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Published: Summer 2004

We who make our homes in cooperatives and condominiums are home owners. This fact is widely acknowledged in New York City today as the result of years of advocacy by CNYC and its sister organizations. In the halls of government, CNYC loses no opportunity to assertively seek equal treatment with other homeowners. Our successes are growing.

At the same time, we recognize that there are instances when cooperatives and condominiums, as multiple dwellings, must comply with the city’s many requirements for maintaining buildings that are structurally safe, clean and liveable, including requisite permitting and record keeping. This duality is further nuanced in the many hybrid buildings where some of the units in the cooperative or condominium have rental tenants. CNYC tries to steer a reasonable course for its members, protecting at every opportunity their rights as home owners. Here are some examples:

Although property taxes on cooperatives and condominiums are still higher than the taxes levied on other New York City homeowners, an abatement program has been in place since 1996 to mitigate this discrepancy by providing abatements of 17.5% and 25% on the property taxes of shareholders and unit owners. Pages 1, 3 and 4 of this Newsletter review the history of this abatement program and the role that CNYC and the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes have played in ensuring its continuation.

In February, the New York City Council passed Local Law 1 of 2004, a stringent law designed to prevent lead paint poisoning in young children. CNYC was successful in having this law recognize the homeowner status of residents of cooperatives and condominiums, and the fact that they are responsible for the maintenance of the interior of their own homes. Owner occupied units are exempted from the notification and inspection requirements of the law. Yet the cooperative or condominium has full responsibility for the common areas; it must use all prescribed protocols whenever areas are disturbed that may contain lead based paint; and it must send annual lead paint notices to any unit that is rented and then inspect those where a child under the age of seven resides. Local Law 1 takes effect on August 2, 2004. Every cooperative and condominium built prior to 1960 and those built prior to 1978 where lead based paint is know to exist will want to make sure that the people responsible for managing their building are thoroughly familiar with the requirements of Local Law 1 and that building staff receive training in the requirements of this law.

As future laws are proposed, CNYC will continue its efforts to protect and advance the home owner rights of cooperatives and condominiums




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