Q: We built a wall in my co op apt over 20 yrs ago. Now we receive an eviction notice for unlawful alterations. Legal?
We have passed our yearly inspection every year without a problem. We just paid off our mortgage at the end of 2022.
A: An attorney would have to take a look at your proprietary lease and the applicable case precedents, as well as the record of other such alleged “violations” in the coop and the treatment which they received, when discovered, by the board or management. The defense of laches might also be useful to you. I couldn’t say more without a confidential, in depth review of the matter. The best I can do here is provide you with general information that may or may not apply to your case.
Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer
Dear Flushing Cooperator:
Please describe the cooperative corporation. It is not usual for "annual inspections" of a leased unit. Nonetheless, an Illegal Wall is never made legal by "passing" a visual test by the cooperative. https://www.habitatmag.com/Board-Talk/Does-Putting-Up-Walls-in-Co-op-Units-Require-DOB-and-FDNY-Filings
Dear Flushing Cooperator:
An "eviction notice" is the ultimate paper after a tenant has lost a summary proceeding in Housing Court. The "eviction notice" comes from an NYC Marshal, not from the Coop. If that happened to you then you know that the wall built without a permit from the NYC Department of Buildings cannot stand, but you went to trial anyway and lost.
If not an "eviction notice" did you receive a Notice to Cure? If so, you are at the beginning of a process and require an attorney to help you save your home.
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