Friday, September 29, 2006

Can Owners Be Assessed to Construct a Gym?

The New York Times
September 29, 2006
Q & A
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D03E2D81630F932A35753C1A9609C8B63&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Q Our co-op has imposed an assessment to build a gym. Since the gym will be available only to shareholders who pay a membership fee, can all shareholders be made responsible for the cost of building it?

A "The short answer is yes," said Howard Schechter, a Manhattan co-op lawyer. "Decisions on how much to assess shareholders and how to spend the money are within the discretion of the board of directors."

Mr. Schechter noted that while it might seem that the gym will benefit only those who pay membership fees, this is not necessarily the case. "The addition of such an amenity may benefit all shareholders, even those who do not join, by making the entire building more desirable to prospective purchasers," he said.

He pointed out that buildings often spend money on amenities — playgrounds, roof gardens and parking garages, for example — that are not used by all residents.

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