The Real Deal New York

What’s a rooftop worth in NYC?

“Changing roof use spawns a disproportionate amount of litigation in co-ops and condos”

June 19, 2016 03:00PM

A roof top in NYC

A roof top in NYC

Manhattan has some great public parks, but there is nothing like a bit of privacy in the outdoors now and then. And that’s why losing access to your building’s rooftop can be so devastating – while also diminishing your apartment’s resale value.

A Chelsea resident recently wrote to the New York Times complaining that their co-op board had closed off the building’s roof in order to get a warranty on the new roofing. The troubled resident writes: “My one-bedroom is valued at around $1 million; even a 1 percent drop in value would mean a $10,000 loss.”

In NYC, even slight changes can cost big bucks, and that means it can be worth fighting back. Even if the board had a good reason for eliminating rooftop access, how long residents had enjoyed access to the roof before it was closed, and how it was used, could effect the board’s authority to close it off, Aaron Shmulewitz, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, told the Times.

“Changing roof use spawns a disproportionate amount of litigation in co-ops and condos,” Shmulewitz said.

Shmulewitz recommends the residents organize and respond to the board collectively. [NYT]Christopher Cameron

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