It was maddening. Shareholders in a 780-unit Queens co-op kept complaining to the board about banging noises in the middle of the night coming from a particular apartment. When the board asked to inspect the apartment, the shareholder who lived there refused. Finally, building staff got inside – and discovered that the shareholder who lived there had undertaken a gut renovation without board approval.
Although most co-ops and condos have an alteration agreement in place, many lack key elements. And when a project goes awry, what’s missing from the alteration agreement can come back to bite the board. Hard.
It’s also essential that an agreement include comprehensive indemnifications to protect the board and the property manager from any claims of damage to the building’s common elements or neighboring apartments.
Attorney Bruce Cholst, a shareholder at Anderson Kill, includes four types of indemnifications in agreements he prepares.
The unit-owner must promise to:
• assume full responsibility for any damage caused by his or her project and not blame anyone else,
• reimburse for damage done to a neighboring unit or common area,
• pay for the legal defense of anyone who is sued as a result of injury related to the project,
• make good on any legal judgment attributable to the project.
To read the full story: Plugging Gaps in Your Alteration Agreement