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Question/Answer by John H. Gettinger, Esq.

Question:

We want to change one of our by-laws. We have 48 condo owners. Our by-laws say we must have a majority of all owners approve the change. So we only need 25. One owner says we need 32 to change it. Is she right?

Answer:

Yes, she is right. Pursuant to ยง339-v (1) (j) of the Real Property Law of the State of New York (the "Condominium Act"), the percentage of unit owners which may at any time modify or amend the by-laws is to be set forth in the by-laws, provided, however,

that such percentage may not be less than sixty-six and two-thirds (66 2/3%) percent in number and common interest of the unit owners. As such, although your by-laws provide that an amendment to the by-laws requires approval by a majority of all unit owners, this by-law provision is in violation of the Condominium Act. You will need 25 unit owners to approve the amendment. In addition, I suggest that the board of managers also seek to amend the by-law amendment provision to increase the percentage required to amend the by-laws to at least sixty-six and two-thirds (66 2/3%) percent.

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