Recently, after a non-jury trial, the Court in Terry v 241 West 111th Street, HDFC, NYLJ April 8, 2013 (Sup, NY Engoron, J, April 1, 2013):
Many coop tenants whose apartments were damaged by Hurricane Sandy are wondering if they have any rights to financial compensation, in the form of an abatement of maintenance, resulting from their apartments being rendered partially or totally uninhabitable. This post does not address issues regarding property damage or relocation costs if the apartment is completely unlivable. The amount of a particular abatement will depend upon the extent of the damage to the apartment and how long the conditions exist. The cooperator must notify the coop board or agent of the damage, preferably in writing, and demand immediate repairs and provide access if requested. Conditions such as mold should be remediated according to Department of Health guidelines by a qualified expert.
When I represent a client who is purchasing a co-op or condo apartment, it is important to look into the finances of the Co-operative or Condominium. A co-op or condo owner does not just own their own apartment. The owner owns a part of the cooperative or the condominium. The financial health of the cooperative or condominium has a direct effect on the apartment owner. Whether the building's mortgage is due to be re-financed or a real estate tax abatement is about to expire are factors that would have an effect on the common charges or maintenance the owner is obligated to pay.