The City of New York enacted Local Law 1 of 1982 and in so doing placed the responsibility for abatement of lead paint on the owner of a multiple dwelling. Of course, the owner of a cooperative owns shares of stock and is the signatory to a proprietary lease entitling that owner to possession of a particular unit. It is the cooperative corporation that owns the multiple dwelling.
In a recent case the question presented was whether the owner of the cooperative apartment or the cooperative board was responsible for the removal of the lead-based paint. The trial court had held that the language of the proprietary lease placed the burden on the shareholder. The Appellate Division, in reversing, determined the statutory language was what controlled. It was the cooperative corporation that was responsible.
Individual shareholders should know that the abatement of lead paint is the responsibility of the cooperative and stand up for themselves when these situations present.