New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

Subscribe for Daily Updates!
Board Approval Required?Sep 20, 2007


I had my kitchen countertop and sink replaced at existing location. Did these things required board approval? Some of the board members are "up in arms" that I did not seek board approval. I live in a coop. I thought anything done behind the walls require board approval and anything visible do not (for example: changing a rusted out drain pipe (no approval req'd) vs rerouting pipe elsewhere in my unit (approval req'd). They want to fine me, but fines are nowhere stated in the proprietary lease nor amendments. Plus, wouldn't implementation required shareholder votes? Thanks.

Join the Conversation Comments (2)
Improvements and fines - AdC Sep 20, 2007


Search for Fines and Fees in other postings for answers to this part of the question.

Re Improvements:

Your improvements is a rather simple one. However, if someone else is doing it for you, you should at least protect yourself and others by demanding certificates of commercial liability insurance in your name and the co-op's name. Similarly, you should ask for proof of worker's compensation insurance. If one is not available, then you should have some sort of release in case of injury.

A simple form for this type of improvement should be in order. Remember, a sink and counter requires disconnecting faucets and water. If the person breaks your shut off valve, water may end up in the unit below. This is where mysterious waters and leaks appear and the co-op may be wasting tons of time trying to find out what the problem on hand was.

This is why COMMUNICATIONS (which is something shareholders demand from board) become essential on both sides of the fence.

AdC

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
Our 500 unit co-op and in apartment work and alterations - TedT-NJ Sep 20, 2007


We do not typically require prior approval by the board for most alterations.

In all cases, without fail, only licensed contractors or vendors are permitted as evidenced by the presentation of suitable license and insurance documents.

However, if the alteration structurally affects the unit, e.g.: removal or relocation of walls, then we will require board approval after an engineer reviews and indicates there are no structural issues.

Rebuilding a kitchen, e.g.: new cabinets, counter tops, appliances, flooring, lighting, does not fall within this “alteration” category.

Likewise rebuilding a bathroom, e.g.: new shower, commode, sink, bathtub, tiling, single faucet shower control, lighting, etc. does not fall within this category.

If a unit owner wishes to add additional power receptacles in the apartment within the power supply limits, e.g.: total amperage available, of the apartment, board approval is not a requirement.

If a unit owner wishes to replace or modify the co-op owned parquet floor, then the building will require the owner to sign an agreement wherein the owner (and any subsequent owners) take responsibility for the floors should there be any damage. This means, if there is a water leak necessitating replacement of the parquet floor, the usual scenario is the co-op calls in a repair service to replace the warped parquet floors. In the case where the owner has modified the floor (e.g.; pickled finish), the owner takes the responsibility to obtain repairs to then be reimbursed by the building’s insurance carrier.

Any alterations or modifications require a building permit from the local government.

Owners are not permitted to replace the entry door to the unit.

Owners are not permitted to replace the unit’s glass sliding terrace door with a “French” door system.


Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (2)
Your policy - AdC Sep 21, 2007


Ted,

Do you have a mechanism (i.e., form or otherwise) in which the shareholder informs the board or management about the presence of a contractor and provides the policies and licenses expected? Does the contractor need to register with your superintendent to know that they are in the building, pad elevators when bringing supplies, etc.?

Although I do not necessarily call "approval" as such, I think you have some type of procedure in place to ensure that the building is protected from damages to hallways, etc.

Would you please comment a bit further?

AdC



Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
Improvements and Alterations - board newbie Sep 23, 2007


We have a situation whereby as a small building, we have never had a formal procedure in place even for kitchen/bath improvements but your co-ops' requirements of asking for proof of licenses, insurance etc. is something we have had an informal "honor" system for. Many have passed through our building without showing proof of insurance docs to our Board and management. Now we have a new managing agent and a new board and we are trying to enact what you outline in your posting. One of the long time shareholders is balking at having to be the first "test rat" for this good practice. In fact he has refused to submit proof of insurance etc. If no one will be the first to obey these procedures, what can we do? Our management suggest sending a lawyer's letter but this shareholder can easily outspend us. Any suggestions?

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (1)
test rats - RLM Sep 24, 2007


I presume your board has incorporated these rules formally into your House Rules? If so, they become an extension of the proprietary lease.

It's a fairly straightforward case that a shareholder ignoring House Rules is violating the PL, and PL violations are grounds for eviction.

A strong letter from your managing agent or coop attorney could be a good second step....

but a frank discussion with the longtime shareholder should be your first. He might respond to an anecdote from our co-op: a renovation done before rules were set in place came back to haunt us, six years later, when we discovered structural changes had been made that the board hadn't authorized... and which had impacted an entire line negatively. The costs for curing the defect could have run into thousands, had we not gotten very, very lucky with building design.

Alteration rules are emplaced for a very good reason. And I'll bet that your shareholder, if approached calmly and logically, will understand that rules like these are in the co-op's best interests, and therefore in its investors' best interests.

Perhaps your managing agent could even offer to expedite this first "test case" - help with any paperwork, filings, etc., as a sign of good faith and appreciation for being the first?

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Log in below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.
Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Ask the Experts

learn more

Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

Source Guide

see the guide

Looking for a vendor?