Documents included with offering plans (i.e. declarations, by-laws, rules and regulations, etc.) and other evidence are used to determine whether the board of a residential cooperative or condominium or the owner of an apartment is responsible to fix failures in a building system. Keep in mind, however, that a board or managing agent may become responsible for damages (which are otherwise the obligation of the apartment owner) if they voluntarily or gratuitously inject themselves into addressing or remediating a unit owner’s problem.
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Copyright by, and republished with permission of, Habitat Magazine.
The owner of the cellar unit in a small Tribeca condominium decided to sell the unit, which, under the condominium’s certificate of occupancy (C of O), could be used only for storage or as a boiler room. A potential buyer planned to turn the space into a showroom for her business. The seller promised her that, by the time of closing, he would have all approvals required to change the C of O to allow for the unit’s use as a showroom – or the deal was off.
(A C of O must be changed when a space is altered in a way that will change the use, egress, or type of occupancy.)
The sale contract stated: “In the event this application [for a new C of O] is unsuccessful for any reason whatsoever, Seller shall return Purchaser’s deposit made hereunder, at which time this contract shall be deemed null and void, with neither party having any rights or obligations vis-à-vis the other.”
We have published a new article on the SGR blog.
Condominium declarations, by-laws and rules and regulations govern many details of residential apartment living and unit owners are obligated to comply with them even if they feel that they impinge upon their rights. This point is illustrated by a recent lawsuit involving the display of an American flag.
Read more on the SGR blog.