This is Part two in a two-part series on New York cooperative apartment renovations. You can read Part 1 here, where we discuss the importance of having a well-formed renovation plan. Continue reading for more information the application process and other components of a co-op renovation in New York.
- The application: A renovation proposal submitted by a shareholder should be clear, written out by a trustworthy construction firm, and all the details of the application, plans and work should be clear and professional. Similarly, the alteration requirements of the alteration package provided to shareholders should be clear and thought out to avoid delays and unpleasant surprises in the process. If the coop’s bylaws permit, the board may consider forming a committee for a single task of reviewing and approving the alteration packages. This should help to streamline the review and approval process, as it will not need the involvement of an entire board.
- Communication: This is an often overlooked, but very important aspect of a co-op renovation. If the coop board doesn’t like the proposal, or if the owner is unhappy about denial, the initial instinct is to create contention by filing a lawsuit. Although in some cases there are no other alternatives, it is important to try everything possible to work out the issue before taking it to court. Sometimes it boils down to simple revisions to the construction plan, or other concessions by the parties that could be made to satisfy everyone’s interests while avoiding an expensive lawsuit. As long as the parties are communicating, almost always there is a way to work things out.
- Record Keeping: Whatever you do in the process, make sure you keep all the information and files and retain detailed notes about every conversation that took place in the process. This is important for both sides. Keeping records is a tremendous advantage should dispute arise in the process
A skilled lawyer can help you work through the entire process, whether you are a coop owner or board. Working with an experienced attorney like those at Tane Waterman & Wurtzel, P.C. can help you protect your interests throughout the process and avoid any unnecessary disputes.
Written by Ruta Behrend