Want to see your co-op board's meeting minutes? Good luck

By Margot Slade  | March 31, 2011 - 7:59AM

Another myth bites the dust, the result of reading a handy Q&A guide to co-op/condo ownership. Real estate lawyer Robert Tierman disabuses owners of the very notion that they have a right to see and can easily access the minutes of board meetings. You don't and you can't. 

It seems that neither the law nor a co-op board's governing documents require such transparency. "Notice the language," Tierney says, and we do as he explains, "The law mandates review only of minutes of shareholders' meetings -- generally speaking, the year's annual meeting for election of officers." 

Ah well, at least you're guaranteed quick access to that, right? Nope. Your review of the shareholder meeting minutes and lists must be "for any purpose reasonably related" to your interest as a shareholder, nothing more. You must provide an affidavit saying as much, and that your desire for access isn't linked to the interest of a business or related to something other than the business of the corporation. 

Lest you lose all your marbles in this game, most co-op proprietary leases provide for the keeping of books of account. So, owners can review the board's financial dealings. 

Still determined to get at those meeting minutes? Check out the Habitat article for some guerrilla tactics.


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