Q&A: Confidential Condominium

Q For the past few years, the condominium board and management has consistently denied me my bylaw rights to audit and inspect the books of the condominium. What action can I take?

—Righteous in Riverdale

A “Most condominium bylaws give a unit owner the right to inspect certain books and records of the condominium, but not the right to actually audit which is a relatively lengthy and expensive process conducted by a CPA,” explains attorney Steve Troup, a partner at the Manhattan-based law firm of Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, LLP.

“The specific language of the bylaws must be followed. The unit owner should send a certified letter, return receipt requested, to the managing agent, copying each member of the board of managers, demanding the inspection as provided for in the bylaws. If the board and/or management company continues to refuse inspection, the unit owner has two choices: (1) lobby the other unit owners to unseat the board, or those managers who are behind the refusal (if known), at the next annual meeting, or at a special meeting called as provided for in the bylaws, and try to vote in more responsive managers; or (2) commence an action in state Supreme Court for an injunction and declaratory judgment compelling the board and managing agent to permit such inspection.”

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