I came across this interesting article stating there is currently a bill in the New York State Senate proposing the creation of an Ombudsman for co-ops and condos in the state.
The office would be funded through a new tax of $6 added to the fees paid by each co-op and condo unit.
The ombuds office would oversee board elections, use ADR services such as mediation for disputes, have the authority to subpoena and hold hearings, give public talks, host meetings as well as raise awareness of rights and responsibilities.
Read the article [here].
From the NYS Senate website [here], it shows the sponsor of the bill is State Senator Liz Kruger of Manhattan. Currently, I am unaware if there is a similar Bill in the Assembly.
Some important facts from the Bill:
-"The bill creates the Office of the Cooperative and Condominium Ombudsman within the Department of Law to serve as a neutral, informative, and accessible resource available to cooperative and condominium residents, prospective shareholders and unit owners, boards of directors and managers, and other affected parties. "
-OMBUDSMAN SHALL BE AN ATTORNEY WITH EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE IN REAL ESTATE, COOPERATIVE AND CONDOMINIUM LAW AND IN CONFLICT AND ALTER NATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
-OMBUDSMAN AND OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE OFFICE SHALL ADHERE TO A CODE OF ETHICS... (it does not state which ethics, such as the IOA)
-THE HEAD OF THE OFFICE SHALL BE THE COOPERATIVE AND CONDOMINIUM OMBUDSMAN WHO SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE OMBUDSMAN SHALL HOLD OFFICE UNTIL THE END OF THE TERM OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY WHOM HE OR SHE WAS APPOINTED (really? Not for a fixed year term but rather the same as the serving AG??) AND UNTIL HIS OR HER SUCCESSOR IS APPOINTED AND HAS QUALIFIED. A VACANCY SHALL BE FILLED IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT