Understanding Quorum in NYC Co-ops and Condos: Key to Effective Governance

In the dynamic world of New York City co-ops and condos, the concept of ‘quorum’ is central to the governance and decision-making process in board meetings. A quorum is the minimum number of members, either shareholders or unit owners, required to be present at a meeting for it to be valid and for a binding election to take place. This blog post will delve deeper into the importance of quorum, how it’s determined, and the impact of recent legislative changes on meeting proceedings.

The Essence of Quorum
Definition and Importance
A quorum is essential for the valid execution of decisions in board meetings of NYC co-ops and condos. It ensures that decisions are made by a representative portion of the members, upholding the principles of fairness and collective governance.

Quorum in Bylaws
The specific percentage needed to achieve a quorum is usually outlined in the bylaws of each co-op or condo. These percentages can vary but typically range from 25% to 50%.

Consequences of Not Meeting Quorum
If quorum is not met, the meeting cannot officially take place and no elections can be held. Such meetings may then proceed only as informational gatherings, lacking the authority to make binding decisions.

Impact of Virtual Meetings
The shift to virtual meetings, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, has significantly increased member attendance. In FirstService Residential’s management portfolio, this transition led to a 20% to 50% increase in attendance, enabling buildings that previously struggled with quorum requirements to meet them more easily.

Legislative Framework: New York State Senate Bill 2021-S7278B
New York State laws provide guidelines for quorum requirements in condo and co-op board meetings, primarily through the real property law. Key aspects of the Senate Bill 2021-S7278B include:

Electronic Meetings: The bill amends the real property law to mandate that condominium by-laws allow for the conduct of unit owner meetings via electronic means. This was particularly significant during the pandemic.

Quorum Requirements: It specifies the methods for calling meetings, including the percentage of unit owners constituting a quorum and the percentage necessary to adopt decisions binding on all unit owners.

Flexibility in Meeting Locations: The amended law permits meetings to be held at a physical place as determined by the by-laws or the board of managers. It also allows for meetings to be conducted solely by electronic communication if necessary.

For more detailed information about the bill and its implications, visit the New York State Senate website: NY State Senate Bill 2021-S7278B.

Understanding and adhering to quorum requirements is crucial for the effective governance of NYC co-ops and condos. The increasing adoption of virtual meetings and the legislative support for flexible meeting formats are encouraging trends, making it easier for buildings to meet their quorum requirements. These developments contribute to a more engaged and democratically governed community in the world of co-op and condo living.

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