Q. My family and I live in a six-story condominium in Manhattan. We own the top two floors (5 & 6), which amounts to 22 percent of the building. The elevator has been out of service for two months. The board members seem to be in no hurry to get it fixed (they live on the 3rd floor and 1st floor). How long must I put up with this reduction in services? Do I have any recourse?
—Frustrated by Inaction
A. “Generally speaking, condominium boards of managers must adhere to all internal requirements and procedures,” says Lucas A. Ferrara, a partner at the law firm of Newman Ferrara LLP in New York, “as set forth in the bylaws, the declaration, and house rules. And, under New York law, they must also exercise prudent business judgment when making decisions.
“If the reader is of the view that the building’s board is not acting in a manner that is consistent with its legal obligations, then they are free to file suit seeking appropriate relief, including securing a possible order from a judge compelling the board to make the required repairs.
“But since litigation can be quite costly, it should be the option of last resort. It’s always best to attempt an amicable out-of-court resolution. They are still your neighbors, after all. Should the board continue to remain unresponsive to the reader’s entreaties or requests, an attorney should be retained in order to prompt action.”