Co-ops and condominiums are subject to more and more legislation affecting how they govern and interact with shareholders and unit owners. In fact, boards and residents alike should be aware of several new laws and regulations that have recently gone into effect.
Allergens and Asthma
One of those news laws, says attorney Mark Hakim of the New York City-based firm of Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas, is Local Law 55 of 2018, also known as New York City Indoor Asthma Allergen Hazards in Residential Dwellings and Pest Management. It applies to all multiple dwelling property owners.
According to Hakim, “Effective as of January 19, 2019 this law requires owners to investigate and remediate indoor allergen hazards such as mold, mice and rats, and cockroaches. As it relates to mold, for example, the new law requires contractors who perform mold assessment, remediation, and/or abatement services to obtain appropriate training and proper licensing, and also establishes new minimum work standards for mold assessments and remediation activities.
“This is certainly good news intended to assist affected individuals, but it can also place additional financial and other burdens on a cooperative corporation. While the law does provide exceptions for cooperative corporations when a shareholder and/or family resides in the apartment, [it] does allow the cooperative corporation to shift liability via agreement. This new law will certainly require managing agents and boards to investigate whether it applies -- and take action when it does.”
Knob Covers on Gas Stoves
Another recently-enacted piece of legislation is Local Law 17. That requires owners of units in multifamily buildings to provide covers for the knobs on each gas stove in apartments where children under the age of six live. Owners must also make the knob covers available to residents without children if they ask for them.