New Condo Offering Plan Service Not So Innovative

condo offering plan An online library containing more than 2,000 condo offering plans and amendments for condos and co-ops in New York City opened for business in fall 2010. Although a New York Times article touted the free service, run by New York-based TitleVest Agency, Inc., as innovative, it turns out the same information can be found with a quick search of online county records.

Attorney Ira Price of Legal Title Services, Inc. in Miami says these can easily be found by searching official county records, searching by declaration of condominium then by the condo's name.

"The plans are already online, however, it appears this service will save time and trouble," says Price. "In order for a condominium to be legal, a complete set of the condo documents has to be recorded in the public records where the condominium is located."

condo offering plan See photos of homes for sale in your area and across the country on AOL Real Estate The search can also be done through a title underwriter where the findings would be the most accurate. It's also key to remember to be careful to find amendements to any of the documents.

Price however has his reservations about the service mentioned in the article because "if the service depends on attorneys and others to provide the documents, I would not rely on the service. I would only rely on the service if the database was the official records," Price said.

However, for basic information during the looking stage, the service might be good. In Florida, every buyer has the right to receive a complete set of condominium documents and review them over a period of time. The right to review and cancel a condo purchase contract is absolute.

As for the subject in the Times article, perhaps he should have asked his advisers how long he had to review the documents and then taken the time to do so. His predicament is a lesson learned to always read the fine print, no matter how tedious or time-consuming.

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Phil Lavender

As a real estate attorney practicing in New York State, I can only make comment on the status of offering plans as they pertain to New York. The comments in this article are only half correct. Offering Plans are disclosures of condominium and cooperative buildings that not only disclose the documents that make up the condo or a coop, they reveal other pertinent information that a prospective purchaser of a unit or apartment may wish to look at. Offering Plans also include floor plans of the original units which might be used to determine if physical changes have been made. If the building is a cooperative building, the Offering Plan will contain the Proprietary Lease and corporate bylaws which are not recorded. In New York State, only certain documents pertaining to buildings in New York City (excluding Staten Island)that are recorded and/or indexed against the property are available on line. Buildings outside of New York City but in New York State are not available on line. Copies of offering plans to the extent still available in NYS government archives can be obtained and copied by filing a FOIL Request. They may take a while to get and it may be cumbersome to get copies of a 400+ page document.

What the article did get correct is that the site referenced in it and in the New York Times is not so innovative. WWW.OFFERINGPLANET.COM located at is a comprehensive on line collection of offering plans for condominium and cooperative buildings. Another site which has been up for a few years is the Offering Plan Repository.

WWW.OFFERINGPLANET.COM was created as an interactive site where visitors and members (membership is free) are encouraged to submit copies of plans and amendments so that the real estate community can have instant access to this information. If anyone has any questions or comments they may reach me at -Philip J. Lavender, Esq.

February 20 2011 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply