— Manhattan Shareholder
“Typically, however, the board’s right to establish the co-op’s annual cash requirements and set maintenance levels is a matter within the realm of the board’s business judgment. As long as the board is acting for proper corporate purposes, in accordance with any lease or bylaw requirements, and not in bad faith, its decision cannot be successfully challenged.
“It also should be noted that in creating a balanced budget, only a small percentage of the co-op’s expenses are discretionary. The bulk of the budget usually consists of expenses that are largely beyond the board’s control (and often increasing), such as mortgage interest, labor costs, taxes and utilities. If you believe that your co-op president and current board are reckless spenders, of course, you have the power of the ballot. At your next annual meeting, you can try to vote the rascals out. In addition, as a shareholder, you have certain statutory rights (and probably rights under the proprietary lease) to inspect certain of the corporation’s financial records.
“In answer to your second question regarding notice of maintenance increases, unless the your proprietary lease or bylaws contains such a notice requirement, which would be unusual, there is nothing in the law that requires any kind of notice or warning to shareholders before maintenance is increased.”