Real Estate: New York/Breach of fiduciary duty


We have a situation of where a past board member (the President of our Coop at that time) potentially breached his fiduciary duty of refraining from self-dealing to his benefit. He requested (and obtained) a work permit for installing a deck in the roof (he has the right of use). He did not even mention this fact to the rest of the Board or shareholders, we found out what he did almost two years later. Also, when filling the forms, he put as "second reporting officer" his partner, who was not a Board member at the time. One last thing: he requested the work permit to install the roof deck six years after the deck was actually installed...
We want to know what is the "legal term" that would define this kind of action/situation and we would like to see what, if any, remedies exist for this potential breach. Thank you so much for your help!

Hi Cristina,

If everything you say is true, then it is certainly a breach of fiduciary duties to the board, plain and simple.  Unfortunately, some of the information like when the deck was built, may still be considered alleged, unless of course you have irrefutable evidence of that as well. You should understand that people will often get on boards to do just this: abuse their power to benefit themselves.  It's not so much self dealing, but it is a violation.  

Usually these things are resolved within the coop and are governed by the laws of the cooperative.  There should be some form of punishment written.  I don't think there would be much of a case to bring to an actual court on this one.  

See what your coop laws say.  Hopefully, you have some kind of recourse here.  

Hope this helps

Real Estate: New York

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Mark Shemel


I believe I can answer questions in the following sub categories with respect to New York City: Residential Brokerage, Landlord Tenant disputes, Any type of lease questions, any definition pertaining to residential real estate, any questions about property management, most questions about development, construction codes, and housing laws, questions about Section 8, HPD and government sponsored housing. Also corporate and short term housing questions.


I am currently the President of Think Properties NYC, a residential brokerage firm in New York City. I am also President of National Property Management Group. We manage over 1000 Residential Units and 50 retail/commercial units, generally as tax payers or part of mixed use buildings. We handle project management, marketing, and rentals/sales of new construction properties as well.

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Boutique Brokerage Firm Alliance (President)

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Undergrad: Union College Degree: Bachelors Degree, Double Major Economics/French Graduate: New York University Degree: Masters of Science, Masters in Real Estate Development Licensed Real Estate Broker in State of New York

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Undergrad: Phi Beta Kappa, National Honor Society, Magna Cum Laude

Past/Present Clients
Oakwood Worldwide, JP Morgan Chase (for Relocation), and several other firms.

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