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Renovations During the Corona Crisis Should Projects Be Postponed?

Q. Our building currently has a couple of improvement projects underway - so do some of our residents. Should we immediately stop all such work because of the corona pandemic?

A. According to Andrew Brucker, a partner with Manhattan-based law firm Armstrong Teasdale, "We believe a board may have the right to stop renovations during this time, but doing so is not without risk. While a board could waive any monies to which it is entitled in its alteration agreement with the owner due to a delay in a project, the owner may have contracts with their contractor, be dependent on finishing a project so they can reside in the apartment, etc. Boards could be subject to damages for stopping projects and disrupting the lives of owners, especially if the board allowed other guests in the building or did not stop building-wide projects. As to building projects for which contracts have already been signed or that are legally mandated, we suggest you discuss the consequences with counsel before suspending operations.

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