New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Garthchester Realty: The Transition


Something a new board member should realize is that being on the board is not simply attending eleven monthly meetings (with one month off in the summer) and then going home.

After a meeting, there will be multiple emails regarding the building and the property, as well as a number of complaints and concerns. Also, residents will now knock on your door or stop you in the elevator or hallway and feel free to voice their opinions. The biggest shock to a new board member is how much time and responsibility comes with the role.


A new board member at one of our buildings recently advised me that she was on the elevator coming home from work when a resident entered the elevator and began to yell at her regarding a recent assessment. The board member tried in vain to explain that the assessment was for much needed work to the property and reminded the person that all shareholders pay this, including the board members. The shareholder continued to yell at the new board member – even getting off the elevator on her floor to continue complaining about this while the board member walked to her apartment.

Yes, serving is a big deal, and it includes that idea that everyone on the board must take into consideration what is best for the property. Although a decision can be unpopular, sometimes a board member has to make that decision if it is good for the co-op or condo. The first duty of all members is to the corporation. In the end, board members are like a referee: they are only noticed when they are involved in an action perceived as a bad call.

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Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

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