Q: My co-op has a brand new air-conditioner rule: Once we set up models in our home windows, we’re not allowed to take away them on the finish of the season. Instead, we’ve to maintain them put in year-round. Shareholders who don’t comply will face penalties. When I spoke to the board president, he mentioned, “It’s a New York City law, and if we get a fine from the city, we’re going to fine you.” I appeared for relevant legal guidelines and discovered nothing apart from security guidelines for window air-conditioners. Can our co-op make this a requirement and impose fines?
A: The metropolis doesn’t have guidelines about what number of months of the 12 months your air-conditioner must be within the window, or how continuously you may take yours in and out. But it does have guidelines about how they need to be put in, and constructing homeowners are required to maintain their buildings, together with the facades, in secure situation. Anything hooked up to the surface, like a window unit, could be topic to that rule.
So your board president is likely to be referring to facade security guidelines. A Buildings Department inspector might situation a violation for an improperly put in air-conditioner. One of the most typical offenses: propping up the unit on wood blocks or bricks, which may come free and fall to the road beneath.
If you put in your window unit poorly and the co-op will get a fantastic, it might go that fantastic onto you, mentioned Ingrid C. Manevitz, an actual property lawyer and accomplice within the New York City workplace of the regulation agency Seyfarth Shaw. The constructing could also be involved that if window models are available in and out yearly, there’s a better probability of defective set up. A board is entitled to make guidelines supposed to guard the protection of individuals on the road.
However, it’s uncommon that the board would require you to maintain models within the home windows year-round. Winters are chilly, and a drafty window isn’t good for vitality effectivity. Many buildings provide you with extra versatile options, like requiring residents to professionally set up them, or rent constructing employees to do it.
Talk to the board and the managing agent, and ask your neighbors to do the identical. Ask the board to think about different options to the one they’ve instated. Try to achieve a compromise, because it’s not unreasonable to need your home windows again for the winter.
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