New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

NEW YORK STATE

Two shareholders began a legal action against one of the co-op boards I represent as an attorney, and against four of its individual directors. They were challenging the cooperative corporation's alleged refusal to approve an alteration to their apartment.

A condominium unit-owner seeking to combine his two contiguous apartments carved a five-foot-wide opening in the wall. This opening was not only constructed without the board's prior knowledge or approval, but also in violation of its rule prohibiting wall openings of greater than four feet in width. This rule was enacted upon the advice of the condominium's engineer, who warned that wall openings of a width in excess of four feet posed a threat to the structural integrity of the building's load-bearing walls.

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