If you think your coop board has done you wrong, watch the clock. You might have only four months to sue. See for example the decision of the Appellate Division First Dept. in Musey v. 425 East 86 Apts. Corp.
In that case, the coop shareholders thought the board had done them wrong by changing the house rules about terraces. The court held that they had only four months to challenge the rule change in what’s called an Article 78 proceeding, and they had missed the deadline. Otherwise, if they had been complaining that the board had breached their proprietary lease, they might have had six years to sue. Remember, coop shareholders don’t own their apartments, they lease them long-term from the coop in which they own shares.
But wait a minute (if not four months or six years), what’s the difference between complaining about a change in the house rules and claiming a breach of your proprietary lease? If you claim that the board has passed illegal house rules, you want the rules changed affecting all the shareholders, not necessarily money damages for yourself — and you have only four months after the rule goes into effect to sue. If you claim that the board has violated its lease with you, that doesn’t affect the other shareholders and you could be claiming money damages for yourself — and for that you can have six years to sue.
If you have problems with your real estate in New York, call Andrew Weltchek.