Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Model Alteration Agreement for Co-op Renovations

Apparently the most recent Model Alteration Agreement is one created by REBNY. The NYC Bar Association is releasing a new version, for co-op attorneys to use in representing their boards, next month. A condo version will be available within a year. These new versions are in response to the glut of complex renovations which have been driving boards during the real estate boom.

While having clear rules, with some teeth behind them (i.e. fines), are important, boards probably don't want fees to be so high that they discourage renovations. Renovations are great for buildings, and should generally not be discouraged, because (1) they decrease the number of users of resources, e.g. water, which helps ultimately decrease the building's expenses, and (2) increase property values throughout the building because when these renovated units eventually sell, they tend to sell for a higher price per square foot. But then again, fees are a great way to supplement a building's income, to help reduce assessments and maintenance increases.

I do like the idea of having an engineer or architect review the plans and the renovation progress. I prefer this to having the building's super do it because the super (1) may not be as qualified (i.e. he doesn't see these renovations frequently enough to have developed expertise) and (2) is already busy enough.

The New York Times
Real Estate
New Guidelines Could Make Co-op Renovations Tougher
By TERI KARUSH ROGERS
Published: January 21, 2010
The new co-op renovation guidelines from the New York City Bar Association are in many respects a bill of rights for neighbors.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/realestate/24model.html

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