Co-op living entails lease, condo a deed

November 15, 1992|By New York Times News Service

Q. What are the major differences between co-ops and condos?

A. A co-op is a corporation that owns and operates a building. "A person who lives in a co-op apartment owns two things: a stock certificate for an interest in the corporation and a proprietary lease for a particular apartment," said Stuart Saft, a New York real estate lawyer.

"And the board has very broad discretion as to the operation of the property, including renovations and approval of purchasers and subtenants," he said.

With a condominium, you actually own your apartment. "At the closing, you get a deed for your apartment, which is the same as a deed for any other kind of real estate," Mr. Saft said. "You also get an interest in all common elements in the building, such as the lobby, hallways and elevators."

A condo board has less power than a co-op board. It cannot place a mortgage on its building and it has limited rights over the purchase, leasing and financing of the apartments.

When it needs funds for major capital improvements it must assess each unit owner.

Co-op boards can set financial and other standards for shareholders and control terms of occupancy. Both enable owners to take tax deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes.

Q. Can the policy on a home be extended to cover the owner's liability when a housekeeper or maid has an injury while working, or should there be a separate policy?

A. If a household employee suffers an injury because of unsafe conditions on the premises or some activity by the insured, the homeowner is covered under the liability section of the policy, said Barry McCall, an underwriting specialist for the Kemper National Insurance Cos.

Please send questions to Your Money Q&A, The New York Times, 229 West 43rd St., New York, N.Y. 10036, and include your full name, address and telephone number. Questions can be answered only in the column, not by mail or telephone.

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