New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



You Have to Be Consistent When Overseeing Alterations

Beth Gazes, Associate, Taylor, Eldridge & Endres


The fight brews. There’s an interesting story about a fellow who lives in a homeowners association where the association takes care of all the common areas, including the roofs, even though they’re owned by the homeowners. This homeowner wanted to expand his entire second floor. But the board said, “You can’t, because you haven’t even given us specifications. And besides, to add onto your small loft area on your second floor would go against the complete architectural design of the community.” A week later, this homeowner received a delivery of wood and roofing shingles.


The board hits back. The board went to court to stop the work and filed an order to show cause. To bolster his case, the homeowner listed unit after unit that had performed alterations without board approval. The court, however, sided with the board and ordered the homeowner to take everything down and return the unit to its original condition at his own expense. The board also received the legal fees it spent to bring the stop-work action.

Make a note. Don’t create a problem for yourself. Over time, as boards change, it may have been enforcing the rules differently. A board has to be consistent, and it should have a plan in place to ensure that this happens.

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