Making the Switch Transitioning From Sponsor to Owner Control

The goal of any property developer is to sell units, but until that objective is reached they have to assume all the day-to-day responsibilities to ensure smooth operations and continued sales. This requires wearing many hats—manager, board member and ombudsmen. As a result, it’s often a relief when the control of the property is transitioned to members of the board or association. However, this isn’t always the smoothest of processes.

“Every building is unique and we strive to make sure that a new board has the ability to properly operate its building in a relatively short period of time,” says Attorney David Berkey, a partner at the Manhattan-based law firm of Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, LLP.

Attorney Jeffrey Schwartz, a partner with the law firm of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, LLP in Manhattan, explains that developers and boards can look to Attorney General-drafted laws to ease transitions issues. For example, Part 20 of Title 13 NYCRR of the Regulations Governing Newly Constructed, Vacant and Non-Residential Condominiums and Section 352-e of New York’s General Business Law govern, specifically aid in the turnover of the property. “These laws are embodied in the offering plan and bylaws of the condominium,” says Schwartz. “They generally relate to when and how the turnover should be effectuated.”

When asked what the major challenges facing developers before transition, Schwartz offered the following common examples:

• The ability to continue and complete construction of units.

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