is responsible for repairs inside an apartment when the city issues code violations – the shareholder or the co-op board? In this case, the co-op board and its management company argued that the shareholder was responsible for curing the violations because the obligations were expressly set forth in the proprietary lease. The city argued that the Housing Maintenance Code takes precedence over the proprietary lease. The court agreed with the city, ruling that the law holds the building owner – the co-op corporation – responsible for the repairs but that the co-op corporation might have a financial claim against the shareholder to recover the cost of those repairs.


"Your co-op board has just received a notice from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development informing you that there are violations in apartment 3B for failing to paint and plaster. Your reaction is that it’s the shareholder’s responsibility to cure the violations, so you’re not going to do the work. You’re making a big mistake."

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