Helpful articles to aid Management Companies, Board Members, and Housing Cooperative Professionals in handling complex legal issues.

Revisiting Premises Liability in Cooperative Housing Settings: A Legal Reminder of What Type of Duty a Housing Cooperative Owes to Non-Members and Guests?

Personal injury lawsuits typically arise in housing cooperatives when a member, a person of a member’s family, or guest are injured on the Cooperative’s real property. Injuries can range from slip-and-falls, physical confrontations or fighting, to criminal assault and battery. Since the range of different types of cases in which a Cooperative may be defending claims seeking liability and damages, this serves as an important reminder to Cooperatives, of the legal responsibilities that Cooperatives owe. Specifically, this article focuses on those duties owed to non-members, such as guests.


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.


Insurance and Indemnity Provisions in Management Agreements: Not Your Typical Boilerplate Language

The Management Agreement between an association and a management agent outlines the contractual obligations and expectations between the association and the management agent. These contractual obligations define the duties and responsibilities of the management agent for the management and operation of the association. They also provide for the duties and responsibilities of the association, as effectuated through its Board of Directors. Equally as important to the management duties and operational provisions in the Management Agreement, so too are the insurance and indemnification provisions.


The Return of Association Property During The Transition Process: May Not Be As Seamless As You Think.

We have all bore witness to the breakdown of the professional relationship between an association and its management agent. Once the management agreement is terminated and a new management agent is selected, the next step for the association is to begin the transition process from the prior management agent to the newly selected management agent. It is expected that the transition process be seamless and professional, and many times the association’s board of directors leaves the professional transition to its hired professionals. While many times transitions go smoothly, what happens when it doesn’t?


Dear Co-op Counselor - HO-6 Insurance

Our Cooperative maintains its own insurance policy covering the buildings, exteriors and common areas. After some recent requests for replacements and repairs, and instances of units suffering damages, our Board of Directors is concerned with finding ways to trim costs in paying for damages that occur within the dwelling units, while ensuring that adequate insurance policies cover both the exterior buildings and common areas, but also everything within the units. Are there any ways that the Cooperative can save on having to go out of pocket to cover damages that would otherwise be covered in a traditional homeowner’s insurance policy?


Remote Zoom Courtroom Hearings: Tips and Best Practices for Witness and Client Participation.

The use of Zoom and other digital, web-based or video conferencing technology has become widespread throughout courts in the United States, since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. With glaring uncertainty on when courts will revert to conducting hearings and trials in-person, it is important to highlight some basic tips and best practices for our readers who may participate in Zoom hearings.


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.