Q&A: When a Board Refuses to Make a Shareholder List Available

Q. We are shareholders and residents in a co-op in Westchester. The building provides underground parking for a fee. These cars are handled by a contracted valet parking service, who are careless to say the least. For a small increase in cost, the building will assign self-parking/dedicated spaces – if, and when, available. There is a waiting list for these spaces. The board refuses to make this list available to shareholders. They will, however, inform the shareholders of how many people are ahead of them on the list.

When I asked months ago where I was on the waiting list, I was told that there were five people ahead of me. Recently, I checked in again and was told that there were now six people ahead of me. This doesn’t make sense as I am getting further from the top of the list. This is when I submitted a written request for a copy of the list. The board is obviously not “transparent.”

What begs the question as to why this list is not made available is that: the previous president of the board has a dedicated space; the current president of the board has two dedicated spaces (he was grandfathered in for this extra space); and two former board members have a dedicated space, each. (The board consists of only seven members). The bylaws allow shareholders access to financial records maintained by the managing agent but are silent as to access to something like this list.

Any ideas as to what the best course of action is? I was told that if I was not happy with the garage situation, then I did not have to park there. Well, this response is disingenuous as there is no 24-hour street parking in existence.

                           —Irritated in Westchester


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  • Do the president have the right to sign a contract with a management agent, when the shareholders do not agree? How many signatures supposed to be signed on a contract?
  • What can be done when amanagement of a co op makes it a rule for employees to be untruthful to shareholders particularly when it comes to maintaining the building and no one on duty to to maintain services
  • Being able to get a shareholders list is a right guaranteed in your governing documents. The only reason why you would be denied it is because the board is trying to not allow people to be able to communicate with each other. It could only be for nefarious reasons as to why the board would want to do that. Our new co-op board was trying to go in that direction. Recent sales were kept under the radar as much as possible. After the 1st such sale “Management” stop sending group e-mails, so that the recipients would not notice any new contacts. I, being board of director savvy, instead of asking the board directly for the current shareholder’s list, I went straight to the property records website to obtain the current names to the shareholder’s list. Once the gig was up, the board of directors began sending group e-mails again that included the new recipients. Nice, right?