Q&A: Super Required?

Q I’m a shareholder in a co-op in Park Slope. The board has summarily decided that we no longer require a full-time, live-in superintendent. When I served on the board several years ago, I understood that a building had to have a particular number of units to require a super. I don’t recall the legal number, but, for example, a six-unit building didn’t require a super. Is it legal for us not to have a super? If that’s true, who would take care of our building’s business?

—Ex Board Member

A “Your reader is partially correct,” says Michelle Freudenberger, Esq. in Manhattan. “Smaller buildings do not require a resident super and with the rising costs of co-ops and condos in New York City many co-op or condo boards may consider other more economical options. The New York State 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 to reside in the dwelling or within a dwelling located within a distance of 250 feet from the dwelling and have charge of such dwelling.

“In regards to who would take care of a building if there was no super, or if the super was away, (and the building is one that requires a super based on the number of units contained therein), then the co-op or condo board must have a substitute for the super. There could be an assistant super or handyman that is on call 24/7.”

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