– Real Estate Section

Real Estate Q & A

MARCH 8, 2013


Q: We would like to install a washer and dryer in our co-op apartment. We’ve combined two units and have plumbing available where the second unit’s kitchen used to be. The board’s policy is that laundry machines are not allowed because the plumbing in the building cannot handle the load. But I’ve heard that two board members who have combined their units have laundry machines in their units. What would you recommend?

A: Many co-op bylaws, proprietary leases and house rules prohibit laundry equipment for various reasons,” said Lior Aldad, a Manhattan co-op and condo lawyer.

Among the reasons are the potential for leaks affecting other apartments and for utilities inadequate to handle such equipment. He said the most effective way to deal with the issue was to raise it at the next annual meeting of shareholders.

“At that same meeting,” Mr. Aldad said, “the board can directly address the rumor that some board members have been allowed to violate the rule.”

He notes that even if the prohibition is in the house rules, many co-op bylaws authorize the board to change those rules — and perhaps even enforce them on a case-by-case basis — without approval of the shareholders.