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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Items in Coop Communal Space

    My question involves a condominium located in the State of: NY

    I bought a coop unit and after living there for 2 years, the next-door neighbors bought the apartment next to THEM and combined them.

    They asked if they could put something to cover their 2nd door (the one adjacent to ours) and we said yes. They then proceeded to put a gaudy table with a cherub, a large mirror and a curtain over their door. Despite the regular questions and comments that we got from visitors, we tried to be good neighbors and not make a stink about the monstrosity next to our door.

    Now, 5 years later we are trying to sell our apartment and the broker has told us that the hallway items have been commented on by numerous buyers and a potential buyer (which fell through) actually made the removal of the table a prerequisite for the potential purchase.

    We asked our neighbors to take it down, if only until we sell the apartment, but they refused.

    I complained to the board and they said:

    Despite the house rules, the building has allowed various hallway items for years and certainly [REDACTED]’s have been there for at least five years. Allowing them that long constitutes tacit approval. Even though you are lodging a complaint now, they have a good argument against forced removal and could legally challenge the decision if the Board tried to enforce the rule. A challenge like that could result in a lengthy legal battle.
    Is this true? Is it really too much to ask that building enforce the rules?

    Is there anything I can do? It is genuinely harming our property value and ability to sell our unit.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Items in Coop Communal Space

    It is quite possible that your acquiescence has led to a context in which the board's options are limited by the passage of time. You are free to offer to pay the board's legal fees, if you think it will get them to act.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Items in Coop Communal Space

    You might investigate to see if a table in a hallway would be in violation of a fire code if the hallway is the route used for evacuation in case of fire.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Items in Coop Communal Space

    I am not a lawyer, but in my condo bylaws, it states that if it is a common hallway used by more than one unit, there is not to be anything placed in the common areas, unless the said person made a written appeal to place an item (such as a wheelchair) for disabled/handicapped persons.

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