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It is common for New Yorkers to purchase co-ops with the intent of renovating them before they even move in. This is especially true because the fact is that New York City properties tend to be old or otherwise tend to have worn-out conditions. While this is an admirable plan to set out for yourself, you must understand that it might not be an easy, or even permissible, task. Read on to discover whether you can renovate your New York City co-op and how one of the seasoned co-op transfer attorneys at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can help you overcome any posed obstacles.

What are common challenges posed by a co-op renovation?

First of all, you must remember that a co-op, more formally known as cooperative housing, is a housing model in which tenants or members collectively own and share the responsibility of the entire building or property. So, due to this shared ownership and collaboration, you may hit roadblocks in getting approval for your proposed renovations from other tenants or members. For example, the co-op board or management company may enforce restrictions on your layout changes for where you want to designate a wet area (i.e., bathroom and kitchen) versus a dry area (i.e., bedroom and living room).

This is not to mention the strict regulations governed by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. For example, the city rules may require you to obtain a permit for just about any alteration you make to your unit. Specifically, permits are most definitely necessary for making structural changes and doing work behind the walls (i.e., redoing, electrical wiring, making plumbing updates, etc).

What should I do if I intend to renovate my co-op in New York City?

At some point during the purchase and sale of your New York City co-op, you may receive an alteration agreement. Now, this is the first thing you should look at if you are contemplating renovations to your co-op. Specifically, this agreement may lay out the following terms and conditions:

  • The hours in which you may commence your renovation project before a penalty is issued.
  • The timeline you are allotted to start and finish your renovation project before a penalty is issued.
  • The insurance documents you are supposed to obtain for your renovation project.
  • The specs for plumbing and electrical fixtures you are supposed to follow for your renovation project.
  • The testing requirements you are supposed to fulfill for your renovation project (i.e., asbestos and lead).

Understandably so, you may be overwhelmed by the complex legal language filling the pages of your alteration agreement. This may be especially true if you have never taken on a project like this or as large as this. If this is your case, what you need is likely strong legal representation from a competent New York City real estate attorney. Someone at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. is looking forward to your phone call.