They can’t really do that, can they?
Well, it happened to a client of mine. Here’s what we did.
She bought a beautiful, big condo apartment. It was 20 years old, and she wanted to do a gut renovation. So far so good.
The Board approved her plans. And yes, that’s right; she had to get the Board’s permission before she could start tearing things up, which is fair enough. But, then, after she got permission, the Board told her that the condo rules (in the recorded declaration of condominium) mandated that she replace all her windows. But because all the windows in the building were connected in what’s called a curtain wall (think Seagram Building), she would have had to come up with plans for how to replace all the windows.
What could she do? Luckily, she called me and I can read. That is, I read the building’s declaration of condominium and, lo and behold, the Board was wrong. The declaration did not make it mandatory that the windows be replaced by each apartment owner. The declaration said it was discretionary for the Board to require apartment owners to replace windows when they renovated their apartments — and that the Board had to come up with building-wide window replacement plans for the apartment owners to follow.
When we pointed out the Board’s mistake, we were able to negotiate a reasonable compromise. She would replace the glass in her windows, but not the whole window assembly.
If you have problems with your condo or coop Board, call me, your NY condo/coop lawyer when you have problems with your Board.