senate Bill S2291

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Establishes a residential condominium owner's bill of rights

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to housing, construction and community development
Jan 15, 2013 referred to housing, construction and community development

Co-Sponsors

S2291 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8971
Current Committee:
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง352-eeeee, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S5102, A7716
2009-2010: S5088, A4946

S2291 - Bill Texts

view summary

Enacts a bill of rights for owners of residential condominium units to provide fair and equitable treatment of all unit owners; directs the attorney general to promulgate a handbook summary of the rights of unit owners vis-a-vis condominium associations and the procedures and processes available to unit owners to enforce such rights.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S2291

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation
to enactment of a residential condominium owner's bill of rights

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify the rights and
responsibilities unit owners and boards of managers of condominium
associations.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill would amend the general business law
to require a Condominium Board to:

* Process requests for action in an expeditious, manner according to
uniform written procedures;

* Post election results in a prominent place accessible to all owners
within one business day after they become available;

* Fill vacancies within sixty days if such vacancy occurs more than
six months prior to the annual meeting of unit owners;

* Provide for the resignation of members of the board if the person is
selling their condominium unit;

* Provide financial statements to all owners in a timely fashion, on
at least an annual basis, such statement must include information on
member's financial interest in any company providing goods or services
to the association;

* Make various documents available to all owners for inspection;

* Post notice of meetings in a prominent place accessible to all unit
owners; and

* Notify, and in some cases seek approval from, owners before imposing
special assessments or entering into contracts for extraordinary
expenses.

This bill would also require the Department of Law to issue a handbook
describing rights of owners vis-a-vis their association and the
procedures and processes available to unit owners to enforce such
rights.

JUSTIFICATION: Boards of managers of condominium associations
exercise broad authority over the rights and financial interests of
individual property owners.

Under present law, there is little which regulates the discretionary
authority these associations possess.

This bill would establish a number of important due process rights for
individual property owners in dealing with their association. It would
also create general standards for the conduct of business by these
associations. While most associations perform admirably in managing
their buildings' affairs, there have been reports of abuses by
associations.


Complaints have been received from property owners who feel that they
have been dealt with in an arbitrary and capricious manner by the
association. The protection incorporated in this bill would help to
ensure that property owners are dealt with fairly and have access to
important information regarding the management of their building.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2008: S.4309 - Referred to the Standing
Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None Noted.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act would take effect immediately, provided
however that condominium associations existing and operating as such
on the effective date of this act, shall take all necessary steps to
amend the appropriate organizational and operating documents to
implement the provisions of this act within one year of the effective
date of this act.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2291

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 15, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  BALL  --  read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction  and
  Community Development

AN  ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to enactment of a
  residential condominium owner's bill of rights

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
352-eeeee to read as follows:
  S  352-EEEEE.  RESIDENTIAL  CONDOMINIUM  OWNER'S  BILL  OF RIGHTS. THE
ORGANIZATIONAL AND OPERATING DOCUMENTS OF EVERY RESIDENTIAL  CONDOMINIUM
ESTABLISHED OR OPERATING PURSUANT TO THE LAWS OF THE STATE SHALL GUARAN-
TEE THE FOLLOWING TO EACH UNIT OWNER:
  1. THAT (A) ALL APPLICATIONS BY UNIT OWNERS IN CONNECTION WITH MATTERS
WHICH REQUIRE APPROVAL OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS AND (B) ALL REQUESTS FOR
DETERMINATIONS  BY  THE  BOARD  OF MANAGERS INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
REQUESTS FOR THE RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES BETWEEN OR  AMONG  UNIT  OWNERS,
DISPUTES  BETWEEN  UNIT  OWNERS  AND THE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION SUCH AS
DISPUTES CONCERNING RESPONSIBILITY FOR REPAIRS SHALL BE PROCESSED  IN  A
REASONABLY EXPEDITIOUS MANNER PURSUANT TO UNIFORM PROCEDURES AND TIMETA-
BLES  ADOPTED  IN WRITING.  THE BOARD'S DECISION SHALL BE IN WRITING AND
SHALL SET FORTH THE REASONS THEREFOR, EXCEPT THAT  NO  REASON  SHALL  BE
REQUIRED WHEN APPROVAL IS GRANTED.
  2.    THAT  THE  FINAL  RESULTS OF ELECTIONS FOR THE BOARD OF MANAGERS
INCLUDING A TALLY OF THE VOTES RECEIVED BY EACH CANDIDATE SHALL BE POST-
ED WITHIN ONE BUSINESS DAY FOLLOWING THE AVAILABILITY OF  SUCH  INFORMA-
TION IN A PROMINENT PLACE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL UNIT OWNERS IN EACH BUILDING
COMPRISING THE CONDOMINIUM.
  3.  THAT THE BOARD OF MANAGERS SHALL CALL A MEETING TO FILL ANY VACAN-
CIES WHICH OCCUR ON SUCH BOARD WITHIN SIXTY DAYS OF  THE  OCCURRENCE  OF

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05121-01-3

S. 2291                             2

SUCH  VACANCY  IF  THE  VACANCY OCCURS MORE THAN SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO THE
ANNUAL MEETING OF UNIT OWNERS.
  4.  THAT ANY MEMBER OF A BOARD OF MANAGERS WHO IS ELECTED WHILE A UNIT
OWNER IN THE CONDOMINIUM, WHO SELLS  HIS  OR  HER  APARTMENT,  AND  WHO,
SUBSEQUENT  TO  SUCH SALE SHALL NO LONGER BE A UNIT OWNER IN SUCH CONDO-
MINIUM, SHALL RESIGN FROM SUCH BOARD NO LATER THAN THE CLOSING  DATE  OF
SUCH SALE.
  5.  THAT  COMPLETE  AND  ACCURATE  FINANCIAL  STATEMENTS AND ANY OTHER
STATEMENTS ORDINARILY PROVIDED TO UNIT OWNERS BE PROVIDED  IN  A  TIMELY
FASHION  PURSUANT  TO ESTABLISHED TIMETABLES AT LEAST ONCE ANNUALLY. FOR
THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION "FINANCIAL  STATEMENTS"  SHALL  INCLUDE
THE  BALANCE SHEETS AND STATEMENTS OF INCOME AND EXPENSE FOR EACH OF THE
THREE MOST CURRENT FISCAL YEARS.  ATTACHED TO SAID FINANCIAL  STATEMENTS
SHALL  BE  A  STATEMENT  WHICH DISCLOSES (A) ANY CONTROLLING INTEREST OR
EMPLOYEE OR AGENCY RELATIONSHIP WHICH ANY BOARD MEMBER OR OFFICER OF THE
CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION OR THE SPOUSE OF SUCH PERSON HAS IN OR WITH  ANY
SUPPLIER  OF  SERVICES  OR  MATERIALS  TO  SAID  CONDOMINIUM AND (B) ANY
CONSIDERATION THE VALUE OF WHICH EXCEEDS ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS  WHICH  ANY
SUCH  BOARD MEMBER OR OFFICER OR THE SPOUSE OF SUCH PERSON RECEIVES FROM
SUCH SUPPLIER.
  6. THAT THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS BE MADE AVAILABLE  FOR  INSPECTION  OR
COPYING BY UNIT OWNERS DURING REGULAR BUSINESS HOURS ON NO MORE THAN TEN
DAYS WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE BOARD OF MANAGERS:
  (A) APPROVED MINUTES OF BOARD OF MANAGERS MEETINGS, PROVIDED THAT SUCH
BOARD SHALL HAVE THIRTY DAYS FROM THE DATES OF THE MEETINGS AT WHICH THE
MINUTES  ARE  APPROVED TO PREPARE SUCH MINUTES AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT
THE BOARD MAY EXCLUDE MATTERS WHICH IT DEEMS CONFIDENTIAL OR WHICH  WERE
DISCUSSED IN EXECUTIVE SESSION;
  (B)  DETAILED,  ACCURATE  RECORDS,  IN  CHRONOLOGICAL  ORDER,  OF  THE
RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES ARISING FROM THE OPERATION OF THE PROPERTY;
  (C) BANK ACCOUNT AND FINANCIAL INVESTMENT STATEMENTS;
  (D) ALL PROPOSALS RECEIVED IN  RESPONSE  TO  A  REQUEST  FOR  BIDS  TO
PROVIDE  GOODS  OR  SERVICES  TO  THE  CONDOMINIUM  THE COST OF WHICH IS
REASONABLY EXPECTED TO EXCEED FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS  IN  ANY  ONE  YEAR.
SUCH DOCUMENTS SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE WITHIN TEN DAYS OF RECEIPT UNLESS
THE  BOARD  CHOOSES  TO CONDUCT CLOSED COMPETITIVE BIDDING IN WHICH CASE
THE DOCUMENTS SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE WITHIN TEN DAYS OF  THE  SELECTION
OF THE SUCCESSFUL BID;
  (E)  REPORTS OF ACCOUNTANTS, CONSULTANTS AND EXPERTS RETAINED OR HIRED
TO PERFORM SERVICES FOR OR ON BEHALF OF THE ASSOCIATION INCLUDING FINAN-
CIAL STATEMENTS AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF THIS SECTION PROVIDED,
HOWEVER, THAT SUCH REPORTS MAY  BE  WITHHELD  WHEN  A  MAJORITY  OF  THE
MEMBERS  OF  THE  BOARD HAS VOTED TO WITHHOLD SUCH INFORMATION. WHEN THE
MATTER CONCERNS ALLEGED CONFLICT OF INTEREST  OR  MALFEASANCE  INVOLVING
BOARD MEMBERS THE REPORT MAY BE WITHHELD ONLY UPON A VOTE OF THE MAJORI-
TY  OF  DISINTERESTED BOARD MEMBERS. IF ALL BOARD MEMBERS ARE INTERESTED
PARTIES THE REPORT MAY NOT BE WITHHELD;
  (F) REPORTS BY MUNICIPAL AND/OR COUNTY INSPECTORS  CONCERNING  COMPLI-
ANCE WITH HEALTH, BUILDING AND HOUSING CODES AND REGULATIONS; AND
  (G)  THE  RECORDS  OF DECISIONS BY THE BOARD OF MANAGERS TO EXCLUDE OR
WITHDRAW MATERIALS PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OR (E) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
SUCH RECORDS SHALL BE PREPARED IN  EVERY  INSTANCE  THAT  MATERIALS  ARE
WITHHELD OR EXCLUDED. THE RECORD SHALL INCLUDE THE GENERAL NATURE OF THE
MATERIALS AND THE REASON FOR WITHHOLDING OR EXCLUDING SAME.
  7.  THAT  IN  ADDITION TO ANY OTHER NOTICE REQUIRED BY THE CONDOMINIUM
ASSOCIATION'S ORGANIZATIONAL OR OPERATING DOCUMENTS, NOTICE OF ALL BOARD

S. 2291                             3

AND UNIT OWNER MEETINGS SHALL BE POSTED IN A PROMINENT PLACE  ACCESSIBLE
TO ALL UNIT OWNERS IN EACH BUILDING COMPRISING THE CONDOMINIUM.
  8.  (A)  THAT  THE  BOARD OF MANAGERS SHALL NOT IMPOSE SPECIAL ASSESS-
MENTS, OR ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR EXTRAORDINARY EXPENSES  THE  COST  OF
WHICH  EXCEEDS  LIMITS  ESTABLISHED  PURSUANT  TO  PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS
SUBDIVISION BEYOND CUSTOMARY OPERATING  OR  MAINTENANCE  COSTS,  WITHOUT
APPROVAL  BY A VOTE OF THE UNIT OWNERS. A VOTE OF THE UNIT OWNERS MAY BE
WAIVED BY THE BOARD IN THE CASE OF (I)  AN  EMERGENCY  EVIDENCED  BY  AN
APPROVED  RESOLUTION  OF THE BOARD, OR (II) A REQUIRED REFINANCING OF AN
EXISTING MORTGAGE.
  (B) UNLESS THE BYLAWS REQUIRE A  UNIT  OWNER  VOTE  TO  ESTABLISH  THE
LIMITS  REFERRED  TO  IN  PARAGRAPH  (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE LIMITS
SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE BOARD OF MANAGERS AS FOLLOWS. NO  LESS  THAN
ONCE  IN  EVERY FIVE YEARS THE BOARD SHALL PROPOSE LIMITS WHICH SHALL BE
INCLUDED IN THE NOTICE OF THE ANNUAL OR ANY OTHER MEETING  OF  THE  UNIT
OWNERS.  AN  OPPORTUNITY FOR UNIT OWNERS TO COMMENT ON SUCH PROPOSAL AND
TO OFFER LOWER LIMITS SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE AGENDA FOR SUCH  MEETING.
AT  THE  CONCLUSION  OF  THE  COMMENT PERIOD THE BOARD SHALL, BY AN OPEN
VOTE, ADOPT LIMITS NOT TO EXCEED THOSE PROPOSED BY THE BOARD WHICH SHALL
BE EFFECTIVE UNTIL CHANGED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  9. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO  ENFORCE  THE  PROVISIONS  OF
THIS  SECTION AND MAY, UPON HIS OR HER OWN INITIATIVE, OR IN RESPONSE TO
A COMPLAINT BY ONE OR MORE UNIT OWNERS, INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS  OF  ANY
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS HEREOF.
  S  2.  Within  6 months of the effective date of this act the attorney
general shall promulgate a  handbook  summarizing  the  rights  of  unit
owners  vis-a-vis  condominium associations and the procedures and proc-
esses available to unit owners to enforce such rights.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately; provided,  however,  that
as  to  residential  condominium  associations existing and operating as
such on the effective date of this act the boards of  managers  of  such
associations  shall within 1 year of the effective date of this act take
all steps necessary to amend the appropriate organizational and  operat-
ing  documents  of such associations to implement the provisions of this
act.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.