Q&A:

Q Is a co-op in New York City compelled to have a live-in superintendent? If so, can he be fired if it is proven that his legal residence is in another state? Our super is never around and when he is in the area he is usually at another building somewhere in the neighborhood. He is engaged to work 20 hours per week. The building is dirty and it is hard to get him to do anything. Is the co-op obligated to pay for his utilities and health insurance for him and his family besides his rent-free apartment?

—Frustrated Cooperator

A According to Neil Garfinkel and Robert Bergson of the law firm of Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP: “Section 83 of New York’s Multiple Dwelling Law provides that whenever “there are thirteen or more families occupying any multiple dwelling, and the owner does not reside therein, there shall be a janitor, housekeeper or some other person responsible on behalf of the owner who shall reside in said dwelling, or within a dwelling located within a distance of two hundred feet from said dwelling, except that where two or three multiple dwellings are connected or adjoining, one resident janitor shall be sufficient.” A “multiple dwelling” is a dwelling which is either rented, leased, let or hired out, to be occupied, or is occupied as the residence or home of three or more families living

independently of each other.”’ N.Y. Multiple Dwelling, Law, § 4(7). The Multiple Dwelling Law

applies to cooperative corporations.

“If the cooperative corporation in question falls within the above-cited statutory framework,

then it is required to have a live-in janitor or superintendent. The superintendent cannot reside in another state.

“The circumstances under which the superintendent may be terminated would be determined in accordance with the employment relationship between the respective parties. The employment contract, if any, between the parties would likely set forth the circumstances under which the superintendent may be terminated. In addition, the superintendent may be a member of a union, in which case the conditions of employment would be determined pursuant to the subject collective bargaining agreement. Whether or not the cooperative is required to pay for the superintendent’s utilities and health insurance would also be dictated by the employment contract and/or the collective bargaining agreement.”

Related Articles

A Look at the Westchester CCAC

A Sounding Board for the County's Co-ops and Condos

Being Grilled

Preparing for the Interview Process

A Board Too Far

When Boards Overstep Their Authority