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Major Renovations and cooperators with Disabilties - Gouverneur Gardens Sep 23, 2022

Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law 466.15 Provision of Notice By Housing Providers of Tenants Rights To Reasonable Modifications and Accommodations For Persons With Disabilities . There are major renovations happening at Gouverneur Gardens Housing Development at the Lower East Side all while many have disabilities.

Who are the cooperators to turn to when Management is doing nothing about it? Your thoughts.

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At the very end of 466.15 there is a section which states,

"How to File a Complaint
A complaint must be filed with the Division within one year of the alleged discriminatory act or in court within three years of the alleged discriminatory act. You can find more information on your rights, and on the procedures for filing a complaint, by going to www.dhr.ny.gov, or by calling 1-888-392-3644. You can obtain a complaint form on the website, or one can be e-mailed or mailed to you. You can also call or e-mail a Division regional office. The regional offices are listed on the website. "

It sounds like a good place to start.

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THE BOARD! - Sandra Maxwell Sep 14, 2022

My board has not had a shareholders meeting since Nov 2019. They have made a lot of decisions without the shareholders input. Assessments imposed, and taken, increases in maintenance, 5% 2020, 8% 2021, and now a capital improvement extra charge for 3 years They said our new annual meeting was to be in April 2022. We did have one and the board was totally caught off guard, and totally unprepared! . The meeting blew up and nothing was accomplished that night. We STILL HAVE NOT HAD A MEETING, Because there are no financials yet for 2021! We have asked the board and mgmt. but we have not gotten an answer. We did change mgmt. company in 2021. Our biggest problem with the current board is communication! there is none. Where do we go from here. NO ONE IS SAYING ANYTHING TO SHARHOLDERS!

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Under most coop by-laws, the shareholders themselves can force a special meeting to be called. This is how it reads in our own by-laws: "It shall also be the duty of the secretary to call such meetings whenever requested in writing so to do by shareholders owning at least twenty-five percent of the outstanding shares of the Corporation." Start a petition, get signatures totaling at least the required percentage of shares, and engage a lawyer if you need one. You generally need to state a purpose for the special meeting - e.g., "Election of the board of directors." People can be apathetic, but if you have enough shareholders on your side, you can force the issue.

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COOP BOARD CHANGING RULES - JENNIFER WEST VILLAGE Sep 12, 2022

My coop board decided, on their own, to change both the pet rules and the sublet rules. The owners were never given the chance to vote. When I approached the building management company about this, she stated that 'if everyone voted on everything we wouldn't get anywhere'. Now, this is not a matter of whether to put a plant in the common areas. Both changes affect owners financially. Meanwhile, my building only has 30 units. It's not that difficult to vote.
I closed on this apartment 6 months before the changes, and I bought this unit in this building, because of the pet/sublet rules. Now, they are changed.
Do I have anything to stand on? Where can I find NYC law to research on this?

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You'll need to check your coop's By-Laws and Proprietary Lease. Many coops - perhaps most, including ours - allow the board to modify the House Rules directly, without a shareholder vote. Similarly, deciding which contractor to hire for a major renovation is entirely within the board's authority. The board is empowered to make many types of significant decisions without the need for a shareholder vote.

Here is the text of Article XII from our own By-Laws:

"These By-Laws may be amended, enlarged or diminished either (a) at a shareholders’ meeting by vote of shareholders owning two-thirds of the amount of the outstanding shares, represented in person or by proxy, or (b) at any meeting of the Board of Directors by a majority vote, provided that the proposed amendment or the substance thereof shall have been inserted in the notice of meeting or that all of the Directors are present in person, except that the Directors may not repeal a By-Law amendment adopted by the shareholders as provided above."

Modifying the lease itself is a different matter. A material change to the lease pretty much always requires a shareholder vote. Many coops require a super-majority vote for such modifications.

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Arrgh, I also meant to quote our relevant House Rule:

"(33) These house rules may be added to, amended or repealed at any time by resolution of the Board of Directors of the Lessor."

Both our By-Laws *and* our House Rules may be modified by a simple majority vote of the board. Your coop may differ.

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I have printed them out and plan on going over them in great detail. I'm also contacting the office of the NYS Attorney General to find out what rights owners have.

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I understand and thank you for responding- as the board made this decision 6 months after closing, and as both decisions directly affect the shareholders financially (a lot plan or planned to rent and/or get pets) we are all infuriated -and are hoping there are some sort of laws in place to protect the shareholders from the board making financial decisions without a vote. This is incredibly frustrating- as I put an excessive amount of time into researching buildings that would suit both these purposes.

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I totally understand your frustration. We have 187 units in my bldg., and the rule was if no one said anything for the first 90 days of the dog owner move in, THE DOG STAYS! I've been here 21 years and every year there are more and more dogs in the bldg. It's a loosing battle. Good luck.! All those dogs are not grandfathered in! The board can change, update, modify anything the by Laws say. If I could afford to move, and if I had some place to move I would. Owning a coop is like many other things, NOT THE WAY THEY USED TO BE!

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In addition to what Sandra recommended, case law is on your side. If you have a pet and the rules change, courts have said that you can AT LEAST keep your current pet for its lifetime. It's hard when you're new, but see if you can find out who else has pets and may be effected. If 5, 10, 20 shareholders demand their pets be grandfathered in, it's harder for the Board to ignore.

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New Skylights - Datrik Wass Sep 09, 2022

Hello, a shareholder is wanting to put skylights in their top floor unit where one does not exist. They have it in their architecture plans that were submitted to the board. I'm worried about not having anything in writing that states the expectations for who maintains these skylights or how to deal with the skylights in the event the coop wants to utilize the roof for another purpose, such as a roof deck or solar. Does anyone here have experience with a situation such as this? Many thanks in advance.

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I feel your best course of action is to contact your board's attorney because there are multiple issues in play with this. Besides the list you provided, your proprietary lease needs to be reviewed to see if it has any provisions for a shareholder making any sort of modification to what is common property (the roof and the support structure above the ceiling of the apartment. You need to check if the transfer of common property is even permitted under the PL. If so how is the transfer accomplished? Do new shares have to be issued to the shareholder? If they can, how are they to be valued... I think you can see where this is leading.

For something like this you want to get it done right the first time to save yourself a lot of heartburn later on. You can properly bill the shareholder who wants to install the skylights for the legal work.

Remember, any legal advice you receive here is worth exactly what you pay for it. Good luck!

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When do Super's retire? - DM Aug 24, 2022

Hi - At what age do Union 32BJ - NYC co-op Superintendents usually retire?

Is there a regular age for this?

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Air conditioning and heating - Robert Aug 23, 2022

Thoughts on the pros and cons of a chiller vs heat pump system.

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Water Shutdowns. How many is to many ? - Gouverneur Gardens Aug 19, 2022

How many water shutdowns to a fully occupied building or development with primarily seniors is to many before reaching out to the DOB , DOH, or HPD , ?
The cooperators at Gouverneur Gardens , lower Eastside gone with no water to 782 apartments from 8am to after 11pm yesterday ,Thursday , 8/18/22.

The Property Manager was off site using " Building Link " to communicate to shareholders that many don't even use. . The Board was unavailable to anyone too.

The development is going through a capital project that's grossly mismanaged at every level.
Buildings , cleaned once a week, pest control inadequate , duct tapes , flyers , all over the walls, and contractors using both of our elevators . Your thoughts>>>


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E- Bikes stored in Coops and Condos - Gouverneur Gardens Aug 07, 2022

https://www.thecity.nyc/2022/8/3/23291085/two-dead-nycha-housing-exploding-ebike-battery?utm_campaign=mailchimp&utm_source=daily&utm_medium=newsletter

More needs to happen to regulate the storage of e- bikes and scooters . The Board at Gouverneur Gardens at the Lower East Side is a sleep on this issue . Your Thoughts

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co-op bullying - rivka Aug 03, 2022

I live in a nyc co-op over 30 years. my parents are the owners. the management, and sometimes the super, and the co-op board bully me. refuse to answers questions, scream at me, contradict themselves and just plain old lie.

what rights do I have????

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Sounds like my coop!

Call 311 / HPD for any neglected repairs. That helps.
Keep everything in writing.

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This is a similar story in too many coops, but calling 311/HPD is bad for the coop owners/shareholders/you. It can bring increased violations which are then on your dime. I know this is easier said than done, but work to replace the board. Start talking to other shareholders, see if they are equally dissatisfied, and then run for the board. But you need to be organized and get your ducks in a row before you do that. Good luck.

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Bring it all up at the next Annual meeting.

Also the Super is in a Union (I’m assuming) and if he’s screaming at an owner write him up/document it and maybe ask to have a meeting with Super/Board/and his Union/Management company.

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Heat or no Heat - Queens Jul 16, 2022

My co-op has radiators that do not have heat controls.
The heat can only be turned on or off by the maintenance staff. We were told we can either have it on or off. There is no middle.

The heat is unbearable in the winter so many shareholders have the heat turned off and have opted to use electric heaters, which I think presents a dangerous situation.

we have been told to leave the windows opened or the air conditioning on rather then have them shut the heat because they will not come back and forth to turn everyone's heat on and off, which I understand but their solution to the heat situation is unhealthy. Any suggestions on how we, the shareholders, can remedy the situation will be greatly appreciated.


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Doesn’t keeping the windows open waste heat and it’s cost effective?

What about installing a thermostatic radiator valve. This adjusts room temperature by using air to reduce or increase the amount of steam that warms your radiator.

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Opening of and closing of heating valves , and opening windows to cool off due to excessive heat is nonsense , and who's telling you this is ignorant .

A thermostatic valve , with a sensor ,and a proper steam trap will do the job
Your Management must be paying big bucks for heating ....
10 to 20% of outside air is recommended too.

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Thanks for the input..

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