Here at All Area Realty Services, we know New York City Co-ops inside and out. A question that we are frequently is what improvements do or do not need board approval? The short answer is policies vary by building so check with your residential management company. It is important to know your co-op’s procedural policy so your planned work can be completed as planned.
The apartment management company will have a copy of the co-op’s alteration agreement (states the owner’s responsibilities during a renovation). It will outline which jobs require approval, the licensing and insurance requirements of your contractor, potential fees, security deposits, work schedules, requirements while using the service elevator, what needs to be filed with the Department of Buildings and other useful information.
Most co-ops require your contractor to be licensed and insured. The apartment property manager will know whether the work requires board approval or is just a regular routine maintenance. Ask your residential management if there is a written policy about repairs and renovations. Most co-ops have detailed policies and you should have learned about it at your closing especially if your apartment is a fixer-upper. If there is still doubt about your planned upgrades, send a letter to the board describing the proposed work and ask if consent is required.
Certain co-ops have a decoration agreement, which require the board’s permission for cosmetic work. Although most co-ops do not require the board’s permission for painting, floor work and other minor cosmetic renovations. For smaller jobs, the apartment management company usually approves the work and the property manager will coordinate with the painters and the contractors.
Remember if you are unclear if the planned work might require board approval, ask the residential management for guidance.