Q: We purchased an residence on the highest ground of a co-op in Yorkville in April 2020. After dwelling there for some time, we moved out and now hire it out to a tenant. A few times a yr, the ceiling leaks throughout rainstorms. We all the time notify the tremendous and the administration firm, the tremendous “finds” an issue and “fixes” it, our ceiling is patched and we go on with our lives. However it retains taking place. I’m apprehensive there is perhaps mildew or structural harm, and apparently it leaked into the elevator shaft. What can I do to strain them to get a extra thorough analysis and everlasting repair?
A: Ceiling leaks can result in a lot greater issues in the event that they aren’t mounted, in order that they have to be addressed correctly for the nice of your unit and your constructing. You want an analysis by knowledgeable who’s skilled find leaks, usually an engineer.
Reaching out to your managing agent was a very good first step. Doc the dates of contact, and the response you probably did or didn’t obtain. Managing brokers usually have many buildings of their portfolio, and shareholders’ considerations aren’t all the time addressed promptly.
Rent a lawyer to draft a letter to the co-op’s board of administrators and to the managing agent. Inform them you’re conscious of the leak, clarify that it’s a recurring drawback, describe the harm it’s inflicting, and observe that your repeated efforts to handle the problem have did not lead to knowledgeable analysis. “In lots of situations, a lawyer’s letter will get the eye of the constructing,” stated Lawrence Chaifetz, an actual property lawyer with Chaifetz & Chaifetz LLC.
The co-op board of administrators has a fiduciary accountability to care for the constructing, which is why they need to reply. “I believe crucial factor is to impress upon the board their accountability in addressing it,” stated Lorraine Nadel, a lawyer with the agency Nadel & Ciarlo, who handles actual property disputes and litigation.
If the board doesn’t reply to the lawyer’s letter, you may name 311 to report the leaks. If a metropolis inspector visits, it may lead to a constructing violation — or, if the inspector finds different issues, unrelated violations. Simply bear in mind that this might harm your relationship with the board.
Litigation is the subsequent step, and isn’t unusual if the board is dysfunctional or if there isn’t a cash for repairs, Ms. Nadel stated.
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