A distinguished panel of New York co-op/condo attorneys provide case summaries and takeaways of recent NY co-op/condo decisions — analyzing what happened and why. Subscribers receive a monthly newsletter of all cases added to the database the previous month.Take a Test Drive for $1
Addressing the specific and unique needs of today’s niche community of New York's co-op and condo professionals, Case Law Tracker does the heavy lifting—combing through and drawing out the cases most relevant to your needs.
Focusing only on co-op and condo cases, practicing attorneys in this field prepare summaries of each case—helping you understand what the case is about so you can quickly determine if it benefits you.
Our Quick View feature enables you to instantly determine if the case is relevant to your needs and provides you with a fast click to the full details of the case including judges, case history, as well as an active slip op link to related court documents.
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Our experienced advisory committee, comprised of industry-specific experts who truly understand the issues that matter to you, write the case summaries. They know what you need to know and help you get to that information as quickly and easily as possible.
Emailed monthly, Case Notes focus on providing insight on one particularly relevant case—clearly explaining what happened, why it’s important, and what lessons can be learned within. Case Notes reaches two audiences: lawyers who subscribe to the Co-op & Condo Case Law Tracker and Habitat Magazine subscribers (co-op and condo board directors, property managers and other industry professionals).
Case Notes provides insight on one particularly relevant co-op or condo case—clearly explaining what happened, why it’s important, and what lessons can be learned within.
Governance of a condominium can be difficult, as the board does not have the same remedies as in a cooperative. This being the case, every condo board should review the house rules and bylaws to ensure that it has all of the possible remedies that might be available. Careful review of the provisions in regard to the non-payment of common charges is very important, and it should be clear in the governing documents that if a unit-owner is in arrears, nonessential services, including the use of amenities (such as a gym or pool or rooftop garden), will not be available to that unit-owner. It is best to review all remedies in the governing documents, including those involving other day-to-day violations of the house rules and bylaws, such as smoking, noise and odor complaints.Read full article
Though the decision of the appeals court did not address whether there was discrimination by Trump — the case is still pending — the decision here points out three very important points every co-op and condo board should be aware of. First, courts will often look at past acts of a board, and inconsistency is frowned upon. The board’s decision to allow other units to be used as medical offices could only lead a court to conclude that there must be another reason for a rejection of the current applicant. A mantra of all boards should be: “Be reasonable, and be consistent.” This golden rule will alleviate much pain — and avoid many lawsuits. The second point is a simple piece of advice for avoiding charges of discrimination: Do not ask questions (or require things of an applicant) if it would elicit information that would lead you to know that they belong to a protected class. For example, do not ask an applicant’s age, since that may result in a claim that there was a rejection because the applicant was too old or too young. Do not ask if they will need any accommodations, because this is akin to asking: “Do you have a disability?” Do not ask the applicant’s religion or where they were born. None of these questions are relevant to whether they will be a good neighbor and pay their maintenance on time, and none of these questions can be asked on an application or at an interview. Likewise, requiring a photograph is wrong because it can elicit information that is inappropriate (and illegal) when making the admittance decision. The final important point involves the Trump Corp.’s role. In asking the court to dismiss the claim, Trump took the position that it was only the agent of the condo board, and the board made the decision. The court seemed to be warning managers that if there is discrimination, they may be held culpable if they took an active role. We do not know how the court will rule in this matter. However, given the two most important factors (the photo of the applicant and the prior use of the unit), it would be safe to say that the position of the condo board and Trump seems weak. The decisions of the court so far have taught a valuable lesson to boards that are wise enough to learn from the mistakes of others.Read full article
Often we hear that a court’s decision is based on a technicality and that form is as important as substance. In this decision, the court has made it clear that the will of the people will prevail, even if there may have been a technical mistake or two. Substance, in this case, was more important than form.Read full article