Helpful articles to aid Management Companies, Board Members, and Housing Cooperative Professionals in handling complex legal issues.
Kerry L. Morgan, Esq.
Kerry L. Morgan, Esq.
Kerry L. Morgan, Esq.'s Blog

Will The Real Employer Please Stand Up?

It is common for housing cooperatives and management agents to oversee employees on a collective basis. In many instances, however, the management agreement states that all employees are either management employees or cooperative employees, but not both. It is assumed, since the management agreement specifically identifies the employer, that when litigation comes knocking, the parties merely look at their management contract and, in that way, identify the true employer. However, the law is no longer as simple as that.


Accommodating the Disabled Member

What are the legal obligations a cooperative housing association owes to disabled members who seek changes in the policies or rules of the Cooperative because of the member’s medical condition?


Confessions Of A Pet Turned ESA

This is my confession of how I became an ESA and not a pet. I can’t reveal my name, but let’s just say I’m a dog who is pretty good at typing. This a true story. (Just trust me on this.)


Does a Cooperative Have To Let A Guest With A Dog Come On Cooperative Property?

Cooperative Housing organizations and their management companies are often faced with requests from guests to bring dogs and other animals onto the premises when visiting members. What should the cooperatives response be to these requests? In most cases the response will depend on the type of animal or dog involved. Not all animals are created equal according to the law. There are emotional support animals, service animals, and pets. What’s the difference?


Members With Allergies Versus Members With Assistance Animals

The spring, summer and fall often bring Cooperative members out into common hallways, areas, and outdoors. With this activity brings the potential for member conflict.


Does Your Cooperative’s Waiting List Accommodate Disabled Applicants and Members?

Most co-ops offer different types and sizes of units including 1 to 3 bedrooms with various floor plans and square footage combinations. As is often the case, members desire to move from one unit to another. There may be many different reasons for moving such as an increase in family size or a unit with a better view or access to green space or parking. But in some cases members will want to move from their unit to another unit for accessibility purposes or because they have a disability and another unit will better enable them to enjoy the privileges of cooperative living than their current unit.


More Doggone Trouble for Housing Cooperatives

In the past, many cooperative housing providers prohibited pets. This policy resonated with its members who were tired of living next door to other members with barking dogs or caterwauling cats. Yet, federal and state law now require cooperative housing providers allow assistance animals. Assistance animals are animals which a disabled member may keep in a cooperative housing situation, as long as a medical provider is persuaded that the member needs the animal in order to overcome a specific disability and that the animal will ameliorate that disability.


Cook County Mandates Immediate Changes In The Application Process

Is your Cooperative in compliance with changes in the application process mandated by Cook County? If your current application process considers criminal convictions along with income, prior occupancy, and other qualification matters, then that process violates Cook County law according to the Just Housing Amendment to the Human Rights Ordinance


“But I’m allergic to your emotional support dog!” What’s a Board to Do?

It has been years since HUD announced rules defining assistance animals and imposing upon housing providers the duty to accommodate members who request assistance animals in order to overcome their disability. The typical approach is that either the Board or a special committee chosen by the Board reviews and evaluates a member’s request for an assistance animal, sometimes identified as an emotional support animal. They review the application along with an accompanying note from the member’s physician stating that an assistance animal is required and requesting the cooperative to accommodate that request. Most often this means that a cooperative with a “no pets” policy must make exceptions.