Bill Text: NY A06811 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Creates a residential condominium owner bill of rights that includes the right to transparency, the right to timely decisions, voting rights, the right to notice, and the right against extraordinary expenses.

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 15-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-20 - referred to housing [A06811 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A06811-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 20, 2019
        Introduced  by M. of A. REYES -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Housing
        AN ACT to amend the real property law, in relation to creating  a  resi-
          dential condominium owner bill of rights
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The real property law is amended by adding  a  new  section
     2  339-ll to read as follows:
     3    §  339-ll.  Residential condominium owner's bill of rights. The organ-
     4  izational and operating documents of a not-for-profit residential condo-
     5  minium association established or operating pursuant to the laws of  the
     6  state and managing the common charges, elements, expenses, or profits of
     7  thirty-five  hundred  or more units shall guarantee the following rights
     8  to each unit owner.
     9    1. The right to transparency. Complete and accurate  financial  state-
    10  ments,  reports  of  hired  accountants and consultants on behalf of the
    11  association, reports by municipal or  county  inspectors,  and  approved
    12  minutes of the board of managers' meetings shall be available for review
    13  within  a  timely  fashion of a request to review, inspect, or copy. Any
    14  financial statements, reports, or minutes ordinarily  provided  to  unit
    15  owners  shall  be  provided  in a timely fashion pursuant to established
    16  timetables. In addition to  any  other  notice  required,  the  approved
    17  minutes of all board and unit owner meetings shall be posted in a promi-
    18  nent place accessible to all unit owners in each building comprising the
    19  condominium  within  one day of their approval. For the purposes of this
    20  subdivision, "financial statements" shall include a complete  accounting
    21  for all expenditures, capital improvements, or anything in excess of the
    22  contingency  fund  including  the  budget,  a  comparison of any and all
    23  bidding processes for work to be done on the condominium including  work
    24  that  was  conducted  and the amounts of the contributions of each owner
    25  whether individual or group sponsored,  billings,  estimates,  overages,
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 6811                             2
     1  and  proof  of the expenditures that comprise the total of the surcharge
     2  and minutes of each  meeting  where  the  planning  and  voting  on  the
     3  proposal was discussed with all the owners, for any and all expenditures
     4  not  made in the ordinary course of business, bank account and financial
     5  investment statements, and the association's IRS form nine-hundred-nine-
     6  ty, if applicable, for each of the three most current fiscal years.
     7    2. The right to timely decisions. All applications by unit  owners  in
     8  connection  with matters which require approval of the board of managers
     9  and all requests for determinations by the board of managers  including,
    10  but  not  limited to, requests for the resolution of disputes between or
    11  among unit owners, disputes between  unit  owners  and  the  condominium
    12  association such as disputes concerning responsibility for repairs shall
    13  be  processed  in  a  reasonably  expeditious manner pursuant to uniform
    14  procedures and timetables adopted in writing. The board's decision shall
    15  be in writing and shall set forth the reasons therefor, except  that  no
    16  reason shall be required when approval is granted.
    17    3.  Voting rights.   (a) The board of managers shall call a meeting to
    18  fill any vacancies which occur on such board within sixty  days  of  the
    19  occurrence  of  such  vacancy if the vacancy occurs more than six months
    20  prior to the annual meeting of unit owners.
    21    (b) The final results of elections for the board of managers including
    22  a tally of the votes received by each candidate shall be  posted  within
    23  one  business  day  following  the availability of such information in a
    24  prominent place accessible to all unit owners in each building  compris-
    25  ing the condominium.
    26    (c)  Any  member  of  a  board of managers who is elected while a unit
    27  owner in the condominium, who sells  his  or  her  apartment,  and  who,
    28  subsequent  to  such sale shall no longer be a unit owner in such condo-
    29  minium, shall resign from such board no later than the closing  date  of
    30  such sale.
    31    4.  The  right  to  notice.  In addition to any other notice required,
    32  notice of all board and unit owner meetings shall be posted in a  promi-
    33  nent place accessible to all unit owners in each building comprising the
    34  condominium.
    35    5.  The  right  against  extraordinary  expenses. No less than once in
    36  every five years the board shall propose expense limits which  shall  be
    37  included  in  the  notice of the annual or any other meeting of the unit
    38  owners. An opportunity for unit owners to comment on such  proposal  and
    39  to  offer  lower expense limits shall be included in the agenda for such
    40  meeting.  At the conclusion of the comment period the board shall, by an
    41  open vote, adopt expense limits not to  exceed  those  proposed  by  the
    42  board which shall be effective until changed. Once approved by vote, the
    43  board  shall not enter into contracts for extraordinary expenses without
    44  approval of the unit owners, unless it is deemed to be an  emergency  or
    45  is required for refinancing of the mortgage.
    46    6.  The  attorney  general  is authorized to enforce the provisions of
    47  this section and may, upon his or her own initiative, or in response  to
    48  a  complaint  by one or more unit owners, investigate allegations of any
    49  failure to comply with the provisions hereof.
    50    § 2. Within six months of the effective date of this act the  attorney
    51  general  shall  promulgate  a  handbook  summarizing  the rights of unit
    52  owners vis-a-vis condominium associations and the procedures  and  proc-
    53  esses available to unit owners to enforce such rights.
    54    §  3.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
    55  as to residential condominium associations  existing  and  operating  as
    56  such  on  the  effective date of this act the boards of managers of such

        A. 6811                             3
     1  associations shall within one year of the effective  date  of  this  act
     2  take  all  steps  necessary  to amend the appropriate organizational and
     3  operating documents of such associations to implement the provisions  of
     4  this act.