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Cooperative and Condominium Law

General Counsel to Coops and Condos >

Axelrod, Fingerhut & Dennis is general counsel and litigation counsel to many of New York City’s finest cooperatives and condominiums.

Our firm represents a broad array of cooperative and condominium buildings, from complexes of over 1,700 units to buildings with as few as five units.

Providing a Full Range of Service >

General representation and day to day legal counseling and strategy

Revising corporate documents (including proprietary leases, by-laws and house rules)

Refinancing underlying cooperative mortgages

Review and negotiation of management contracts and construction contracts

Negotiation and litigation of disputes between cooperative corporations or condominium boards and (i) their sponsors, (ii) their shareholders or unit owners or (iii) their commercial tenants

Acting as transfer agent

Solid Achievements on Behalf of Our Clients >

Board of Directors Succession
Successfully represented shareholder group in proxy fight, enabling our clients to accede to rightfully elected positions on a cooperative Board of Directors

Enforcement of By-Laws
Successfully represented Homeowner’s Association against breakaway component condominium division to enforce By-Laws, resulting in component condominium’s consent to amendment of By-Laws

Discrimination Complaint
Successfully defended discrimination complaint against cooperative corporation before the New York City Human Rights Commission

Sponsor Default
Successfully negotiated seven figure settlement from sponsor in action initiated with the Attorney General’s Office to repair defects due to sponsor negligence

Flip Tax
Successfully defended challenge to cooperative corporation’s duly enacted flip tax

Permissive Use
Successfully litigated a 30 Unit Washer/Dryer case where we persuaded the trial court to apply the Business Judgment Rule in evaluating the enactment and enforcement of a House Rule change that reversed a long history of permissive washer/dryer use resulting in judgments of possession against all non-curing shareholders and, after affirmance on appeal, obtained  a large fully compensatory legal fee award for the cooperative

Board Election Dispute
Defended challenge to cooperative Board by minority Board members seeking to change cooperative governance

Access to Adjoining Property
Successfully litigated RPL Section 881 Access Request to permit client to utilize rooftop of adjoining building to facilitate building repairs

Negotiated numerous licenses with adjoining property owners to permit access to facilitate repairs

Reasonable Accommodation
Defended client from claim asserted by tenant in Federal Court seeking accommodation due to alleged disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Corporate Investigation
Conducted Investigation regarding complaint of employee misconduct in order to resolve threatened shareholder lawsuit and for presentation of evidence at REBNY grievance hearing on client’s behalf

Alteration Agreement
Defended against discrimination claim that cooperative breached an alteration agreement when it stopped shareholder from undertaking unauthorized work and obtained affirmance from the Appellate Division upholding the cooperative’s rights under the alteration agreement together with Court ordered reimbursement of client’s legal fees

Pullman Eviction
Successfully prosecuted a “Pullman” holdover against a shareholder engaging in chronic disruptive behavior

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Real Estate Transactions

Advise, Strategize and Protect >

Before you buy, sell, rent or lease real property speak with one of our attorneys to determine the best strategy to protect your rights and your bottom line.

Some of the Services We Provide >

Acquisition and sale of cooperative and condominium units

Acquisition and sale of commercial and residential property

Negotiation and preparation of leases for office, retail, industrial and shopping center use

Counseling property owners regarding management issues

Counseling purchasers, sellers and brokers regarding brokerage contracts and commission issues

Conducting due diligence on behalf of purchasers of rental buildings to determine compliance with rent regulation laws and City and State tax abatement schemes

Refinance underlying loans for cooperative corporations

Negotiate leases and licenses for cooperatives, condominiums, shareholders and unit owners for acquisition of hallway and other spaces for use by shareholders and unit owners

Negotiate construction and service contracts relating to building improvements and RISP (Local Law 11) projects

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Real Estate Litigation

Protecting Your Real Property >

Axelrod, Fingerhut & Dennis handles all aspects of disputes relating to and arising from the ownership, acquisition, management, disposition, and leasing of real property.

Appearance in All Tribunals >

We represent clients in Federal, State, and City courts at the trial and appellate levels, as well as before administrative agencies.

Cost-Effective Representation >

We are always mindful of the high cost of litigation for our clients. As appropriate we explore and offer alternative means of dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation.

Case Types >

Article 78 Proceedings

Yellowstone Injunctions


Ejectment Actions

Partition Disputes

Specific Performance Actions

Solid Achievements On Behalf of Our Clients >

Breach of Contract
Successfully defended our client, the nations’ largest owner of shopping centers, against a claim by ground lessee seeking reimbursement of construction costs due to lessee’s lease default

Estate Distribution
Obtained a favorable arbitration award before a religious court (Beth Din) regarding significant real property assets for distribution of an Estate – and obtained confirmation of the award in subsequent Supreme Court Action

Breach of Warranty
Obtained partial refund of purchase price of new home for purchasers, as well as correction of numerous construction defects, from builder of new luxury construction based on breach of contract and fraud

Yellowstone Injunction
Obtained Yellowstone Injunction on behalf of commercial tenant – negotiated settlement with landlord during trial to allow tenant to remain for full term of its lease – and negotiated for landlord to pay for all repairs needed to cure alleged tenant – caused lease defaults

Ownership Dispute
Successfully defended successive claims against real property by co-venturer for partition and return of capital

Brokerage Commission
Successfully defended client against claim for leasing commission

Down Payment
Recovered wrongly retained down payment from seller for purchaser who was rejected by cooperative board

Option agreement
Obtained judgment after trial on behalf of client who sought to exercise lease renewal option objected to by landlord

Damage to Property
Prosecuted a claim for damages and injunctive relief against a developer and a Homeowner’s Association for improper construction causing chronic flooding onto client’s property

Injunctive Relief
Defended restaurant against claim of breach of lease and By-Laws in multi-party litigation allowing client to remain and operate under pre-litigation status quo

Specific Performance
Defended property owner against specific performance action relating to term sheet alleged to be a contract to lease an outdoor signage location

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Commercial Litigation

Expertise in Complex Commercial Litigation >

Axelrod, Fingerhut & Dennis represents corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and individuals in disputes arising from contracts, operating agreements, partnership agreements, employment agreements, license agreements and statutory violations.

Solid Achievements on Behalf of Our Clients >

Sales Commission Dispute
Obtained full sales commission due employee in a dispute with former employee

Non-Compete Dispute
Obtained injunction for corporate client against competing company barring competitor from hiring client’s former employee based upon non-competition agreement

Defective Product Dispute
Negotiated settlement during trial on behalf of client against supplier seeking to recover for goods sold – goods which our client contended were defective

Truck Fleet Lease
Successfully enforced lease provisions on behalf of truck fleet corporate owner, obtained judgment from lessee for cost of repairs and reimbursement for abuse of leased equipment

Competitive Drug Use Dispute
Successfully represented owner of show horse accused by administrative agency of the use of unauthorized drugs

Warranty Dispute
Successfully defended against claim that show horse failed to meet sales warranty

Right of First Refusal
Successfully defended claim for enforcement of right of first refusal permitting client to sell property to third party

Purchase of Medical Practice
Prosecuted an action arising from misrepresentation and tortious interference in the purchase of a medical practice 

Partnership Dispute
Defended partners in a litigation alleging usurpation of corporate opportunity

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Landlord-Tenant Litigation

Expertise in Landlord-Tenant Law >

Axelrod, Fingerhut & Dennis represents both landlords and tenants with regard to all issues arising out of rent regulated and free-market tenancies.

In addition, our commercial landlord-tenant expertise is vast and clients range from one of the nation’s largest shopping center owners to national and local retail chains to tenants in office or retail space.

Assisting Landlords >

Non-Primary Residence Proceedings

Owner Occupancy Proceedings

Non-Payment Proceedings

Holdover Proceedings

Rent Surcharge disputes

Administrative proceedings

Succession claims

Examples of Landlord Representation >

Prosecuted numerous proceedings and actions against tenants and proprietary lessees running B&B’s and engaging in short term Airbnb rentals

Vacated Entire Mixed Use Development Site
Vacated all residential and commercial tenants on site of large scale development through litigation and negotiation, allowing client to redevelop the entire site as planned

Collected Massive Rental Arrears
Succeeded in collecting rental arrears for 1,700 unit apartment complex and in regularizing collections by direction of all landlord-tenant litigation with a proactive, cost-effective strategy

Vacated Townhouse for Owner Occupancy
Successfully vacated townhouse so that purchaser could reside there with his family

Retail Eviction
Successfully evicted retail tenant in major shopping center and defeated tenant’s claim for recovery due to alleged improvement of premises

Diplomatic Immunity Eviction
Successfully prosecuted eviction proceeding against a foreign mission to the United Nations in Federal Court, avoiding a finding of Diplomatic Immunity and recovering possession for a sponsor of a cooperative conversion

Rent Strike
Acted as lead counsel in several rent strikes involving large (250 + units) buildings resulting in prompt and favorable settlements for owners

Examples of Tenant Representation >

Assisting Tenants

Non-Primary Residence Proceedings

Owner Occupancy Proceedings

Non-Payment Proceedings

Illusory tenancy issues

Co-Tenant disputes

Sublet/assignment/occupancy issues

Rent overcharge disputes

Administrative proceedings

Buy-out negotiations

Succession claims

Non-Traditional family disputes

Protecting Tenants' Rights >

Seven-Figure Buy-Out
Negotiated seven figure buy-out for rent regulated tenant

Rent Overcharge
Successfully litigated a DHCR proceeding challenging landlord’s rent increases based upon improvements winning tenant a six figure rent overcharge award and a rent roll-back

Succession Rights
Obtained succession rights to children of a departed rent stabilized tenant after jury verdict

Negotiated six figure settlement of non-primary residence case – even though landlord had videotaped tenant’s entry and exit for over one year

Non-Marital Partner
Successfully defended former partner and child from eviction action by child’s father

Buy-Out Agreement
Represented tenant to enforce a buy-out agreement after a landlord reneged on making required payment

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Domestic Relations Law

A Full Range of Services >

Axelrod, Fingerhut & Dennis provides a full range of services with respect to domestic relations law, from uncontested divorces to mediated separations, litigation of disputed, spousal maintenance, child custody, visitation, support and more.

The firm has a particular specialization in prenuptial, postnuptial and separation agreements. The practice also negotiates and litigates post-divorce disputes involving relocation, modification and enforcement proceedings.

We are sensitive to the emotional and financial complexities of these matters, and we make every effort to ensure an efficient, effective cost-beneficial resolution on behalf of our clients. If we cannot resolve the dispute amicably, we are prepared to vigorously litigate through the court system.

The Practice >

Divorce Litigation

Contested Matrimonials

Enhanced Earning Degrees/Licenses

Separation Agreements

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Modification Applications

Enforcement – Contempt

Pension Distribution

Solid Achievements on Behalf of Our Clients >

Pension Distribution
Obtained for our client her former husband’s entire pension due to his failure to comply with discovery requests

Enforcement of Separation Agreement
Successfully represented a divorced party against Estate of her former husband, obtaining a money judgment and recovery against the Estate due to the former husband’s failure to comply with the parties’ separation agreement.

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