Can a Co-op Board Ban Kids From the Backyard?

Habitat Weekly

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The board at a white-glove Upper East Side co-op recently refurbished the backyard and purchased outdoor furniture. It also laid down rules: children who are 16 and older are allowed to sit in the garden during appropriate hours and enjoy it in a quiet manner. Children under the age of 16 are prohibited from setting foot in the backyard, even if accompanied by an adult.

“My personal opinion is that this rule went too far.” Instead, he says, he would have drafted the rule allowing children accompanied by adults to use the back yard, while also reserving the right to restrict anyone who doesn’t abide by a code of conduct. In other words, Cholst worried that the rule, as contrived, could be interpreted as age-discriminatory. “When it comes to discrimination,” says Cholst, “nothing is black and white.”

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