There's a lot of paperwork that's involved in running a co-op or condo building - everything from financial records to legal documents, shareholder correspondence and management statements from board meetings - and it's important that the documents are available to the board and shareholders when needed. While it's up to the managing agent to keep this material organized and secure, sometimes copies of the paperwork can also be found in the co-op office itself.
Because co-op and condo boards mostly have good relationships with their managing agents, information usually flows easily between them, and getting the proper paperwork to anyone who needs it isn't a big deal. Since board members and shareholders are both entitled to view certain documents, it's up to the management company to get the proper information to them in a timely and organized manner. Because the system works so well most of the time, most co-ops and condos don't feel the need to keep copies of the records on their premises.
"I feel that copies of sales packages, leases on any income producing space, and of course financial records should always be kept at the management office," says Sam Irlander, president of Parker Madison Partners, Inc., a management company based in Manhattan. "But I've also always recommended that our properties keep hard copies in a room somewhere on their premises. That's to protect against disorder should the building change agents."
But since there isn't always an assigned space for such documentation at a co-op or condo office, and people don't usually want to be bothered with keeping such paperwork in order, having documents and paperwork on the premises isn't that important.
"It depends on how sophisticated the people are - but then you are assuming there even is an office on the premises," says Abbey F. Goldstein of Goldstein & Greenlaw LLP, a law firm in Kew Gardens, Queens. "People who are businessmen and used to dealing with records are much more likely to want to have their own set of records kept [at the building]. I would have to say that the vast majority - other than minutes, maybe some significant invoices, or most of the key records - are not duplicated and are kept [at the management office]."