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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.

Case Summaries

Focusing only on co-op and condo cases, practicing attorneys in this field prepare case summaries and useful takeaways - helping you understand what the case is about so you can quickly determine if it benefits you.

Case View

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.

Monthly Digest & Monthly Advance Sheet

A pdf Digest of all co-op/condo cases added to the database is emailed monthly to you. Plus, to keep you up to date on what the courts have most recently decided, you'll receive, monthly, an Advance Sheet with case names, decision and docket links, judges, and brief decision excerpts.

Searchable Database

Speeding you to exactly what you need, our robust search offers: a simple quick search; dropdown menus to refine that search; and powerful filtering capability that lets you drill down even further by court, judge, residence, tag, and date.

Advisory Panel

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.

Case Watch

Emailed twice-monthly, Case Watch 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 Watch 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 See all

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.

First published: Dec 2024
A Win for the Climate

TAKEAWAY Nearly 18 months passed between the filing of the Glen Oaks complaint and the court’s dismissal of it. One of the more interesting things about the Glen Oaks lawsuit is how much the ground had shifted under the plaintiffs’ feet during that period. For example, New York State released its final Scoping Plan under the CLCPA in December 2022, which, among other things, included an entire chapter highlighting the importance of coordinated action with local jurisdictions. “Partnership with local governments,” explained the Scoping Plan, “is a keystone of the State’s clean energy, adaptation and resilience, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mitigation strategies” – a direct (if implicit) rebuke to plaintiffs’ assertion that the CLCPA pre-empted the CMA. As noted above, the Glen Oaks court was convinced that the two laws were not only consistent but should be read together. In addition, the Department of Buildings issued two sets of rules during the interim period that filled in many of the “vague” provisions of the law. For example, under the first set of rules issued in 2022, the DOB incorporated 61 different use-and-occupancy subgroups with different emissions factors for each, hopefully leading to more equitable and realistic emissions targets for covered buildings. With the newly issued “good faith efforts” rules, the DOB spelled out a detailed process by which building owners could seek to reduce or eliminate the annual fines issued for noncompliance during the 2024–2029 period. These rules underscore New York City’s position, contra the Glen Oaks plaintiffs, that building owners should have multiple viable compliance pathways short of just accepting massive annual fines. This decision is by no means the last word on legal challenges to Local Law 97. Not only is it expected that the Glen Oaks plaintiffs will appeal, but there will likely be new legal challenges once the DOB starts issuing fines to non-complying buildings in 2025. Nevertheless, this decision is a landmark in legitimating robust climate policy at the local level.

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First published: Mar 2024
The Damage From Lead

TAKEAWAY Particularly in buildings built prior to 1960, owners have an affirmative statutory duty to prevent or abate lead poisoning of children 7 years of age or younger. Boards cannot discriminate in renting to such applicants. Boards are well-advised to vigilantly be aware of who is occupying the premises. They cannot rely upon indemnification by the occupants or the representation that there are no children residing there. It is also important to train and require managing agents, doormen, lobby staff and other staff members to report the activity of tenants, guests, visitors and contractors that may be conducting improper activities and occupations in the building. The owners’ and managing agents’ notice of such activities, both licit and illicit, may be imputed with knowing and permitting such activities. They may be liable for the consequences, civilly and possibly criminally.

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First published: Feb 2024
In Guaranties We Trust

TAKEAWAY Based on a change in federal law back in 1986, many cooperative shareholders have sought to transfer their shares to a trust, for tax or estate purposes. When a board is faced with such a request, there is much to be said for simply refusing it, as well as all similar requests. Cooperative living has always contemplated ownership by, and a community of, individuals, not trusts and their beneficiaries. Trusts are actually not legal entities per se, like LLCs or corporations, and a trust might better be described as a legal arrangement by which a trustee holds title to property and administers it for the benefit of beneficiaries. The complications that can arise from dealing with an apartment that is held by a trust are not insignificant, and since there is no upside to the cooperative itself if the shares are held by a trust, denial of the request outright may be the cleanest and best option for a board. Still, if a board were inclined to allow ownership of apartments by trusts, they would be wise to follow the path chosen by the plaintiff in this case. Here, the cooperative demanded and got a solid, well-crafted, and unconditional guaranty of payment by a solvent individual. As this case demonstrates, the courts will hold a guarantor liable for unpaid maintenance plus attorneys’ fees, and the cooperative does not have to wait around to get paid until trust and estate issues are resolved in Surrogate’s Court.

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