Residential property conversion: changed use common, complex

If you are a New York City resident with single ownership of a unit in an apartment building, might you have legitimate concerns in the event that your dwelling and those of your surrounding neighbors are converted to a condominium or co-op?

Alternatively, might you have questions and feel the need to take some sort of purposeful action if you receive notice from a building owner/manager that the cooperative you live in as a single owner is now slated for conversion into a co-op where the tenants own shares of the property? 

Those two hypothetical scenarios routinely play out in real fashion routinely across the metro area, along with myriad other conversion possibilities, as well (e.g., condo conversions from single ownership to individually owned units; home conversions to condo units; and commercial buildings to residential properties).

In any such instance, it is indeed the case that affected tenants will likely -- almost certainly -- have a host of important questions that they timely seek answers to. And additionally, of course, they will logically solicit assurance that the legal rights and interests they possess as tenants will be adequately safeguarded in the event of a building conversion.

Where conversion looms, we note on our tenants' advocacy website at the long-tenured Manhattan law firm of Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donoghue & Joseph LLP, "it is important [for an affected tenant] to seek the advice of an experienced New York conversion attorney."

The reasons for doing so are multiple. Moreover, they are marked fundamentally by the reality that knowledge empowers and that complex alteration in a property-related relationship can yield detriment for a tenant who readily accedes to material changes without first ensuring that he or she is legally protected against all potential downsides.

Tenant rights need to be observed and safeguarded in any property conversion or conversion dispute. An experienced attorney who routinely advocates on behalf of New York City renters, co-op shareholders and condominium unit owners can help do that.

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