I was just elected to my condo board in Brooklyn. About a month ago I returned from a work trip and the hallway leading to my apartment was suddenly 15% narrower. Very surprised since I was never notified beforehand, I spoke with the building manager and he explained that a few units (including the board president) wanted to run mechanicals to the roof for air conditioning and other services and the “bump out” was necessary to accommodate the new service lines. Not only does the new hallway look narrower (more like a tenement than a luxury condo), but it will be much harder to get furniture in and out of my apartment because of the reduced turning radius. It is also much tighter with a baby carriage and groceries.
As a new board member I raised concerns that a portion of the common element was “occupied” for the benefit of specific unit owners. The board president explained that he personally paid for installation of the new wall and that the new “service” space could be used by other units owners in the future if they chose. Also, no fees were paid by the unit owners benefitting from this additional space, it was “gifted” to them. Are Boards allowed to have individual units owners alter the common elements such that the space is no longer usable by al all residents?
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