Q: I live in an Upper West Side co-op building with about 80 apartments and a 24-hour doorman. During the pandemic, our building restricted takeout food deliveries, holding them at the front desk for residents to fetch themselves, rather than letting the delivery workers bring them to our doors. While other buildings have reversed similar policies, my building’s board has refused to restore door-to-door delivery, only saying some residents do not like the service. Plenty of us want to get takeout food delivered to our doors in our pajamas again. Does the board have the right to permanently revoke this service?
A: Few services are more treasured among New Yorkers than having dinner delivered to your apartment door.
“It’s one of the perks of living in a building with a doorman,” said Debra J. Guzov, a Manhattan lawyer who represents co-ops and condo boards.
Most buildings revoked the service during the pandemic to limit outside visitors. But by now, the majority have restored it, said Dan Wurtzel, the president of FirstService Residential New York, which manages about 600 residential buildings. The ones that haven’t often cite security concerns or staffing issues. Some residents balk at the idea that delivery people could wander the halls unattended.
Delivery culture has changed with the proliferation of online services like DoorDash and Seamless, which replaced in-house delivery workers. “None of these restaurants are using their own employees to deliver” anymore, Mr. Wurtzel said. “There was a rapport, but now it’s a different person” for every delivery.
With that familiarity gone, management might be reluctant to let just anyone into the building. As an alternative, building staff could take the delivery to your apartment, but then another staffer would have to cover the front door.
If you want the service back, ask for it. Check the house rules to see if any exist about deliveries. If you find one, call the managing agent and ask that it be restored. If you don’t, you and your neighbors should write the board asking for one to be enacted, or call the managing agent and ask someone to speak with the board about finding a way to resolve the issue.
“House rules are supposed to support the interests of individual shareholders, but also the community at large in the building,” Ms. Guzov said. “One could argue that it is in the best interest of the building to support this service.”
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