Change is Good Negotiating Alteration Agreements

David Sack has lived in the West Village John Adams apartment building since 1998. The building is a 21-story, 404-unit, white-brick apartment complex built in 1963 and converted to a cooperative in 1980.

When David moved in, he discovered that the previous owner hadn’t remodeled or updated the apartment in the 40 years that she had lived there — so he knew it was time to make a change.

“Five years ago, I did an extensive gut renovation,” says Sack. “Construction involved removal and modification of absolutely every aspect of the unit. The unit was entirely rewired for a much-needed upgraded electrical system and the piping in the bathrooms and kitchen was replaced. Only the load-bearing walls were left untouched — except for being replastered and painted.”

A Common Scenario

Every building deals with the shareholder or owner like Sack who wishes to remodel or redesign their apartment. It might be an owner who wants to make their new home their own by rearranging the space to better suit them, or another owner who wants to purchase two neighboring units with the intent of knocking down walls and turning them into one larger apartment.

But before anyone in your building starts pounding nails, tearing out cabinets, or completely overhauling their living space, it’s their responsibility to find out what types of alterations require the board’s stamp of approval, and get that approval before starting their project.


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