New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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HABITAT

BUILDING OPERATIONS

HOW NYC CO-OP AND CONDOS OPERATE

The Mother of All Quality-of-Life Complaints

Rego Park

Odor Complaints
Aug. 12, 2016

A co-op shareholder in Rego Park, Queens, wants to sell her apartment, but there’s a sticking point. Or, rather, a stinking point: a powerful odor of cat urine is emanating through the floorboards, and the woman can hear a cat crying all day in the apartment next door. This double-whammy has to be the mother of all quality-of-life complaints: the perfume and the music of an untended cat (or cats). What’s a co-op shareholder to do?

“The bottom line here is this person needs help,” Paul Gottsegen, president of the Halstead Management Company, tells the Ask Real Estate column in the New York Times. “Family members really have to come to the aid of this person.”

So an appeal to Adult Protective Services and family members is a first step. Then, since most co-op proprietary leases forbid shareholders from allowing noxious odors to seep from their apartment, the shareholder living next to the fetid cat could solicit residents of other adjoining apartments. Together they could approach the managing and the co-op board and demand that they inspect the offending apartment and take action.

If the problem persists, it’s time to call the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. A violation from them might spur management into action. Then it’s time to call in the fumigators.

Ask the Experts

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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

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