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Condominium Could Not Avoid Complying With Court-Ordered Stipulation By Amending By-Laws A Ganfer & Shore Client Advisory for July 2008

The owner of a condominium unit sued the Condominium for an injunction against the Condominiums accessing his unit and hanging scaffolding from his wraparound terrace to facilitate washing the buildings exterior windows, on the ground that such action was not authorized by [the Condominiums] declaration and bylaws.The litigation was resolved by a so ordered stipulation in which the Condominium agreed not to take these actions.Thereafter, the Condominium amended its By-Laws to require all unit owners to provide access to their units, including the terraces, for purposes of window washing.

The owner went back to court and obtained an injunction, barring the Condominium from enforcing the amended By-Law against him.The appellate court held that the unambiguous stipulation is valid and enforceable according to its plain meaning, and consequently surviv[es] the subsequent By-Law amendment.Luzzi v. Bridge Tower Place Condominium, 2008 WL 2344718, 2008 N.Y. Slip Op. 5330 (1st Dept June 10, 2008).The case is a reminder that in deciding whether and on what terms to settle litigation, boards must bear in mind not only the desirability of resolving the current dispute, but also how the proposed settlement terms could impact their freedom of action in the future.

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