Q: It is common knowledge in our Manhattan co-op that our superintendent allows his brother to live in a storage room in the basement. Many shareholders believe this is a serious liability risk to the co-op, but the board allows it to continue. What can be done?
A: “Allowing the superintendent’s brother to live in a basement storage room creates several potential liability issues,” said Stephen M. Lasser, a Manhattan co-op and condominium lawyer. For a basement room to be legally occupied, Mr. Lasser said, it must satisfy lighting, ventilation, drainage, painting, ceiling height and egress requirements of the New York City Housing Maintenance Code. “Failure to satisfy these requirements could result in violations’ being imposed against the co-op and the imposition of fines,” he said, “as well as present a safety issue for the brother and even the other occupants of the building.” Download PDF