Lloyd Reisman, a Partner in the Firm’s Cooperative and Condominium Practice Group, was quoted by Habitat Magazine in the February 2024 article titled “Refreshing the Rules.” The article emphasizes the critical importance of regularly updating and modernizing co-op and condominium bylaws. The article urges boards to proactively address potential vulnerabilities, such as election processes and indemnification provisions, highlighting the evolving legal landscape and the need for updates to reflect changes in business practices and newly adopted laws.
Fines and House Rules, “A Hot-Button Issue”
The ability of cooperative and condominium boards to levy fines for breaking house rules is another change to take into account. “That’s become a hot-button issue,” Reisman says. “I’ve even seen condo boards think about putting in language that if you’re late in paying common charges or violating bylaws or house rules, they will deny access to non-essential amenities and services by disabling fobs for the laundry or fitness rooms.”
Strategic Timing for Bylaws Amendments
“It might not be a bad idea to do it every time the board changes attorneys because a new set of eyes sometimes provides a new perspective,” Reisman says. “Otherwise, every three to five years is probably a good period of time, since statutory changes do pop up periodically that might require a change here and there. Beyond that, amendments are most frequently need-driven. The board is running up against some limitation in its power or some issue in the building that needs to be addressed.”
Mr. Reisman also notes that, [b]ecause the legal landscape for holding annual meetings has changed from in-person only to either virtual or hybrid versions — the temporary amendment to the BCL that allowed all-virtual meetings was made permanent in 2021 — co-ops should check their bylaws to make sure there is no conflict with the BCL, and consider amending them if there is. The Condominium Act also now permits all-virtual meetings, so condo boards should do the same.
Lloyd Reisman’s Expertise in Counseling Boards
With a wealth of experience, Mr. Reisman counsels boards of cooperatives and condominiums throughout New York City. Mr. Reisman also represents developers in the preparation, filing and administration of offering plans. These dual facets give Mr. Reisman a unique perspective on the industry. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss amending your bylaws.
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Supporting Over 300 Boards in the Greater New York Area
BBG counsels more than 300 boards and their management companies in the greater New York area, as their go-to legal advisor due to our attorneys’ extensive knowledge of cooperatives and condominiums and the broader industry.