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Ask an Expert: Nude sunbathing on the roofdeck--yay or nay?

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
April 19, 2011 - 1:57PM

Q:  I'm on the board of a condo with a number of European owners. Some have asked us to permit nude sunbathing on the roofdeck.  We could potentially partition off the deck into an "adults only" section. However, the roofdeck is in full view of the upper floors of two neighboring apartment buildings. Are there any potential issues as far as the condo being liable for indecent exposure?  

A:  The bottom line, according to our expert panel, is that even topless (female) sunbathing in view of others is a legal no-no, unless said topless female is nursing an infant.

Typically, the liability for indecent exposure is limited to the exposed individual. But if your condo board "has an adopted policy contrary to the law of the land," says one property manager (who requested a cloak of anonymity) then your board could wind up in the hot seat too.

UPDATE 4/20/11: Oops! Many thanks to the commenters below for noting that some of our experts aren't on top of NYC topless laws.  In 1992, the NY Court of Appeals ruled that women have the right to walk around topless if men do too. 

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Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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