Serving on the board is not all fun and games, glamor and glory. There’s also some paperwork involved. In fact, the flow of paperwork is the lifeblood of the community.
The Articles of Incorporation, proprietary lease and bylaws in a co-op and the condo association’s master deed, declaration and bylaws are the foundation of the business that is your typical co-op, condominium or homeowners’ association. The voluminous documents produced day to day are the records of its operation and the correspondence among the board, owners and management create the tenor of life within the community. Keeping documents and records tidy and communications responsible and transparent are key to running a functional and harmonious community.
Letters of the Law
The laws governing the documentation the co-op or condo must produce and distribute are few, surprisingly.
“It would be nice actually if there were some laws about that,” says Alvin Wasserman, the director of asset management and human resources at Melville, Long Island-based Fairfield Properties. “There are laws that come from the accounting profession in terms of reporting requirements, but in terms of correspondence and reports that are unrelated to the accounting of the property, there are no common standards.”
The documents that do need to be produced and held by the corporation are dictated by Article 6 of the New York State, the Business Corporation Law (BCL), in the case of co-ops, and the New York State Property Law, Article 9-B, the Condominium Act, which governs condominium practices. The requirements are virtually same for both.