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

ANNUAL MEETING photo

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


Mar 11, 2020

To Be or Not To Be an Additional Insured?

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It is the question many in the industry have asked in light of the 2018 New York Court of Appeals decision in the Gilbane case. (Gilbane Bldg. Co./TDX Constr. Corp., et al. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., et al., 31 N.Y. 3d 131 (2018)).  In Gilbane the court held that a party was not entitled to coverage as an additional insured when such party did not have a written contract with the policy holder requiring such status.  Additional insured status may be very important in that, in addition to affording an additional insured a legal defense, it… Read more


Jan 31, 2020

Local Law 11 – Update

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In 1980, Grace Gold, a Barnard College freshman, was killed when a piece of terra cotta masonry fell on the Upper West Side.  Her death resulted in the adoption of Local Law 10, the first New York City law that required periodic inspections of street-side façades of all buildings in New York City that are taller than six stories.  Then, in 1998, the partial collapse of a building on Madison Avenue resulted in an expansion of the requirements of Local Law 10 – and its recodification as Local Law 11 – to encompass all building façades (other than those within… Read more


Nov 21, 2019

Buyer Beware: More Disclosure Requirements for LLCs

Disclosure Requirements for LLCs

It has become increasingly difficult for homebuyers to play hide-and-seek in New York. For decades, the wealthy, celebrities, and other people concerned about their privacy have enjoyed the privilege of anonymity by buying and selling real estate through limited liability companies (“LLCs”). Not only have LLCs, when properly structured, offered privacy, but, as their names imply, they have had the advantage of shielding their owners from a variety of personal claims. The use of LLCs for anonymity was curtailed by the New York State Legislature on September 13, 2019, with the enactment of expanded disclosure requirements for LLCs buying or… Read more


Oct 22, 2019

About Noise Complaints

Woman with Pillow over Ears to Cover Noise

Complaints about noise are among the most common issues faced by boards of cooperatives and condominiums in New York City. Apartments are virtually never noise-free. A decision to live in an apartment building includes tacit acknowledgment that, at times, neighbors will be heard.  The question is: when does the level and nature of noise rise to the level of an impermissible nuisance? Determining the answer can be especially difficult. It is not uncommon for noise that one person believes to be unreasonable and life disruptive to be considered by another person to be customary and reasonable. The basic rule applied… Read more


Sep 19, 2019

Statutory Changes Affecting Cooperatives and Condominium Unit Owners — Update

https://www.sgrlaw.com/statutory-changes-affecting-cooperatives-and-condominium-unit-owners/)

Last month, we distributed a bulletin describing recent New York State legislation affecting cooperatives and condominium unit owners. One of the items we noted was a change to the New York Real Property Law imposing a $20 limitation on the fees that may be charged to applicants for leases. In light of this change, we suggested that cooperatives charge such fees to the sellers of apartments rather than the applicant/purchasers. (The bulletin we issued is available here.) On September 13, 2019, the New York State Department of State issued official Guidance stating that the $20 limitation does not apply to… Read more


Sep 11, 2019

Common Charges in Mixed-Use Condominiums

photo of man using calculator

Condominium boards that operate buildings with both commercial and residential units frequently ask us for assistance in disputes involving the calculation of common charges. Determining common charges in buildings that are completely residential is typically straightforward — the board develops a budget and then divides the projected common expenses among the units based on each unit’s respective percentage of the common interest.  However, in a mixed-use building where there are both commercial and residential units, the New York Condominium Act permits them to be allocated common charges differently where authorized by the condominium’s declaration and bylaws. Unfortunately, in our experience,… Read more


Aug 9, 2019

Statutory Changes Affecting Cooperatives and Condominium Unit Owners

New York rent laws - Condos & Co-ops

The sweeping changes in New York’s rent laws that were passed by the Legislature and signed into law on June 14, 2019, have been widely reported. While these changes will have a substantial, if not drastic, effect on conventional rental housing, they are largely irrelevant as far as the operations of cooperatives and condominiums are concerned.  The legislation that made changes to the rent laws also made a number of changes to other laws that do affect cooperatives and condominium unit owners. Among these changes are the following: Under a change in the NY General Obligations Law, security deposits and rent… Read more