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No Star Revisions - NYC Jul 09, 2018



What are the consequences to the property manager if the revisions to the star exemption were received but not distributed to the shareholders by June 30th?

Does the DOF give extensions to P.M.'s?

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Were the STAR revisions/updates not received in time by the DOF to qualify for this year, or were they properly processed, the MA has the list of rebate amounts, and the treasurer has simply not credited the abatement against the monthly maintenance?

Remember that there is no actual transfer of funds from the DOF to the co-op for the abatement. Instead, the co-op receives a list from the DOF showing the amount of the abatement for each apartment. It is then an obligation of the co-op to pass the abatement on to each shareholder. This is usually done by issuing a one-time credit against the monthly maintenance for the amount of the abatement.

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On site property manager retired - Unosay Jul 06, 2018

Our own site property manager retired without property management company posting a official notice. A shareholder posted a farewell notice alerting us about a party. Should the board and management been the ones to give official notice? Why did they wait until the last minute to make a decision about a replacement? Can a 490 unit cooperative operate with a off site property manager so we can sell the office or rent it out for revenue?

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Maybe those questions you should answer or address to the board & management. Sounds like the property manager had enough dealings with the board and managing agent. The shareholder that posted about a farewell party didn't want the board or managing agent involved or meddling in the festivities. Why? You need to address the way the board and management is run, because the shareholders didn't want you guys to be making this decision.
It's up to the board to address replacing the property manager, 490 units sounds like you need an on site managing agent. Good luck in finding the right property manager.

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As a board member what information are members entitled to such as master shareholders list, parking list, contracts, hiring of new employees, and communication to our membership? For years our cooperative has been ran like a secret society without transparency. We want to change this image to include all board members in decisions being made for the best interest of the corporation. Loyalty was to former employees who joined the board with their own interests at heart who have resigned without explanation after many years of service. We want to restructure as a well oiled machine with transparency and accountability to our shareholders. Who can we turn to with guidance to make this happen as too much is unknown? Our lawyer doesn't offer advice until there is a need.

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Who is Responsible for Interior Apartment Doors? - H. Jul 01, 2018

In a coop, who is responsible for repairing aging room doors that warp with age and can’t close properly? Or closet doors?

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You should be able to find the definitive answer in your Proprietary Lease. There are sections in the PL that define who (shareholder or co-op corp) is responsible for what.

If your's is a standard PL, then you are most likely responsible. Most PL's state that the shareholder is responsible for everything (doors included) that are contained within the envelope of the unit; the four walls that frame the unit, the base floor, and the ceiling. The shareholder is usually responsible for any special wall treatments (wallpaper, wainscotting, etc) and floor treatments (parqueting, carpeting, etc), because the co-op corporation cannot be held responsible for anything that was not part of the original unit.

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No Date for Board interview - VJ_A Jun 29, 2018

I'm the buyer for a COOP in Upper East Side Lenox Hill area. The Board package was delivered by my agent to the management company of the COOP, 5 weeks ago.

The agent forwarded me an email update 2 weeks ago from the management company that the package has been received and reviewed by the board but I still don't have a date for the interview.

Does anyone have opinion on the timelines of how long after the package has been received by the board does the buyer typically get an board interview?

thanks,

> Join the conversation Comments (2)

There are many variables that can affect how long it takes for a board to complete it's review and schedule an interview. Most boards won't schedule the interview until the finances have been fully reviewed and approved. Some of the factors that can delay the review are:
* Complexity of the financials. Anything more complicated than straight salaries (W-2's) and standard bank and investment statements can require additional analysis. Not every board has a CPA on it.
* Completeness of the package. Did it include everything requested? Has the board or MA asked for additional documentation or explanations?
* Number of other purchases being evaluated by the board at the same time.
* Other major issues the board has prioritized over your purchase.
* Availability of board members and MA. It's summer, and people go on vacation.
* Concerns about your credit and background checks.

There are probably many other very legit factors affecting when the board is ready to interview. You might have your R/E agent or attorney contact the MA or whoever handles sales for the building and ask when they think they'll be ready to have the interview.

If there is a lot currently going on in the co-op or with board members, it could be delaying the financial analysis. Remember that board members are all volunteers who have day jobs, families, obligations, and other personal reasons for not being able to devote their full energy to a new purchase.

Hang in there. If time does become of the essence, have your agent or attorney communicate that to the board. Good boards will try to accommodate legitimate requests (like a rate lock expiration) because at the end of the day, you will probably end up being neighbors.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thanks a bunch for your time on a detailed response. I would like to mention add some additional details on the topic, if that help in the context:

Positives:
1) Loan Commitment letter: We took an additional 2 weeks after going "In-Contract" to get a loan commitment letter issued. So the board package did include a firm loan commitment letter from the bank.

2) The additional detail that the board has asked since the package was sent to them is the monthly statement from June (original package was sent in May).

3) All the other basics looks solid: FICO Scores (810+ for all 3), job history, relatively small COOP with no other COOP purchases currently in progress in the building.

Negatives:
1) I moved to NYC from San Francisco, and my house in that city (SF) is now a full time investment property and even though rental income ($11K/month) is way more than the mortgage ($6.5K/month ) of the property. There is a valid monthly money commitment involved from me on that.

2) The board did ask about my plans to "continue" the rent the place, although I'm sure they know that San Francisco, is one of the most intense rental markets in the country.

So in summary, I wonder how much of the delay is due to the above (investment property) scenario.

Thanks again for your response. I'm hoping for the best and keeping your suggestion in mind, I have asked my RE agent to contact the Board on when the interview date be available?

thanks,

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Thanks a bunch for your time on a detailed response. I would like to mention add some additional details on the topic, if that help in the context:

Positives:
1) Loan Commitment letter: We took an additional 2 weeks after going "In-Contract" to get a loan commitment letter issued. So the board package did include a firm loan commitment letter from the bank.

2) The additional detail that the board has asked since the package was sent to them is the monthly statement from June (original package was sent in May).

3) All the other basics looks solid: FICO Scores (810+ for all 3), job history, relatively small COOP with no other COOP purchases currently in progress in the building.

Negatives:
1) I moved to NYC from San Francisco, and my house in that city (SF) is now a full time investment property and even though rental income ($11K/month) is way more than the mortgage ($6.5K/month ) of the property. There is a valid monthly money commitment involved from me on that.

2) The board did ask about my plans to "continue" the rent the place, although I'm sure they know that San Francisco, is one of the most intense rental markets in the country.

So in summary, I wonder how much of the delay is due to the above (investment property) scenario.

Thanks again for your response. I'm hoping for the best and keeping your suggestion in mind, I have asked my RE agent to contact the Board on when the interview date be available?

thanks,

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> Join the conversation Comments (2)

No way to know for sure why there is a delay, but my co-op would certainly want to get more details about your SF rental property situation.

The co-op may be concerned about your ability to pay your $6.5K monthly mortgage commitment, even if there is a "valid monthly commitment" from you. Not sure what your "valid monthly commitment" entails. Maybe the Board is still checking that out.

Your Board may feel nervous about this large financial obligation. Even though it's SF and the rental market is strong, any Board would have valid reservations about this situation.

Since you say this is a relatively small co-op, each shareholder has a larger impact on the bottom line when compared to a larger co-op. This may be weighing on the Board's mind.

Just guessing at the possible reasons, besides all of the excellent information that Steven provided to you.

Good luck

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I agree completely with Marty's thoughts about the property in San Francisco. As the one who does the detailed financial analysis for my building, the most important assets are those that can be easily and quickly liquidated to help meet maintenance obligations. If you lose your tenant, you not only lose the income, but you effectively "acquire" an additional $6.5k monthly debt.

If you find the board is concerned about your ability to meet your maintenance obligations, a suggestion I would make is to offer to put a minimum of a year's worth of maintenance into escrow. That guarantees the board will receive their monthly income from you, and eases the concerns of your being a burden on the rest of the shareholders.

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Lawyer - Cecile Jun 22, 2018

Do you know of any lawyer who works extensively with small (5-20 units) self-managed coops. Also, someone who works in the downtown environment who will have connections that could be helpful, but most important is someone who deals with small coops that are self-managed. Thank you.

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I have someone. Let me know how to get in touch with you

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No gas for an entire year! - EL Jun 20, 2018

I live in a coop in Brooklyn, NY. We've had no gas for an entire year. The Board claims National Grid shut our gas down due a reported gas leak by a resident. I can understand this taking a couple of months to repair due to the size of the building but an entire year? This is outrageous!! A litany of calls to 311 and similar NYC agencies has yielded no results. Anyone have any suggestions on how to force management to speed the repair process? And by the way, they've increased our maintenance fees twice since this saga began. Many shareholders believe its part of an intricate scam designed to build cash reserves and legitimize - on paper anyway - the property as a profitable acquisition for real estate investors. Appreciate any feedback and sorry for lengthy post.

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Sorry to hear about your situation. I know gas leaks can take a very long time to locate and repair to the satisfaction of the Dept of Buildings, but a full year sounds very excessive.

There are a few solutions I can think of.

The first and most expedient but most expensive would be for all aggrieved shareholders to join together and consult with an attorney. Simply being contacted by an attorney representing shareholders might be enough to jolt the board into action. A "lawyer letter" might be all that's needed.

After that, consider putting up a slate of shareholders to replace the board at the next annual meeting. If that is too far in the future, consult your co-op's bylaws to see how to remove board members. Again, just the potential for such an action might shock them into action.

If the board's actions are for the reasons you believe, you will be faced with increased board hostility and probably retaliation. In my opinion, working with a lawyer is your safest option, because your attorney will protect all your interests.

Remember also that the board cannot unilaterally dissolve the co-op corporation by selling to a real estate speculator. Doing something like that would require a supermajority of shareholders voting in favor. The exact requirements should be in your proprietary lease. Even if they could sell the building to an investor, all proceeds from the sale would have to be distributed to all shareholders based on the number of shares each owns.

Boards have been known to attempt very underhanded tactics. You know best what vibes are being given off by the board when it comes to fixing the gas leak and increasing maintenance. Even if you're only able to get 10-15 shareholders together, the cost per shareholder for consulting an attorney would be minimal, and the value of the consultation, priceless. :-)

Best of luck to you.

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I can't understand why your board would subject themselves to no gas for a year, unless they all have electric stoves. Your board is also included in increased maintenance. Why are you the only concerned share holder?
Please contact: James Ratliff 438 4th St. Park Slope 718-768-0025 you can consult him for free. He is the best.
I would call National Grid and find out the truth about the shut down. Also rally your fellow share holders, you can have your co op remove your board. Sounds like somethings going on with your finances. Let us know what James has to say. Best of Luck

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Supers Who Perfowm Free Lance Work - H. Jun 15, 2018

Sometimes Supers work independently to perform paid work that normally require a license,
e.g., plumbing or electrical. If there is a problem with the work, and the Super is unlicensed, are there liability issues?

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Assuming you live in a co-op or condo and not in a rental, in my opinion, there is definitely a problem if the work is performed within whats called the "envelope" of your apartment - the four boundary walls, floor, and ceiling, and any plumbing or wiring done for your unit's benefit directly outside of the envelope. If you own the unit, the work by the unlicensed super is being done at your discretion, and that could cause problems for you with the Dept of Buildings.

If the work is done to a system owned by the co-op corporation or condominium association, like common electrical feeder lines and/or plumbing, I would think there is a problem if the person doing the work is not licensed, but I'm not 100% sure.

If you live in a rental or want more information, try starting at the Dept of Buildings website. Other contributors on here may also have more definitive information.

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Liability issues. Favoritism issues. Distractions from the actual job and daily maintenance issues. Don't allow it. Period.

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Petition for Special Meeting - Board Prez Jun 15, 2018

When shareholder submit a petition for a special meeting, are there any rules about when the Board and Management need to schedule the special meeting? (Aside from the 10 - 40 days pre-notification to shareholders required for any meeting). Can the board schedule the meeting for more than a month after receiving the petition?

Thank you

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You have to refer to your bylaws for specific procedures. My bylaws require 20 percent of shareholders for petition, a date time and place and purpose of the meeting set by the shareholders not the board or management company. No other business shall be discussed except as stated in the notice that accompanies the petition.

Check out this podcast

https://www.habitatmag.com/Podcasts/When-People-Use-Their-Power

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Monthly Maintenance Statement breakdown - NYC Jun 13, 2018

Is it required by the D.O.F. that monthly maintenance statements outline each unit’s tax savings for personal exemptions and the co-op property tax abatement.

Our co-op lumps them together and refuses to list them separately.

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I don't know if it's required by the DOF, but my co-op breaks it down on the maintenance statement.

I've never heard of it NOT being broken down individually.

The DOF does break it down separately when they send the list to your management group. There's no reason why it shouldn't be broken down on your maintenance statement.

I'd recommend trying to get as many shareholders to sign one letter that insists on a maintenance statement breakdown, and then send a copy to your Board and your management company.

Good luck.

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Thanks, sounds like a plan!

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I agree with Marty's response. You might be able to go on the Dept of Finance's website for more information, or to find out who to contact for more information.

In my building, we issue the abatements during a single month along with a corresponding assessment to recover the funds we won't receive due to the abatements. Each abatement (Real Estate, STAR, Veteran, etc) is individually noted on the invoice as a credit against that month's maintenance, and the amount of the assessment is noted as a debit against the maintenance.

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Co-op Star Revisions - Queens Jun 08, 2018

Has anyone received the June revised breakdown letter from the D.O.F. They keep saying they sent it but our co-op has not received the revised copy yet. Can't seem to get a straight answer.

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Although we received confirmation via email of a correction to our statement, we don't want to issue checks to shareholders until we have the actual revised statement and those checks must be issued by June 30th. I wrote to the DOF yesterday and here is its response: "We expect to mail revised 17/18 coop tax benefit letters in late June."

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Thanks, the response I received was "They are mailing one more revised breakdown in JUNE and if the corrections are not on that letter to contact them again".

Has the co-op received the credits from the D.O.F. but without the breakdown letter the P.M, doesn't know how to distribute them?

Our P.M. is playing possum and telling the shareholders they have to contact the D.O.F.

Just thinking, if they have the credits, they should know something is wrong and take action.

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Did you receive the final revisions? Our co-op has not..

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