Q&A: Terrace Terror

Q I live in a two-building co-op in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Our board has undertaken the renovation of the terraces of both buildings, and the renovation requires any shareholders, who built enclosures around their terraces to dismantle them before the repairs can begin.

With the exception of three shareholders in my building, everyone has complied with this requirement. Unfortunately for me, one of the non-cooperating cooperators lives in the apartment below mine. The co-op has gone to court to compel him to remove his terrace enclosure, but so far the case is moving very slowly and the board has not been keeping me informed as to if and when his enclosure will be coming down. Until it does, no work can be done on my terrace.

I am planning to go ahead and hire my own contractor to renovate my terrace. The work I need done involves removing the concrete from the steel beams that form the outside shape of the terrace and fixing the concrete of the roof and floor of the terrace. The contractor I hire will only be fixing and waterproofing the roof and floor; he will not touch the outside surrounding concrete. I will be paying him out of pocket.

I have written my board twice and have called the co-op attorney and managing agent twice each. I received one letter from the manager informing me that they will “try to keep me in the loop” but nothing more substantive than that. I recently put a letter under the board president’s door informing him that I plan to hire my own contractor before the end of the month.

Am I within my rights in going ahead and hiring a contractor to do this work? Is there anything more I can do to ensure that I can use my terrace next season?

— Bronx Shareholder

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