Recent Changes to Co-op & Condo Laws Managing the Impact on Your Community

This past June, the New York State Legislature and Governor enacted into law a sweeping overhaul of landlord-tenant relations throughout the State; just a few days later, these same powers enacted amendments to those amendments. While relatively few of the 74 pages of densely-written text directly affect cooperatives and condominiums, boards and managers should be aware of the items that do affect – or appear to affect – their communities.

Many of the enacted provisions will be enforced through the State’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal. In the world of cooperatives and condominiums however, enforcement is nearly entirely through the courts, depending on litigants citing these laws, either in prosecuting their suits or defending them. The one exception to that general rule are the new rules on conversion to cooperative and condominium communities from conventional landlord-tenant housing; any such issues would fall under the auspices of the Attorney General's office.

Processing Fees, Security Deposits, and Background Checks

Processing fees for those applying to purchase a cooperative apartment can be quite high; however they now seem to be restricted by the new law. Newly-enacted RPL 238-a restricts the fees to “reimburse costs associated with conducting a background check and credit check, provided the cumulative fee or fees for such checks is no more than the actual cost of the background check and credit check or twenty dollars, whichever is less.” Of course, in the real world, these expenses normally run into hundreds of dollars.

Changes to the law regarding security deposits (See GOL 7-108(1-a)) limit

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