Jul 20, 2023

Do Marijuana Smokers Have Special Rights in Your Co-op or Condo?

The possession and use of marijuana by persons who are at least 21 years old is now legal in New York, as is the sale of marijuana and other cannabis products by New York State licensed dispensaries. However, a number of our cooperative and condominium clients have asked whether they may ban the smoking of marijuana in their buildings, either because they find it bothersome or because they are concerned about the adverse health effects associated with second hand smoke. The smoking of marijuana in the public portions of buildings is subject to the same legal restrictions as the smoking… Read more

May 16, 2023

It’s 6 P.M. – Do You Know Where Your Money Is?

The recent takeover of First Republic Bank by JP Morgan Chase briefly resurfaced the instability of the regional banking sector as front page news. For many, if not most people, the issue has largely become background noise, and a surprising number of cooperative and condominium boards have still not taken adequate steps to address it. This blog is a reminder that board members, who have not already done so, should at this point in time pay special attention to their fiduciary duty to safeguard and prudently invest their building’s funds. The starting point The starting point would be to identify… Read more

Mar 3, 2023

Bills Pending in the New York City Council to Enact Laws Regulating the Purchaser Approval Processes of Cooperatives

Cooperative boards should be aware that there are three bills pending before the New York City Council that, if passed, will impose substantial requirements on the purchaser application process in all cooperatives in New York City with 10 or more apartments. Boards should consider whether to reach out to their council members, the members of the Committee on Housing and Buildings listed below, or the Mayor to express their views on the wisdom of the proposals. The bills are Intro. 0914-2023, Intro. 0915-2023 and Intro. 0917-2023. Under current law, Boards must abide by all federal, state and city anti-discrimination laws,… Read more

Jun 11, 2021

Good News for Cooperatives from the NY Legislature Regarding the Removal of Restrictions on Cooperatives Imposed in 2019

We are pleased to report that legislation (Senate Bill S5105) has passed both houses of the NY State Legislature relieving cooperatives of a number of restrictions that were applied to them along with conventional rental landlords when the Legislature enacted new tenant protection provisions as part of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019. In particular, the current bill, which is now pending signature by the Governor, would remove or substantially modify the restrictions that had been imposed on cooperatives regarding (i) late charges, (ii) the ability to require security deposits as a condition of the approval of… Read more

Jan 14, 2021

Issues for Cooperatives in the Paycheck Protection Program

Authored by: Sean Altschul, Eric Balber, Michael Manzi, Stephen O’Connell, Todd Pickard, Robin Silberzweig, Lisa Smith, John Van Der Tuin, Eliot Zuckerman, Amanda Attenasio, Edward Heppt, and Dexterrie C. Ramirez When the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was enacted as part of the CARES Act in March 2020 there was considerable uncertainty as to whether residential cooperatives were eligible to participate.  Eventually, the Small Business Administration advised lenders that neither cooperatives nor condominiums were eligible. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, signed into law on December 27, 2020, appropriated additional funding for the PPP and specifically added “housing cooperatives” to eligible… Read more

Apr 13, 2020

Paid Sick and Family CARE Leave – Employer Obligations Expanded and Refundable Tax Credits Granted

sick leave with pills

This is just a quick note to call to your attention another program of the federal government’s response to the corona virus that may affect all cooperative and condominium buildings, and their management companies, in their capacity as employers. The “Families First Corona Response Act” (“FFCRA”) signed into law on March 18, 2020, requires employers with 500 or fewer workers to provide up to two weeks of sick leave at full pay up to a $511-per-day cap if they’re directly affected by COVID-19, and at partial pay up to $200 a day to care for affected family members.  FFCRA also… Read more

Apr 1, 2020

The Application and Guidance for Paycheck Protection Loans and Grants Is Available

blocks that read update

To follow up on our prior message to you yesterday, this is to inform you that the U.S. Treasury Department has now issued the application form and guidance for Paycheck Protection Program loans and grants.   The program allows loans of up to 2.5X the monthly payroll, which may then be forgiven if the loan proceeds are used for qualifying purposes.   There is nothing in the guidance or application form that would change our advice that cooperative and condominium buildings should be eligible to participate.   For those buildings that have staff, this may be a source of needed funding during this… Read more

Mar 31, 2020

COVID-19 Related Assistance for Cooperatives and Condominiums Under the Federal CARES Act

SBA Loan

Significant benefits may be afforded cooperatives and condominiums through the Paycheck Protection Program contained in the CARES Act passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27th.   The Program is intended to ameliorate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employers of fewer than 500 persons.  Details as to the benefits available under the Program cannot be confirmed until the Small Business Administration publishes implementing regulations, which the Act requires in 15 days, or the government issues other guidance, but  cooperatives and condominiums, and their managing agents and accountants should be aware of the possibility in assessing the impact… Read more

Mar 26, 2020

Annual Meetings and COVID-19


We have received a number of COVID-19 related inquiries from cooperative and condominium boards asking about how to deal with annual shareholder and unit owner meetings that their bylaws state should be held in the next few months. There are a number of options: The simplest, most straightforward option is to postpone holding the meeting until conditions improve and “social distancing” is no longer an issue. The NY Business Corporation Law contemplates that a corporation may fail to hold an annual meeting when required under its bylaws, and provides that, except in very special circumstances, doing so is without consequence…. Read more

Mar 24, 2020

Employment Law Updates and Best Practices for Your Building

Employment Law Photo

In response to the novel coronavirus epidemic, the federal government and the State of New York have issued a number of new laws and executive orders that impact employment decisions and working conditions for employees in residential buildings.  Below is a short overview of these recently passed laws and guidelines for dealing with building employees during this unique time.  Because the governmental guidances and requirements are evolving and specific circumstances may vary, these are general guidelines only; consult with counsel or your HR advisor with respect to specific questions. New York’s Work-From-Home Executive Order: Employees of Businesses Providing Non-Essential Services… Read more