Cooperative & Condominium Law

Cooperative & Condominium Law

Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, LLP is synonymous with cooperative and condominium law. Since 1978, our attorneys have acted as general counsel to thousands of co-op and condo boards, successfully handling every type of legal and business matter related to all phases of the operation of their buildings and related litigation. We work hand in hand with board members and individual unit owners to deliver the most sophisticated, advantageous, and cost-effective legal strategies. Our clients are our family, for whom we will go above and beyond in our representation.

Check out our Practical Guides to Legal Issues for Condo/Co-op Board Members, Owners/Shareholders, and Managers.

 

Services for Cooperative and Condominium Boards

We offer a full suite of legal services for co-op and condo boards, including:

  • General legal advice – We advise board members and officers on a wide variety of business and legal matters.
  • Internal Corporate Documents – We prepare and review bylaws, leases, alteration agreements, house rules, and transfer tax policies, among others.
  • Finance – We help co-op and condo boards obtain financing and negotiate the terms of their secured and unsecured mortgage loans.
  • Contracts with third parties – We prepare, negotiate and review construction contracts, commercial leases and license agreements (for laundry rooms, storage facilities, parking lots, advertisements, cell towers, etc.), among other types of contracts and agreements.
  • Tax Issues & 80/20 Rule – We have substantial experience in helping buildings keep their status as a qualified cooperative – satisfying the 80/20 rule – while realizing all of the income from their commercial leases.
  • Ownership Structure/Mitchell Lama – We help boards of Mitchell Lama buildings evaluate the pros and cons of “going private”. Additionally, if a board decides to do so, we will create the required documents, shepherd the offering plan through the Attorney General’s office and assure a transition that it is both smooth and equitable.
  • Litigation – On behalf of boards, we initiate litigation against tenants or unit owners and third parties such as contractors and neighboring buildings. Additionally, we defend boards when claims are brought against the co-op or condo.
  • Reducing Tax Assessments – We help boards reduce their real property tax burden by challenging tax assessments in Tax Certiorari proceedings.
  • Regulatory Issues – We help you comply with government regulations including those of the EPA, DEC, and Department of Buildings.

 

Services for Individuals

We also provide legal services to individuals in the purchase or sale of a cooperative or condominium unit as well as in disputes with boards.
 

Why We Are Better

Our cooperative and condominium practice distinguishes itself from other firms in the following ways:

  • Leadership – The practice area is led by David L. Berkey, who is widely regarded as one of the city’s top co-op and condo lawyers. David’s experience includes serving as co-chair of the New York State Bar’s Cooperative and Condominium Committee for over seven years.
  • Experience – We have over 35 years of experience handling condo and co-op matters. As a result, we know the most effective approach to solving practically any problem.
  • Efficiency – No firm offers more cost-effective representation for co-ops and condos. We do not have to “re-invent the wheel” because we’ve done it all before. For example, we have a dossier of existing documents, contracts, and agreements that can be customized for your needs.
  • Litigation Expertise – Our attorneys have thousands of hours of trial experience and teach litigation at Cardozo Law School’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program. If necessary, we’re willing and ready to go to court.
  • Practical Advice – We help our clients resolve real-world problems and are regularly called upon by The New York Times, Habitat Magazine, and The Cooperator to answer an array of co-op and condo questions. For advice concerning how to deal with objectionable conduct and other defaults under the proprietary lease, please see the interview given by Marc J. Luxemburg that was broadcast on the show “Speak Up” on Time Warner Cable Channel 34, March 31, 2013. Watch the interview.
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Attorneys

Cooperative & Condominium Law Attorneys

David L. Berkey

Partner

For more than thirty years, Mr. Berkey has been a trusted advisor to numerous cooperative and condominium boards, banks, insurance companies and individuals. Mr. Berkey counsels his loyal clients regarding all issues pertaining to co-op and condo law, prepares their various contracts, handles their transactions and litigates their claims.

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Beatrice Lesser

Partner

For more than 20 years, Ms. Lesser has been counsel to numerous co-ops and condos, individuals and businesses, landlords and tenants, and homeowners associations. Ms. Lesser has been advising them regarding all aspects of litigation in real estate law, contracts, leases, discrimination, restrictive covenants, Loft Law, and other related issues.

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Marc J. Luxemburg

Of Counsel

Mr. Luxemburg specializes in real estate law, cooperative and condominium law. A recognized authority on the legal needs of cooperatives and condominiums, Mr. Luxemburg is the President of the Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums, and has drafted the revised form of proprietary lease that was promulgated by the Council.

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Michelle P. Quinn

Partner

Michelle P. Quinn represents cooperative and condominium boards, businesses, and individuals regarding issues with shareholders and owners in commercial and residential landlord-tenant litigation, including summary proceedings, administrative agency hearings, and Supreme Court actions and appeals.  She has substantial experience with Mitchell-Lama cooperatives, redevelopment companies, and tenancies protected by New York State Rent Regulation.

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Scott M. Smiler

Partner

For the past two decades, Scott's practice has focused primarily on transactional real estate matters — Cooperative and Condominium Board Representation; Buying and Selling of Properties; Commercial Leasing and Neighbor Access Agreements.

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Jerry A. Weiss

Partner

Mr. Weiss joined Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, LLP, in October 2006. Prior to joining the firm he was a member of the Commercial Litigation group at Cozen O’Connor.

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