Real Estate

Window Air-Conditioner Rules and Regulations

Q: My co-op has a brand new air-conditioner rule: Once we set up items in our home windows, we’re not allowed to take away them on the finish of the season. Instead, now we have to maintain them put in year-round. Shareholders who don’t comply will face penalties. When I spoke to the board president, he mentioned, “It’s a New York City law, and if we get a fine from the city, we’re going to fine you.” I seemed for relevant legal guidelines and discovered nothing apart from security guidelines for window air-conditioners. Can our co-op make this a requirement and impose fines?

A: The metropolis doesn’t have guidelines about what number of months of the year your air-conditioner needs to be within the window, or how ceaselessly you possibly can take yours in and out. But it does have guidelines about how they need to be put in, and constructing house owners are required to maintain their buildings, together with the facades, in secure situation. Anything hooked up to the surface, like a window unit, can be topic to that rule.

So your board president may be referring to facade security guidelines. A Buildings Department inspector may concern a violation for an improperly put in air-conditioner. One of the commonest offenses: propping up the unit on wood blocks or bricks, which may come free and fall to the road under.


If you put in your window unit poorly and the co-op will get a nice, it may go that nice onto you, mentioned Ingrid C. Manevitz, an actual property lawyer and companion within the New York City office of the regulation agency Seyfarth Shaw. The constructing could also be involved that if window items are available and out each year, there’s a higher probability of defective set up. A board is entitled to make guidelines supposed to guard the security of individuals on the road.

However, it’s uncommon that the board would require you to maintain items within the home windows year-round. Winters are chilly, and a drafty window isn’t good for power effectivity. Many buildings provide you with extra versatile options, like requiring residents to professionally set up them, or hire constructing employees to do it.

Talk to the board and the managing agent, and ask your neighbors to do the identical. Ask the board to contemplate various options to the one they’ve instated. Try to succeed in a compromise, because it’s not unreasonable to need your home windows again for the winter.

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