Co op Rules and Regulation in NYC

Co op rules and regulations in NYC can be extremely onerous for residents. Since owners of co-op apartments are technically tenants vs owners of real property, the board of the co-op corporation which actually owns the building has enormous power over the residents.

You’ll often encounter more rules in a co-op building vs a condo building, and your typical co-op house rules will attempt to govern every aspect of a resident’s indoor life. Furthermore, fines can be substantial in co-ops and are readily and easily enforced by the all-powerful co-op boards.

So just how strict are co op rules and regulation in NYC? Are there any standard co op house rules? How strict are co ops when it comes to subletting?

As you can see for yourself in the sample co op rules and regulation manual we’ve included below, co-op house rules in NYC can be extremely strict and will regulate every aspect of your home life.

In the sample co op guidelines we’ve included below, you’ll see that subletting is only allowed for one year at a time and that a fee of 10% of annual maintenance is levied in order to sublet. Furthermore, while pets are allowed they must be registered and approved by the co op board.

You’ll also notice that while the co op board of directors has a lot of power, they also have a lot of work and responsibility. From the co op rules and regulation template below you’ll notice that the co op board has to deal with a myriad of requests from re-sale co-op board interviews to re-financing requests. There certainly is more work involved for board members of a coop versus a condo!

Co op Rules and Regulation in Practice in NYC

So just how strict are co op rules and regulations in reality? Do co op boards enforce the house rules to the letter?

Co op rules and regulation in NYC are generally more onerous than condo bylaws. Restrictions on subletting, selling your apartment and pet policies.

Unfortunately, you will never be able to get a straight answer to these questions from the listing agent or seller of a property. The listing agent will almost always tell you that to their understanding the co op board is laid back and very easy to deal with, or some other plausible, positive description.

To find out the truth, you’ll need to do some private investigative work yourself.

You can try to ask questions about how the building is run to the residents, the superintendent or the doormen. A good strategy is to wait until after your showing is over and to linger around the building. Let any residents or building staff you run into know that you are considering moving to the area, and ask them if they have any advice about the building and whether it is well run.

Alternatively, try searching forums online about other residents’ experience in the building. Often times a quick internet search of the building’s address will reveal many comments from disgruntled shareholders!

Key Differences in Coop vs Condo House Rules

The key differences you’ll notice in most co-op house rules vs condo by-laws are the restrictions on subletting and the co-op board approval process if you want to sell your apartment.

In a co-op, you can’t just rent out your apartment whenever you wish like you can with a condo. In fact, you aren’t even renting or leasing out the apartment at all because technically you yourself are a tenant. Therefore, since you yourself are technically leasing the apartment from the co-op corporation, you can only sublet your apartment with the co-op board’s approval.

Unlike with condos, there are almost always hefty fees payable to the co-op board in order to sublet your apartment, if you are allowed to sublet at all. In fact, many co-op buildings prohibit subletting altogether, and others that do allow it will have restrictions on how long and when you can sublet your apartment.

For example, many co-op buildings will only allow you to sublet for two out of every five years, and most will require you to reside in the apartment for a number of years first before being allowed to sublet. Some buildings will only allow you to sublet one year at a time, and require you to seek board approval to sublet every additional year.

There are some buildings that only allow subletting on an emergency basis, and will only allow shareholders to sublet their apartments for a total of one or two years, meaning that a shareholder can only sublet one or two years in their entire lifetimes.

Co-ops are even tougher when it comes to selling your apartment. Unlike a condo, you can’t simply sell your co-op apartment whenever you wish. Your buyer will need to submit a lengthy co-op board package and then pass a co-op board interview. Passing is not guaranteed, and a co-op board does not need to provide any reason whatsoever to turn a prospective purchaser down.

This can be especially troubling to shareholders who have quarrelsome relationships with their co-op boards, and fear that their buyers are being turned down because of petty revenge.

Since the co-op board doesn’t need to provide a reason and will never provide a reason for the board rejection, there is no accountability.

Co op Rules and Regulation in NYC

Sample Co op Rules and Regulation in NYC


A residential cooperative is a corporation whose operations are governed by federal, state and local law. Shareholders of Sample Co op Corporation own shares of stock in the corporation, which has as its major asset the building located at 101 Fifth Avenue. Each shareholder also holds a proprietary lease permitting occupancy of one of the 30 units in the building.

A residential cooperative is also a community. The residents share management responsibilities, working to ensure a pleasant quality of life at a reasonable cost. A Board of Directors is elected at each annual shareholders meeting. This Board supervises the operation of the corporation. A set of house rules has been established to help the cooperative to run smoothly.


101 Fifth Avenue was created by joining three older buildings that were probably built around 1920. Prior to 1986 it was used as an office building; the old Barney’s men’s store was located in the commercial space. In 1986 it was modified into apartments and sold to the shareholders of Sample Co op Corporation.

There are 30 residential apartments in the building, in addition to the one apartment that is occupied by the building superintendent. Tenant shareholders own 50,000 shares of stock in the corporation and occupy their apartments under the terms of their proprietary leases. The corporation also owns a commercial space that is rented to Playboy, Inc.


All residents of 101 Fifth Avenue are subject to the provisions of the proprietary lease, the corporate bylaws, and the building rules. Pages 172-175 of the shareholder’s proprietary lease contain the “Building Rules”

that bind all residents of the building. The guidelines presented in this booklet are intended as an interpretation of the proprietary lease, the corporate bylaws, and the building rules, and are not a replacement for them.

This booklet was prepared to acquaint residents with essential information about Sample Co op Corporation. The services, facilities, and procedures of the cooperative are outlined in the pages that follow.

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The Board of Directors bears fiduciary responsibility for the prudent management of the corporation. It supervises all aspects of operating the building, provides shareholders with certified annual financial statements and establishes an annual budget that enables it to fix the monthly carrying charges known as “maintenance.”

Sample Co op Corporation is usually supervised by a five member Board of Directors. The number of members may change depending on shareholder interest. At the annual meeting of shareholders, held each spring in accordance with the bylaws of the corporation, Board members are elected to a one-year term of office. Board members who have an approved resale package are expected to resign.

The Board elects its own officers and names chairpersons for the committees. It is hoped that each shareholder will take a turn serving as a member of the Board. Shareholders who have suggestions for the Board of Directors may submit them to the Board before the monthly meetings.


The Board of Directors has created committees to concentrate on certain areas of management within the corporation and to assist in making decisions. Committees are assigned projects by the Board, and are expected to study the subject in depth and make recommendations to the Board based on their research.

Each committee is chaired by a Board member. Following is a brief list of on-going and periodic committees and their duties:

Resale/Interview Committee

  • Interview prospective buyers and renters

Design & Capital Improvement Committee

  • Oversee redecorating and renovating common areas

  • Assist with shareholder construction approvals

  • Oversee work relating to building systems, facade and security

Executive Committee

  • Established from time to time to oversee special issues



Sample Co op Corporation employs the management firm of Sample Management Company, Inc., referred to in this booklet as the “Managing Agent”. See the Important Phone Numbers section for address and phone. The Building Manager can be contacted by phone or by filling out a service request form.

The Managing Agent is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the cooperative, supervision of the building staff, collection of carrying charges, payment of bills, and financial record-keeping.

The Managing Agent should be contacted regarding carrying charges, leaks or other damage to an apartment, tax deduction information, permission for renovations, resale/sublease information, and questions of general administration.


The Superintendent’s apartment is located on the third floor at the end of the hallway (#3F). He can be reached by:

  1. Buzzing the doorbell marked “Super” in the lobby. The doorbell is attached to a beeper that will alert him at any location in the building; he will arrive at the front door as soon as possible.

  2. Calling his apartment at [NUMBER]. You may leave a message if he is not home.

  3. Calling his mobile phone at [NUMBER]. You may leave a message if he does not respond. The Superintendent is responsible for the maintenance and operation of all building equipment and public space, and reviews the work of all contractors in the building.

Prior arrangements MUST be made with the Superintendent to move in or out of the building, as well as to move appliances or large pieces of furniture.

It is the duty of the Superintendent to provide service to the residents. Tipping for services rendered is not necessary unless the services are beyond the usual scope of assistance. Recognition of faithful and conscientious service is appreciated, and will be helpful in retaining deserving employees. Therefore, at the end of the year, residents are encouraged to reward the Superintendent with a holiday gift.


The corporation retains the firm of Sample Accountant LLP as accountant. Their address is 212 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016.

The Accountant performs an annual financial audit of the corporation that is approved by the Board of Directors and distributed to shareholders by the Managing Agent.

Additionally, the Accountant assists the Board of Directors and the Managing Agent in preparing the annual budget for approval in November of each year.


The corporation retains the firm of Sample Lawyer & Attorney LLP as legal counsel.

Counsel provides advice on all legal matters affecting the corporation. This includes, but is not limited to, drafting and reviewing contracts and other legal documents, representing the corporation at closings on sales of units, and representing the corporation in litigation. Shareholders should not contact the corporation’s Counsel directly. Legal questions should be relayed to Counsel through a member of the Board of Directors.

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Carrying charges, also known as maintenance charges, are payable by the first ofeach month. The timely payment of each shareholder’s monthly carrying charges enables the corporation to meet its obligations and carry on its business. Failure of any shareholder to pay carrying charges on time results in an additional burden for the cooperative and all of its shareholders. A charge of $15 is levied against any shareholder that has not paid monthly maintenance by the tenth of the month in which it is due.

Fees for default notices sent to shareholders and for court proceedings to enforce the provisions of the proprietary lease are the responsibility of the resident whose conduct has made such action necessary. It is the policy of the corporation to institute default procedures if maintenance is not paid.


A portion of the carrying charges pays the interest on the building mortgage. The previous thirty year mortgage expired in 2009 and was refinanced at that time.


Section 216 of the IRS Code permits shareholders in a cooperative to deduct from their income tax their pro rata share of real estate taxes paid by the cooperative and interest on the building’s underlying mortgage. Early each year, the Managing Agent will provide statements to all shareholders of their deductions for the previous tax year.


A resale fee, also known as a flip tax, is collected by the corporation from each shareholder when his or her shares in the corporation are sold. The formula used to determine the amount of the resale fee is $35 per share.


When an apartment is subleased, the shareholder is still responsible for the monthly maintenance on the apartment. An additional surcharge of ten percent on the annual maintenance must be paid for each sublease. This aggregate fee is payable in advance at the start of the sublease and is based on current maintenance charges at that time.


The corporation carries insurance covering fire, extended coverage, vandalism mischief and other allied perils on the building. This covers the structure, public areas, machinery fixtures, equipment and furnishings used in the operation of the building. This does not cover the personal interests of tenants and does not extend to cover additions, improvements and betterment made by shareholders unless originally furnished by the corporation. Shareholder special improvements should be covered under their personal Homeowner Tenants Policy.

The building insures itself against the loss of maintenance charges through untenability of an apartment after a fire or other insured peril. For the term of untenability, the building would relieve the shareholder of the obligation for maintenance charges. However, the insurance does not cover costs incurred while living elsewhere during the term of restoration.

The corporation carries liability insurance that protects it against claims resulting from accidents for which the corporation might be liable. This does not cover the personal interests or liability of the individual shareholders. All residents are urged to secure their own personal liability insurance to protect themselves and their property.

The building also carries Directors and Officers Liability Insurance to indemnify the corporation for a loss due to any civil claims made against the Board of Directors caused by a negligent act, error or omission, or breach of duty while acting in their capacity as a member of the Board.

The building has Workers Compensation and Disability Benefits (required by law) which covers its employees for medical costs and loss of time due to injuries suffered in the course of their employment. This does not cover personal employees of the shareholders.

The corporation carries water damage insurance that covers damage caused by accidental discharge or leakage of water. This does not apply to the personal property of the shareholders. The shareholders should obtain water damage coverage in their Homeowners Tenants Policy.

And finally, as a supplement to the liability coverage, the building is further protected by an Umbrella/Excess Policy. This picks up where the primary insurance leaves off. It provides increased limits of liability and covers legal liability hazards. Shareholders are required to carry a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability insurance.



Requests for repairs must be submitted to the Superintendent in writing. The Superintendent has forms that should be filled out for this purpose, and maintains a service log noting all requests. Also, see the Forms section of this booklet.


To keep all residents informed of developments and information of importance to the cooperative, a bulletin board is located in the lobby. Notices, announcements and information are posted on the bulletin board by the Board of Directors, the Superintendent or the Managing Agent.



The front door system is set to operate on a timer. As a security precaution, the door opener will not operate from apartments on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We can see and talk to visitors, but must go down to the lobby to admit them. The timer was installed some time ago when it became obvious that some residents were persistently careless in buzzing people in without securing identification.


These are perilous times in all neighborhoods of this city and it is necessary for us all to endure the inconveniences of having to take precautions to preserve the security of our homes. Our building has been burglarized on several occasions. To date, nothing worse has occurred than the loss of property. We would all like to prevent future damage, so it is important to observe these precautions.

With respect to KEYS, it is important to restrict their possession to absolutely trustworthy friends and relatives, and NOT to make them available to merchants, delivery persons, or others. Keys should be carried WITHOUT any identification of the building address on the case or key-ring. Then, if keys are lost, they cannot be used by an unknown person to gain entry to the building. If keys are lost with accompanying identification, it is important to report this to the Superintendent at once, since the security of the building and apartment locks is compromised. Depending on circumstances, it may become necessary to change the front door lock.

If you have a guest residing in your apartment, you MUST notify the Superintendent. It is also a good idea to introduce guests who will be staying for an extended period to the Superintendent.


If a sidewalk delivery is expected, if a delivery involves special elevator assistance, or if a delivery involves furniture or other large items, the Superintendent MUST be notified a day ahead of time. This will help to avoid conflict and will free the elevator for use by others.


All residents are required to provide the Superintendent with a set of keys to their apartment, including alarm keys. All residents are also asked to provide the Superintendent with a completed emergency information form. A copy of this form is located in the Forms section of this booklet.

In an EMERGENCY, residents of the building should call the Superintendent at [NUMBER]. If he is not close enough to the building to respond quickly, he should leave a message on his answering machine so indicating. Residents should then call the Managing Agent, who is on twenty-four hour call to respond to the emergency.


The building is heated by a boiler/burner system fired with #2 heating oil.

To turn a radiator on or off, BOTH valves (one on each side of the radiator) MUST be opened or closed. If one is placed in the on position and the other is not, water seepage will occur.

During the daytime from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the winter, the Superintendent will maintain heat at a minimum of 70 degrees at any time the outside temperature drops below 53 degrees. If an apartment is overheated, the resident should shut off radiator valves (BOTH valves) rather than open windows. If radiators do not provide sufficient heat to your apartment or are otherwise not operating properly, please notify the Superintendent by filling out a service request.


Each apartment has a meter to measure electricity used, and is billed directly by Con Edison. Gas for kitchen ranges is metered for the building as a whole and costs are included in monthly maintenance charges.


The building contains two passenger elevators equipped with automatic safety devices. They are self-service, and are in operation twenty-four hours a day.

The eastern elevator (left elevator, facing them) is not equipped with pads. Bicycles and baby carriages can damage the elevator if care is not used when entering and exiting. The elevator should not be overloaded with luggage. Careful supervision of children and pets using the elevator must be maintained.

The western elevator (right elevator, facing them) is equipped with pads and MUST be used when moving furniture and other bulky objects. This is also the only elevator that accesses the basement. To activate the basement button, a key must be used. Place the key in the keyhole that is second from the bottom on the left of the panel (marked “PB” and “AS”), turn the key, and press the basement button (marked “SB”). Elevator keys are issued by the Superintendent.

All residents share an interest in operating the elevators efficiently. Each time a door opens unnecessarily, electricity is wasted and an unnecessary strain is placed on the mechanism. Similarly, forcibly holding the door open also causes unnecessary wear and tear. The cooperation of all residents in this regard is appreciated.


The roof space adjacent to apartments belongs to them as specified in the cooperative prospectus.


The chute in each hallway leads to a garbage compactor in the basement. All items must be placed in sealed bags. Kitchen waste, especially all putrescent, semi-liquid or granular matter, must be placed in plastic bags. Animal waste must be placed in tightly closed bags. If such waste is not properly contained, it creates an unholy mess and an extremely disagreeable job for the Superintendent. Moreover, it soils the chute from top to bottom in a way that creates an attractive highway for vermin as well as a pervasive odor problem.

All glass and bottles are dangerous and MUST be taken to the basement.

Light bulbs, mirrors, glassware and dishes are not recycled. However, they MAY NOT be placed in the garbage chute. They must be carried to the basement and placed in the garbage containers located there. Bulky items cannot be accommodated in the chute, and should also be taken to the

basement. Certain items that create special hazards should never be placed in the chute. When placing bags in the chute, make sure they do not remain sitting in the chute door. All recycled items MUST be free of food scraps or coating. The following lists, while incomplete, should be helpful as guides for what can be placed in the chute, what must be carried to the basement and what must be recycled.


  • Bagged kitchen garbage

  • Bagged animal waste and litter

  • General small refuse that can be bagged, like normal contents of waste paper baskets



  • Mixed paper, such as junk mail, envelopes, white and colored paper, paper bags, computer paper

  • Smooth and small cardboard such as shirt cardboard, cereal/soap/shoe boxes (inside wrappers removed), pizza boxes (no food scraps), non-styrofoam egg cartons

  • Newspapers, magazines, catalogs and phone books – bundled

Corrugated Cardboard:

  • Flattened corrugated cardboard and cartons

Metal & Plastic:

  • Milk and juice cartons

  • Plastic bottles and jugs, detergent/shampoo/lotion bottles

  • Glass bottles, jars and other containers

  • Small household metal items (items made of more than 50% metal) such as tin and aluminum cans, foil wrap and trays, wire hangers, paint cans (dried out/lid removed)

  • Empty aerosol cans

Clothing, Electronics & Batteries:

  • Place in appropriate bin

TO THE BASEMENT (Non Recyclable)

  • Very combustible items like lighter fluid cans, paint thinner cans, lamp fuels, insect repellents, pressurized cans

  • Styrofoam

  • Plastic or wood coat hangers

  • Light bulbs, ceramics or glassware, mirrors

  • Wooden crates, lumber scraps


  • Large household metal items (too large to fit in a bag or recycling container)

  • Furniture, furnishings & other large household items

Recycling of these items is required by New York City law. These must be segregated as indicated and placed in the designated location or bin. Glass bottles and containers should be placed carefully in the bin to avoid breakage. Please be careful as broken glass can result in accidental injury to a fellow tenant as well as to the person collecting the glass. All items must be clean. It is important that residents make absolutely certain that these rules regarding waste disposal are also known and followed by their cleaning persons and other guests or employees. Garbage and recyclables are generally picked up weekly. It would be greatly appreciated if recyclable materials were in their respective containers prior to the pick-up day. This will help keep the basement free from odors during the week.


These areas are required by fire regulations to be kept entirely free of any and all objects. It is impermissible to store, even temporarily, ANYTHING in these areas, and anything placed there is subject to removal and disposal without notice. No public hall of the building may be decorated or furnished by any lessee.


At a Board of Directors meeting, a policy was adopted to permit painting of hallways and doors, on the initiative and at the expense of the residents of any single floor, if all of the following conditions are met:
– All residents of the floor must agree in writing to bear the full cost of the redecoration and must agree on the colors and materials to be used.
– The Board of Directors must approve the plan submitted by the residents of the floor and no redecoration may proceed in advance of securing Board approval.
– No exemption or reduction of cost will be granted when the hallways of the entire building are redecorated in due course at the direction of the Board.


New York City law requires window guards on each window in an apartment that is the residence of children under ten years of age.

If you have young children and wish to install window guards, please contact the Managing Agent, who will help make arrangements to buy window guards. If you do not wish to install window guards, you will be asked to sign a waiver for the corporate records.


New York City law requires smoke detectors in all residential apartments. Accordingly, smoke detectors have been installed in every apartment in the building. The smoke detector in each apartment is the responsibility of the resident to maintain. It should be vacuumed periodically to keep it free of dust, and tested monthly by pushing the button that will cause the alarm to sound. Only a functioning smoke detector will warn you of a fire.


The laundry room is located on the first floor. There are three card-operated washers and four card-operated dryers. Cards are issued by the Superintendent. Please be considerate of other people who use the laundry room. Do not leave your clothes in the machines after the cycle has finished. Do not overload the machines. Clean out the lint trap after using the dryers. If a machine is not operational, please place a note on the machine so indicating, notify the Superintendent and call the service number on the wall of the laundry room. The laundry room is not to be used between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. It is also recommended that laundry soap with no phosphates be used.


The storage units are located in the basement. Each apartment has a storage unit assigned to it and the apartment number is posted on the door of the unit. Each unit has a padlock and residents are advised to keep their unit locked. The corporation will not be liable for the loss of or damage to any articles placed in these units. Residents must place all belongings inside the storage unit. Belongings may not be left in the basement areas.


There are bicycle racks in the basement for storing bicycles. They must be stored in the basement areas, inside your storage unit or inside your apartment. They may not be left in the stairwells, as this constitutes a fire hazard and a violation of the Building and Fire Codes of the City of New York. The corporation will not be liable for the loss of or damage to bicycles placed in the bicycle racks.


Please turn off all lights you have turned on when leaving the basement.


The Superintendent is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the building. He may need to enter shareholder apartments to determine the nature and extent of leaks and other damage, or to turn off water, gas, or electricity. To request a repair, fill out a service request form. A copy is located in the Forms section of this booklet.


The Superintendent is not required to accept packages, certified or registered mail, or other items requiring a signature for any resident. If a resident makes any arrangements with the Superintendent to ask him to do so, it will be at the sole risk of that resident. Likewise, the corporation is not responsible for mail, packages, or other objects entrusted to the Superintendent by residents.


The building has a contract with an exterminator who services the premises. A signup sheet is posted in the basement for residents to sign up if they wish to have their apartment entered and treated. The superintendent has more specific information.


No CB, ham, or other radio or television antenna may be attached to or hung from the exterior of the building.


The building is serviced by Spectrum. Monthly charges are paid directly to the cable provider.


All policies and procedures may be added to, amended, or repealed at any time by resolution of the Board of Directors. Shareholders will be notified of any change in policy in the minutes.


The corporation is responsible for maintaining the building structure, standard building equipment, common areas, roof, elevators, original windows and skylights, principal water/gas/steam pipes, drain pipes, electrical conduits, radiators, and the front door audio/video release system. If repairs are necessary to any of these, the resident should notify the Superintendent by filling out a service request. It is imperative that the Superintendent has access to all apartments in the event of an emergency. Failure to provide the Superintendent with keys may subject the resident to additional liability due to damage done while gaining access.


Shareholders bear full responsibility for maintenance of apartment interior. The law requires that the apartment must be kept clean and in good condition. It must be properly painted and plastered. Shareholders may also be responsible for damage caused to other apartments including leakage or overflow of water or gas from any pipe, basin, tub, or other equipment within the apartment.


When water damage occurs that is not due to negligence, the corporation will assume responsibility for all damage to walls and ceiling up to and including the plastering and paint. Wallpaper and personal property are not the responsibility of the corporation. Every resident is required to carry liability insurance and urged to carry adequate coverage on the apartment and personal possessions.


If there is a fire, your homeowner’s insurance may cover the damage to your apartment. Check the apartment for signs of water, fire, and smoke damage. Re-inspect later; water damage may take time to appear. If there is evidence of any damage that you consider attributable to the fire, send written notification to the Managing Agent, with a copy to the Board of Directors, specifically describing the damage. File a claim with your own insurance company at the same time. Since the corporation has insurance coverage that applies to certain aspects of fire damage, a public adjuster may come to inspect all damage due to the fire.


Residents whose apartments have terraces and roof rights are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of these areas. They must be kept clean, and leaves and dirt must be cleared from the drains. Plants must be contained in boxes of materials impervious to dampness, which stand on supports at least two inches from the surface of the terrace or roof. Suitable weep holes should be provided in these boxes to draw off water. No planter may be so large that it cannot be moved easily by one man with a dolly. It is the resident’s responsibility to move any planters or other objects on the terrace or roof if necessary for repairs to the roof.


No objects may ever be placed on building walls or ledges. Nothing may ever be placed outside on window ledges: flower pots, banners, signs, decorations, jack o’ lanterns, etc. They are all forbidden by ordinance as safety hazards.


New York State law requires that windows be kept clean. Should a resident fail to do so, the Board of Directors, after providing the resident ten-days notice of this responsibility, will then instruct the Superintendent to enter the apartment and have the windows cleaned at the resident’s expense. Replacement windows installed by a shareholder must be approved by the Board of Directors. Shareholders are responsible for maintaining and repairing any replacement windows in their apartment.


It is illegal and dangerous to obstruct halls and stairways with bicycles, baby carriages, cartons, or ANY OTHER encumbrances. It is not permitted to store, even temporarily, ANYTHING in these areas, and anything placed there is subject to removal and disposal without notice. All objects must be kept inside your apartment or in the appropriate basement storage area. In the event that a city inspector levies a fine against the corporation for encumbrances, the fine will become the responsibility of the offending resident. No shoes, umbrellas, garbage or bundled newspapers may be left in the hallways. If tenants wish to improve the hallways on their floor, they must all agree as to the manner in which this is to be done (i.e. paint color(s), carpet, etc.). A proposal must then be submitted to the Board of Directors outlining all proposed renovations. Board approval must be secured before any work can begin.


The Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring that the building conforms to the rules and regulations of the City of New York. Insurance coverage and economic investment in any and every apartment can be jeopardized by dangerous modifications and potential violations of the New York City Building Codes.

The Board of Directors is responsible for maintaining a safe and structurally sound building. The physical safety of each tenant can be endangered by alterations or renovations that are not made according to appropriate engineering practices.

All alterations and additions within the building require Board approval if they involve one or more of the following:

  1. Any change affecting the hallways or other public space;

  2. Any change affecting the building facade or fenestration;

  3. Any change or addition requiring permanent installation of electrical wiring within or attached to interior or exterior walls;

  4. Any change in plumbing, whether for water supply or waste water removal, including any new work for added fixtures of any kind or any change of location of existing fixtures. (Replacement of existing fixtures or repair of existing plumbing will not require approval.);

  5. Construction/demolition of walls, platforms, loft structures, or other interior structures permanently attached to the floor, ceiling, or other walls, if there is any possibility of affecting compliance with building code provisions dealing with load bearing, natural light, or access. If alterations are done that will impede access to radiators or pipes, the shareholder assumes responsibility for repairing/replacing these structures should any demolition be required for necessary work to be performed. Alterations may not be made to floors, ceiling or walls that would reduce their acoustic characteristics and cause more sound to travel through them, thereby changing the adjacent tenants’ quality of life.

Anyone who wishes to perform coop unit alteration/renovations must comply with and complete the document found in the Forms section of this booklet. Please contact the Managing Agent for further information.


The corporation requires that a minimum of 20% of the purchase price be paid in cash. The following procedure must be followed when an apartment is sold.

  1. Purchaser/broker contacts the Managing Agent to obtain a resale package and provides the following documents:
    – Resale application;
    – Financial statement/affidavit as to net worth (must be notarized);
    – Three (3) copies of the standard Aztec agreement.

  2. Purchaser provides to the Managing Agent a bank check for the required fees to accompany application along with one (1) original and seven (7) copies of the following:
    – Letter authorizing the Managing Agent to commission a credit report on the purchaser;
    – Completed documents from the resale application package;
    – Reference letters: bank, landlord, business and three personal;
    – Employment verification letter;
    – Most recent bank statement;
    – Information to support/explain net worth statement, if necessary;
    – Federal tax forms for the two previous tax years;
    – Contract of sale;
    – Loan commitment letter

  3. After the Managing Agent receives the credit report (allow two weeks), an interview will be scheduled with the Resale Committee (allow two weeks) and the packages of financial materials will be distributed to the Board members.

  4. The Resale Committee interviews the purchaser and, if approved, recommends approval to the Board for action at the next Board meeting (allow up to four weeks for the next scheduled meeting).

  5. The Board of Directors reviews the Resale Committee recommendation and votes on whether to approve the purchaser.

  6. If approved, a Board officer signs transfer of shares.


The corporation requires that a surcharge of 10% of the annual maintenance be collected by the Managing Agent for any sublet. The rent charged for the sublet must at least equal the maintenance payment for the apartment. The length of any sublet agreement is limited to one (1) year. The following procedure must be followed when an apartment is to be sublet:

  1. Shareholder provides to the Managing Agent:
    – Sublet application package, letter indicating shareholder’s intent to sublet, and shareholder’s address for the next year;
    – Bank check for the required fees;
    – Sublet contract.

  1. Lessee provides to the Managing Agent:
    – Completed documents from the sublet application package;
    – Bank check for required fees;
    – Reference letters: landlord, business and three personal;
    – Federal form 1040 forms for two previous tax years

  2. After the package is completed, the Managing Agent schedules an interview for the lessee with the Board of Directors at a regularly scheduled Board meeting, and distributes the documents to Board members.

  3. Board of Directors interviews lessee.

  4. Board of Directors must approve for lessee to occupy apartment.


The corporation does not allow any apartment to be sublet with an option to buy.


The following procedure must be followed when a loan is refinanced for the same or lesser amount as the existing loan:

  1. Shareholder provides loan commitment letter to the Managing Agent.

  2. Managing Agent sends a copy to Board officers (allow one week).

  3. No approval is necessary.

  4. A Board officer signs recognition agreement and/or transfer of shares.


A loan may not be refinanced for more than 80% of the current appraised value of the unit. The Board will only entertain applications from tenants with a consistent history of timely maintenance payments. The following procedure must be followed when a loan is refinanced for an amount greater than the existing loan and in the case of a second mortgage, home equity loan or line of credit:

  1. Shareholder provides to the Managing Agent the appropriate fee(s) along with one (1) original and seven (7) copies of the following:
    – Completed application for refinancing;
    – Copy of the completed mortgage application;
    – Appraisal of current market value of apartment;
    – Loan commitment letter;
    – Affidavit or affirmation under penalty of perjury that all combined financing does not exceed 80% of the appraised co-op unit value;
    – The most recent Federal 1040 form or, at the option of the applicant, both the most recent and prior tax returns, or documentary evidence of net income sufficient to meet cost of maintenance and mortgage payments, with an undertaking that there are no extant or pending tax liens. The Board of Directors reserves the right to require additional information to support any of the documents submitted.

  2. After the package is completed, the Managing Agent distributes copies of the above documents to Board members.

  3. Board of Directors must approve prior to refinancing (allow four weeks for Board to meet).

  4. If approved, Board officer signs transfer of shares.


All moves are coordinated through the Managing Agent. Arrangements to reserve the service elevator must be made at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance. These rules also apply if a shareholder moves from one apartment to another, or if large pieces of furniture are being moved.

A security deposit must be paid before the move. This will be returned after the move, if no damage has been caused by the move.

Every effort should be made to move between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays. If not possible, the Superintendent will be paid $125 for managing the front door, lobby and elevator traffic. This sum is deducted from the deposit.


Residents may not make or allow any disturbing noise in the building, or do or permit anything to be done that will interfere with the rights, convenience, or comfort of another resident.

Musical instruments may not be played or TV, radio, or stereo system operated so as to disturb or annoy other occupants of the building.

If you plan to hold a large party, especially one that lasts late into the evening, you are asked to give notice to your immediate neighbors (above, below, and on all sides).

When renovations are planned, you must give ample notice to all of your neighbors of the time during which they can expect noise and disruption. Noisy construction work should only take place weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.


Children cannot be permitted to loiter or to play in the lobby, stairways, elevators, or other common areas. Bicycles must be walked through the hallways, and roller skates and skateboards carried outside. Tires and wheels should be cleaned before entering the building. Young children should not ride the elevator alone.


Residents are required to explain the building rules to their cleaning people and other employees. This is especially important with regard to rules concerning waste disposal.


When a pet is outside of its owner’s apartment, it must be on a leash, in a container, or held by a person capable of restraining it. No pets are permitted to eliminate in the hallways, stairways, elevators, or on the terraces or roof.

The Board of Directors must approve of any pets living in the building. The pet permission form is found in the Forms section of this booklet. All pets must be registered with the managing agent.



The building is of fireproof construction and will not burn if a fire were to occur. A fire will usually be contained in the apartment or on the floor where it starts. However, the heat, smoke, and toxic gases produced by a fire are very dangerous. Fire stairs are located at either end of floors two through eight. The doors to the fire stairs must always be kept closed.

PENTHOUSE RESIDENTS PLEASE NOTE: if a fire blocks your exit to the nearest fire stairs, cross over the roof to the fire stairs at the opposite end of the building. The fire escape on the south side of the building should NEVER be used. It does not extend below the fourth floor.

Fire extinguishers are located in both stairwells on every floor, in the Superintendent’s apartment, the laundry room, the generator room, the gas and electric room, the compactor room, and the passenger elevator motor room.

If there is a fire in your apartment, call the fire department at once. Get out as soon as possible using the nearest exit stairway. If time permits, turn off all circuit breakers and make sure the gas is off before you leave.

CLOSE ALL DOORS BEHIND YOU to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. Alert your neighbors to leave with you. When leaving your apartment to escape a fire, proceed calmly and with caution.


BEHIND THEM WITH YOUR HANDS. Move to a safe stairway and travel downward and out of the building.

DO NOT USE ELEVATORS. Once you arrive outside, notify firefighters of the location of the fire. If someone in your apartment is elderly or infirm and requires special attention, this information should be filed with the police and the fire department.


Please note that the primary function of the audio/video intercom system is to insure the safety and security of residents of the building. Be sure never to permit entry to anyone who doesn’t identify himself or herself to your satisfaction.

The video camera that is mounted high up in the lobby across from the elevators is another security device. It is patched to a video recorder that makes a constant recording of everyone entering or exiting the lobby. In the event of a security problem at the front door the recording can be viewed to identify a suspect.


All residents are urged to double lock their doors whenever they leave their apartments. In the event of an extended absence, notify the Superintendent and be sure he has ready access to the apartment in case of an emergency. Either instruct the news dealer to discontinue delivery of papers during any prolonged absence or ask a neighbor to take in the paper each day so as not to signal that the apartment is unoccupied.

Make arrangements for the collection of your mail if you expect to be absent from the building for a prolonged period of time. The mail can be held at the post office, forwarded to a temporary address, or collected by a neighbor.

Shareholders wishing to allow other persons to be admitted to their apartments during their absence must inform the Superintendent in writing, stating the names of the guests and the dates when they will be in residence. Unauthorized visitors will not, under any circumstances, be permitted access to an apartment in the absence of the shareholder.


On the following pages are several forms that may be removed from this booklet as needed. Please check with the Managing Agent to ensure that forms are current. If additional copies are needed, please contact the Managing Agent.

The forms included are:

Emergency Information Form

Alteration/Renovation Guidelines/Consent Form

Resale Application Package

Sublet Application Package

Refinancing Application Package

Pet Permission Form

Repair Request Form


The Corporation hereby approves the Alterations (*) on the following conditions.

  1. Before any Alterations shall be started:

You must submit to the Managing Agent three (3) sets of blueprints and/or working drawings stamped by a licensed architect or engineer, whichever is appropriate, at least sixty (60) days prior to the planned alteration. You must provide a complete and conformed copy of every agreement made with contractors and suppliers. These documents will be reviewed by the Managing Agent’s architect for code compliance and submitted to the Board of Directors for approval. Architectural review fees will be charged directly to the shareholder. Review fees will be set by the Board. An alteration agreement must be approved and signed by the Board before alterations commence.

Under normal circumstances, the Board will respond within thirty (30) days. If the Board of Directors deems it necessary to seek engineering, architectural, or legal advice to determine whether approval should be granted, you agree to reimburse the corporation for reasonable fees incurred.

When appropriate, at the Managing Agent’s or Board of Directors’ discretion, you shall furnish to the Board a letter from a licensed engineer or architect; which letter shall certify that the electrical and/or plumbing capacity required as a result of the Alterations will not be in excess of the present electrical and/or plumbing capacity of the apartment and will not adversely affect the building’s electrical and/or plumbing service.

You shall file the plans with all proper municipal departments and shall obtain all government approvals, permits, and certifications that may be required. The Board of Directors shall be notified of the building permit number, if any, assigned to the plans and shall be given a copy of each of the permits and certificates within ten days of your receiving them.

The alterations and material used shall be of the quality and style in keeping with the general character of the building.

You shall undertake to indemnify Sample Co op Corp., the Managing Agent and occupants of the building for any damages suffered to person or property as a result of the work performed in connection with the renovation, whether or not caused by negligence, and to reimburse Sample Co op Corp. and the Managing Agent for any expenses (including without limitation, attorney’s fees and disbursements) incurred as a result of such work.

(*) The term “alteration” includes but is not limited to all renovations.

  1. Only licensed contractors are to be used.

    A. Insurance certificates for all contractors working in the apartment are to be obtained; copies are to be submitted to the Managing Agent. The certificate should be in the name of Sample Co op Corporation and the shareholder. Minimum insurance from your contractor, or contractors, must be comprehensive personal liability and property insurance, each in the amount of $1,000,000, including workmen’s compensation and employee’s liability insurance, covering all employees of the contractor(s) and subcontractors. Such policies shall provide that they may not be terminated until at least ten days after written notice to you and the Managing Agent.

  1. Material delivery and work schedule

    A. All deliveries of materials, equipment, etc., must be scheduled with the Superintendent and Managing Agent. Under no circumstances will the Superintendent of the building accept, direct, or sign for any deliveries. This is the responsibility of the shareholder and his/her contractor. Shareholders must not give contractors copies of the front door key but must personally control access or arrange with the Superintendent or other shareholders that are responsible for building security to oversee access. Name tags must be worn by all contractors. They may be obtained from the superintendent. Each tenant/owner must properly dispose of construction materials, either by arranging for his/her contractor to dispose of the material or by contacting the Sanitation Department for bulk pick-up days. Any bulk construction material deposited in the basement or common areas of the building will be disposed of at the expense of the shareholder. A proposed work schedule for the building Superintendent should be provided in advance by the shareholder or his/her contractor including, but not limited to, working hours, total job time, projected completion date and any necessity for interruptions in building services. All work will be performed at reasonable hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays) with due concern to avoid unreasonable disturbance of other building occupants. Care should be exercised to avoid interrupting busy elevator service during rush hours (8:00 to 9:00 a.m.). Where the existing electric, plumbing or heating services will be disturbed or when any other work will be performed that will interfere or disturb the other tenants, arrangement must be made with the Managing Agent and Superintendent for posting at least forty-eight hours in advance to coordinate these activities before such work commences.

    All precautions shall be taken to prevent dirt and dust from permeating other parts of the building, or other apartments in the building during the progress of the alterations.

    Alteration materials and discarded equipment must not block or be stored in common areas. The shareholder is responsible for making sure that the common areas are kept clean during alterations. The shareholder is advised to vacuum the hallway after each day’s work. Materials and rubbish must be placed in bags before removal.

    B. Any alteration that differs from or was not specified in the approved alteration plans may be changed or removed at the direction of the Board of Directors and at the expense of the shareholder.

  1. Each tenant/owner is required to submit to the Managing Agent a returnable $1,000 deposit in advance of alterations, in the form of a certified check.

  2. The shareholder shall assume all responsibility for the alterations and agrees that the corporation, the Board of Directors, the Managing Agent, or any of its agents, shall not be responsible for the conformance of the alteration with the New York City Building Code or for failure of efficient performance of building services to the apartment resulting from the alterations. The shareholder agrees to assume all responsibility for the weather tightness of any installation affecting exterior walls or roofs and the waterproofing of any portion of the building structure directly or indirectly affected by the alterations, and for the maintenance and performance of all heating, plumbing, air conditioning, appliances and other equipment installed or altered. The shareholder shall assume all liability for the failure of efficient performance of building services, or water, structural, or other damage to adjoining apartments or common areas of the building that are directly or indirectly caused by the alteration.

  1. Construction shall be completed not later than nine months after approval has been given. Shareholders should notify the Board of Directors and/or Managing Agent of any change or delay in the alteration plans.

  2. After the alteration is completed, the shareholder must submit a request for inspection and final approval to the Managing Agent. The Managing Agent, Board of Directors or designated agent may inspect the alteration and, if it is in accordance with the proposal, a signed approval will be provided to the shareholder. The shareholder’s deposit, less any assessed charges, will be reimbursed. The shareholder should retain this approval for his/her permanent records. The security deposit will not be returned until the inspection has been performed. At the completion of the work, you may be required to deliver an amended Certificate of Occupancy and a certificate of the Board of Fire Underwriters, if either be required, and such other proof as may be necessary to indicate all work has been done in accordance with all the applicable laws, ordinances and government regulations.

  3. The Managing Agent and Board of Directors may suspend all work authorized hereby at any time and without any responsibility for costs or expense incurred by the shareholder if:

    A. There is a violation of any of the above-stated conditions or the proprietary lease; The Managing Agent or Board of Directors determines that the alteration differs substantially from the plan that was described in the alteration application and agreed to by the Board.

  1. You recognize that by granting consent to the work, we do not profess to express any opinion as to the design, feasibility or efficiency of the work.

  1. Failure to comply with any of the provisions hereof shall be deemed a breach of the provisions of the proprietary lease, pursuant to which our consent has been granted, and, in addition to all other rights, we may also suspend all work and prevent workmen from entering your apartment for any purpose other than to remove their tools or equipment.

    Subject to the foregoing conditions, this consent shall become effective upon:

(i) Shareholder signing and returning to the Managing Agent a copy of this document accepting conditions of this consent, and

(ii) Board of Directors subsequently returning one fully executed copy of the same within thirty (30) days.

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Disclosure: Hauseit® and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. No representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind is made regarding the completeness or accuracy of information provided.

18 thoughts on “Co op Rules and Regulation in NYC”

    1. Hi Bill, specific requirements like these will vary by building. So in short, no, there is not some universal requirement that we know of among all co-op buildings where chain locks or any other type of locks are required. In fact, many of the apartments our readers are sitting in right now in NYC likely do not have a chain link on their door!

  1. What are the rules for shareholders want to have big event and catering in the their penthouse coop apartment.
    Thank you need it tomorrow please

    1. Chris Oliver, Spokesperson at Hauseit®

      Hi Mourad, this is a great question! The first place to check is in your co-op’s House Rules. If you don’t have a copy, you can request one from building management. You may also want to have an informal conversation with the front desk staff to see if they can offer any guidance based on past precedent.

    1. Chris Oliver, Spokesperson at Hauseit®

      Hi Alan – great question! If you’re renovating your apartment, the co-op can certainly mandate that you upgrade the electrical to current code. Hope this is helpful!

  2. Two Questions: Is the owner of the coop apartment required to live in the apartment? And second, must the board interview all adults who will live in the apartment?

    1. Chris Oliver, Spokesperson at Hauseit®

      Hi Angela – great questions! The owner occupancy rules vary by co-op. Most co-ops allow some degree of subletting, but buildings usually require the owner to reside in the unit for a few years before being allowed to sublet. Stricter co-ops prohibit subletting altogether. In the most egregious cases, co-ops may prohibit an owner from having overnight guests unless the owner is also present in the unit during the visit. The procedure for interviewing prospective purchasers and occupants also varies by building. While most co-ops will interview everyone who plans on living in the apartment, some buildings may only choose to interview the official purchaser(s) or applicant(s).

      Is there a specific building you’re interested in?

      ~Team Hauseit

  3. Can a co op Board establish minimal requirements in order to qualify and be eligible to be a candidate for a seat on the board for example anyone seeking to run for the Board must be living there for at least 3 years and have served on at least one committee

  4. If the coop board in NYC rejects the sale of a unit, does the owner of the unit have the right to request the reason for turn down by the board and must thr board reconsider an appeal to correct the problem?

    1. Chris Oliver, Spokesperson at Hauseit®

      Great question Al. Co-op boards are not required to provide the reason for rejecting a prospective buyer, and never do so even when asked for liability reasons. As you can imagine, if they gave the reason for rejection to one buyer, then they may be on the hook in the future to treat other buyers equally for a similar scenario. As a result, they never provide a reason to anyone as standard operating practice.

  5. Hi
    Out of curiosity. Not sure what is an appliance fee exactly. It’s been added to my maintenance. I was told in the beginning my maintenance won’t go up, stays as is, one amount unless I need something done. Then it added one time fee. But, this appliance fee. I noticed it’s been more than one time. Can you help me understand.

  6. My below apartment done huge renovation in entire his apartment and after then she is complaining a lot that she have a lot of noise in her apartment from my apartment which is right above her. She went to management and insist them to put carpet in my apartment but I don’t have any small child in my house. We are a couple and 21st year and 15 years 2 daughters in my house. Even something small drop on floor she complaint right away to our super and complaint. Can you please advice what is actual rules for noise in co op and even we are all almost adult staying at my apartment still she can insist us to install the carpet?

    1. Sonja Gosine, Spokesperson at Hauseit®

      Hi Pathik, it depends on the co-op house rules specific to your building. Please ask your managing agent or building management company for the latest version of your co-op’s house rules. Some co-op house rules will for example state that owners must cover some percentage (say 80%) of their floor area with carpet to mitigate noise. Rules will vary by building. We hope you are able to sort this out!

  7. Good morning: My daughter owns a Co-op in Brooklyn, NY.. She purchased the individual insurance policy through Allstate covering the unit owner. The Association was listed by the insurance as an interested party. She had this insurance for about a year. Recently, she received a notice telling her that she must list the association as an Additional insured. If not, she was told that she will be fined $500.00.

    Can the Association do this; that is, force my daughter to pay additional money for the insurance? Does the association has the right to do this? Is this the law in New York?
    Please advise! Thank you.

    1. Sonja Gosine, Spokesperson at Hauseit®

      Hi Hiram, we recommend carefully checking out the co-op’s bylaws and/or house rules. Just like a landlord can require a tenant to have renter’s insurance and name the landlord as an additional insured, it’s certainly possible for a co-op board to require a shareholder to name the co-op corporation as an additional insured. We’re not sure that it’s a law, again please consult your attorney or one of our partner lawyers, but it’s certainly something that a co-op board can require per its bylaws / house rules!

  8. Our building requires a “hold harmless” agreement when a contractor (like a plumber) does work in the apartment or when a merchant delivery takes place. Some liability insurance carriers won’t cover hold harmless because it can include incidents outside of the apartment when the apartment owner isn’t present, that may be due to poor building maintenance. Any experiences or thoughts would be helpful.

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