Confessions of a Co-op/Condo Attorney From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

While we were toiling away at our respective law schools and then studying endlessly for the bar examination, we never expected to be confronted with the wide range of issues that our cooperative and condominium board clients have approached us with over the years.

When we were law students, we always thought that depravity, suicides, veiled threats, vandalism and public sexual encounters were situations handled either by the New York City Police Department, New York Post investigative reporters or scriptwriters for Law & Order. However, we now know that if you practice cooperative and condominium law long enough, you may become involved in the most sordid situations. In our experience, in order to counsel boards of New York City cooperatives and condominiums effectively, one has to be part attorney, part therapist and part law enforcement agent.

Below are three true stories of, shall we dare say, "bizarre" situations that our cooperative and condominium board clients have involved us in. Please note that no names or building addresses are mentioned in order to protect the innocent (and our clients' property values).

Objectionable Conduct

If you think you have a nightmare neighbor in your building, just imagine if these people lived on your floor:

Our firm was asked to assist a cooperative board in permanently removing a problematic shareholder from the building based on his "objectionable conduct." While we were initiallyinformed that the shareholder was disturbing the peaceful enjoyment of the building's residents and compromising the safety of the building's residents and staff, we were later shocked to learn the full extent of the shareholder's nefarious activities in the building.

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