Q&A: Contacting the Board

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Q. We are a small Manhattan co-op of not-well-informed owners and renters. Our management is primarily a rental company, and often does things contrary to our proprietary lease, bylaws, and business corporation law. I often email my concerns and state the regulations governing an issue. I address the emails to “Board of Directors,” but the only address I have been given is the management company. I am not confident that they are passed on to board members. Am I entitled to the email addresses of the board and shareholders? When I request them, I am told by the manager that it is personal information.

            —Looking to Bypass Management

A. Slava Hazin, partner at New York law firm Warshaw Burstein and president of his condominium association, replies, “The board members are residents of the building. If management refuses to provide email addresses for the board members, write a letter to the board or print out the emails and deliver them to each board member individually; or, if there is concierge, give the letters to the concierge to deliver to the board members.”

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  • The mgm refused to fix the roof and so many apartments has a leak inside the house. The super comes and fixed the walls and then again it’s raining and the same thing happens. Any advice?
  • You haven’t indicated if you live in a Condo, Co-op, or rental. If a rental you might have to continue to communicate with the super and gain his cooperation; he should be communicating as well with building owner. If the leak is common in a number of units the leak is very likely originating from within the walls, suggesting a problem with radiator, piping, or even roofing problems, (erosion, rust, construction aging or damage) that is common in older buildings particularly around window frames. Paint and plaster literally dissolve and flake away into a powdery glob on window sills. The damage occurring then exposes the interior lintel, a horizontal metal support across the top of a door or window. It’s primary function is to bare the weight from above. If you live in a condo your ownership leaves you with the responsibility of investigating the damages and remedies with a professional, and possibly take care of all costs. In a Coop if the damages are clearly coming from within (behind) the walls remedies might be the responsibility of the building, which might the require the attention of the Super working directly with building management. Photograph the damages (periodically, if it gets worse and no attention is given to solving the issue); share with Super, co-op board, and management. Keep clear records of ALL communications and time-lines. Good luck.