Co-op Owner Seeks Buyout After Repeated Pipe Leaks

A co-op owner in Queens, New York, has asked his board to buy him out of his studio apartment, after suffering from repeated pipe leaks that have damaged his floors and forced him to vacate his unit. The board, however, is unlikely to agree to his request, as it would prefer to fix the maintenance problem rather than acquire his unit. The owner may have to resort to legal action or sell his unit to another buyer, if he wants to relocate. Here are the details of his situation, and the possible solutions.

The problem: Bursting and leaking pipes

The owner, who has been living in his unit since 2016, has experienced several incidents of heating pipes bursting and leaking hot air into his floors, causing them to warp and crack. The owner has had to leave his unit twice while a repair person fixed the issue, and has spent money and time on restoring his floors. The pipes leaked again this month, and the owner has had enough. He has requested that his co-op board buy him out of his unit, so that he can move to another place.

Pipe Leaks
Pipe Leaks

The request: A buyout from the board

The owner believes that he has the right to ask the board to buy him out, as he feels that the pipe leaks have made his unit uninhabitable and intolerable. He also thinks that the board should compensate him for his losses and inconvenience, and that the board would benefit from owning his unit, as it could rent it out or sell it to another buyer. The owner has not specified the price he wants for his unit, but he expects it to be fair and reasonable.

The response: A rejection from the board

The board, however, is not interested in buying the owner’s unit, as it does not see any advantage or necessity in doing so. The board would rather fix the pipe problem, which it claims is not as severe or frequent as the owner makes it out to be. The board also argues that the owner has not suffered any substantial damage or hardship, and that he has been adequately compensated by the co-op’s insurance policy. The board also points out that it does not have the funds or the authority to buy the owner’s unit, and that it would have to justify its decision to the rest of the co-op.

The options: A lawsuit or a sale

The owner is not satisfied with the board’s response, and is determined to get out of his unit. He has two options: to sue the board, or to sell his unit to another buyer. If he chooses to sue the board, he will have to prove that the pipe leaks have amounted to a constructive eviction, which means that he has been effectively forced out of his unit by the board’s negligence or misconduct. He will also have to hire a lawyer, pay legal fees, and endure a lengthy and uncertain litigation process. If he chooses to sell his unit, he will have to find a willing and qualified buyer, who may not offer him the price he wants, and who may also be deterred by the pipe problem. He will also have to pay a broker’s commission, a flip tax, and other closing costs.

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