On June 30, 2022, New York Governor Hochul signed into law S7278/A8185, which amended Section 339-v of the New York State Real Property Law (the Condominium Act) to allow a board of managers to conduct unit owner meetings solely or partially by electronic means. Specifically, the amendment states “… that the board of managers may, in its sole discretion, determine that the meeting be held solely or partially by means of electronic communication, the platform/service of which shall be the place of the meeting for purposes of this article.” While the amendment gives condominiums more options, unit owner meetings may still take place at a physical location in accordance with the terms of the existing by-laws as well.
The sponsor’s memo to the change in law discusses how many condominium boards pivoted to electronic meetings during COVID-19, relying on relief provided by executive orders. The purpose of the bill, according to the sponsor’s memo, is to “… allow a Board of Managers for condominiums to authorize the continuation of electric meetings without needing to change the by-laws.”
Sponsors of new construction condominiums or conversions should make sure that the by-laws include an option for electronic unit owner meetings. Boards of existing condominiums can now rely on the change to the Condominium Act to continue with electronic meetings, although the best practice would be to amend the by-laws to expressly provide for it for the future.