Are Renters the White Trash of NYC Condos?

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Some new condo buildings in NYC are treating renters like second class citizens.

Curbed details the humiliations, which include barring renters from full use of the common spaces and lackadaisical response to repair requests.

"Neighbors think they're no-good party animals who lack respect because they're not invested in the building. Developers, in the cases of unsold units, see them as living symbols of their own failure to sell product. They're a necessary evil," writes Curbed.
But bully-condos may be shooting themselves in the bank account: If a condo gets a bad rap for renters (just check out StreetEasy, where word spreads quickly), then investors-already struggling to break-even in a saturated rental market--may start falling behind on their common charges.

Morever, according to BrickUnderground, certain renter restrictions fall into legally murky territory: Unit owners may be entitled to transfer their own rights to their tenants, much as they would to a roommate.

"If the unit owner has decided to rent his or her unit, and has complied with the requirements in the by-laws for renting, I don't see on what basis the board would have the right to exclude the owner's tenants from a building amenity that the unit owner partially owns, paid for and has a right to use," says Manhattan real estate lawyer Jeffrey Reich of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz.

And there are certainly some NYC condo owners who believe in equal rights for renters.

"You can't exclude renters," one Upper East Side board member told BrickUnderground. "You end up having them feel like second class citizens and create tension in the building. Your condo/coop is supposed to be a community and discrimination against your neighbor is just not good policy-or nice, for that matter."

Teri Karush Rogers is the founder and editorial director of BrickUnderground, a website for NYC apartment dwellers.
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