New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

Subscribe for Daily Updates!
lock on basement doorJul 25, 2007


Hi,
I am a new condo president of a brand new condominium of 20 units- 7 doorways with 3 units per doorway. We are managing ourselves at the moment. One of our owners has a hard time remembering he lives in a condo-- he likes to do what he wants. He has just put a lock on the door to the basement and given the 2 other unit owners a key. He didn't get approval from the Board-- he never gets approval for anything he decides to do-- so he is a bit of a challenge. Obviously, we have to confront him with this. Could the lock on the basement door be a fire code issue? Thanks!

Join the Conversation Comments (2)
is there an exit or oil tank in there? - sally Jul 25, 2007


put crazy glue insire the lock. that will take care of it. you didnt hear this from me.

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)
bdoor - janies Jul 26, 2007


Thanks :)

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
Reply to Janies re: bdoor - BP Jul 26, 2007


Janies: You said your 20-unit condo has 7 doorways with 3 units per doorway. It sounds like you have 7 attached bldgs ("townhouses"?) with 3 units in each bldg, or is your condo 1 basic bldg with a common foyer/lobby with 7 doorways that go to areas that have 3 units in each area?

If you have 7 attached bldgs, does each one have a basement?That implies that owners in each bldg are the only ones who access their basement. If so, I think they can put a lock on their basement door (if it's not a fire code issue). If all 20 owners have access to the same 1 basement, no owner has no right to put a lock on that basement door.

You/your condo attorney should check governing documents to see if the basement(s) are part of unit space, "limited common space" or common space. This will define what rights your owners have regarding the basement.

You said an owner put a lock on "the door to the basement". Did he put it on a door that goes DOWN to the basement, and is there a door IN the basement that goes to the outside of the bldg or to an area that gets you outside?

If the basement offers a way out of the bldg, a lock on the door (whether the door goes to, or is in, the basement) is a fire code issue. You can't lock any door that people can use to get out of the bldg quickly in an emergency.

Re: the owner who never gets board approval on anything and does what he wants, he doesn't (as you wrote) have "a hard time remembering he lives in a condo." He knows darn well where he lives. He's one of those owners you'll find in all coops/condos who thinks rules don't apply to him.

Don't let him get away with things he should have gotten approval for but didn't and hope it won't happen again. It will, if you let it. Set him straight now and you'll save yourself and your board a lot of time, energy, aggravation, and maybe money. I know from whence I speak, and I know a lot of other posters here share my experience on this.

Being on a board is an ongoing learning experience. Getting owners to understand that they're part of a community is an ongoing training experience. Some owners were renters until now. Some come from their parents' home and never had to do, fix or be responsibile for anything. Some have things explained 50 times but never get it. Some are apathetic if boards are unresponsive or too controlling. Some (like the owner you have, Janies) are self-serving pains around whom the world is supposed to revolve. These last are the worst. For them, rules, etc. have no meaning, and in their eyes, the board is invisible. Talk about "transparency".

But let's give thanks for those owners who send in sublet renewals on time, put recyclables in the right place, call mgmt if they want to do something but aren't sure if it's allowed, put carpeting/rugs on their floors so they don't drive the people below crazy, come to the annual meeting -and may even thank a board member for his hard work and for everything he's doing for the property!

What keeps a good board member going? Yes, wanting to make life better in their coop/condo - and that dear minority of owners who unfailingly make being on the board easier than we expect it to be. End of my sermon. :-)

See you in three weeks,folks. Leaving on vacation tonight.

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)
bdoor - Janies Jul 26, 2007


Thanks so much. Your description of the whole scenario is right on target. The basement is common area. I think there is a fire code issue too. Have forwarded this problem to our lawyer.

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?