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Home invasion by co-op vice president

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Dear Ms. Demeanor,

What is the rule for members of a co-op board entering a shareholder's apartment? I came home the other day to find the board Vice President hanging out of my living room windows installing flower boxes in my windows that are on the front of the building -- and, to make matters worse, he was planting RED geraniums!!

Anyone who knows me, or who has ever visited my apartment, knows that I despise anything red. Apparently, my next door neighbor, the board President, decided that the building would look best if all the windows on our floor should have matching window boxes & matching floral displays!!

Help me – the board also wants to send the super in once a week to water the boxes (I guess they are aware of my “black” thumb?) – what can I do to preserve my privacy, my design aesthetic and my sanity?

Flora Bunda


Dear Flora,

How appalling! And, yet, how absolutely within the co-op’s rights…

In general, proprietary leases allow a member of a co-op or condo board or their representatives to gain entrance to almost any space for a valid reason… and it’s up to the petty fiefdom known as the board to determine the definition of “valid.”

That being said, most proprietary leases state that "sufficient notice" be given unless there is an emergency...and installing floral arrangements doesn't seem to meet the imminent danger criteria.

Tapping into my inner psychic, it wouldn’t surprise me if your board member is testing the market for his pad… and curb appeal is the gateway to greater gain per square foot!  

You won’t hear a whisper until the deal is done, and I’m sure that if pressed, the president’s justification will be that it’s a quality of life issue.

You will be perfectly within your rights to insist on 24 hours notice before Joe the Porter turns the key in your lock and enters your sanctum sanctorum to water the flowers.

As for the clashing of the harshly vibrant flowers with your serenely monochromatic décor, did you ever notice how often geraniums need to be “dead” headed???? No one will ever know if you remove the buds before they blossom… will they???

Other posts from Ms. Demeanor:

My doorman, the Mayor

Ambushed in the elevator

My doorman helps my teenage daughter sneak out at night

 

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