BY JAY ROMANO
May 1, 2009
Buyer Inspections of Co-ops
Q: I recently made an offer on a co-op, which was accepted. I assumed I would need to get an inspector to look at the apartment and the building in general, but I have heard that this is not necessary in a co-op. Is this true?
A: Under normal circumstances, there is no need for an engineer’s inspection when purchasing a co-op apartment, since the purchaser is not actually purchasing the apartment itself, but rather shares of stocks of a corporation that owns the building,” said Lior Aldad, a Manhattan co-op and condo lawyer.
As a shareholder, the buyer will be leasing the apartment from the co-op corporation through a document called a proprietary lease, he said. The responsibility for maintaining the building falls on the corporation and all shareholders.
But many co-op offering plans and proprietary leases state that the shareholders are responsible for the repair and maintenance of elements within an apartment, like the windows, the opening in the wall for an air-conditioner unit and any alterations made to the original apartment.
Therefore, the reader should review co-op documents and question the current owner to determine if any major alterations have been done to the apartment. If so, an engineer’s inspection of the alterations may be beneficial.