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Building Managers/Owners: Thoughts on canners? - Amanda Kari McHugh May 14, 2024

Hey everyone! I'm a reporter for the Mott Haven Herald and Hunts Point Express. We're working on a project about canners in the South Bronx. We'd love to talk to some building managers and/or landlords about their thoughts on canners to understand your thoughts on canners and any impact they might have on your building - if any - if they're talking cans from in front of your building. We've talked to a bunch of canners and recycling centers but haven't heard this perspective yet. Please comment here, DM me or email me at amanda.mchugh38@journalism.cuny.edu - being an anonymous source is an option if necessary, though not ideal.

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Before speaking to you, would it be possible for you to provide some identification like your name, email address, and links to current articles with your by-line? I try to not be paranoid, but in today's environment of fakes, deep fakes, deeper deep fakes, etc, one can never be too careful. A reply to this response should work, and would make your credentials available to all my fellow Habitants as well. Thanks!

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A 30-second search brought this information:
https://www.amandakmchugh.com
It lists the same email she provided in her post. Looks legit.

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Financial report - Pooh May 12, 2024

Hello
I asked our board for our financial report a day before the annual meeting to review so if I have any questions or concerns I can just ask at the meeting and was told that our accountant is contracted to give them out the day of the meeting.

To me they don’t want us to see so we can’t ask questions in front of everyone.

I’ve never heard of that.

Your thoughts.


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It sounds rather draconian to me as well. Read your bylaws to see if they have any requirements for when the annual meeting should be held and when any required documents should be delivered. The annual audited financial report is required and I'm not sure about the budget report.

Try asking your managing agent for the report before asking the board. You might get better results. I can tell you that a lot of MA companies are still backed up due to COVID-19 and CPA attrition. The board may be using the excuse of "contractual obligation" to cover themselves.

Hopefully, you'll find something in the Bylaws you can use as a lever. If nothing works send a polite request to the board asking for a copy of the audit report. Send it by USPS certified/RRR. Start a paper trail in case this escalates. When you finally receive the report, send a list of your questions to the board, again by USPS certified/RRR. What happens next will guide what you do next.

Good luck!

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I asked a board member and the management agent in the same email and the board member responded only on Sunday and I emailed on Friday.

My understanding was that the financial report is actually supposed to be mailed out to shareholders so obviously you get it before the meeting. Have you heard of that being mandatory? I will ask our attorney at the meeting.

They also emailed it to us last year the day before.

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Isn’t it mandatory to send the financial report at least after the meeting even for those that didn’t attend the meeting?

I was told that it’s not mandatory and only if they ask.

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Tree Guards - Elisa May 08, 2024

We paid for the installation of a tree guard in front of our Condo. Now, two people in the neighborhood have gotten into the habit of chaining their bikes to it, on either side; it creates an unattractive appearance. Is there anything we can do about it? thx

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NYC Department of Buildings Electrical Inspections - Gouverneur Gardens May 03, 2024

Is it Legal to conduct a random non-emergency Department of Buildings Electrical Inspection on a Sunday at 7 am?
This is a Mitchell Lama Cooperative of 782 apartments.

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slander - DP May 01, 2024

A neighbor of mine has been wrongly accused, via email, by the building’s management—who provided zero proof or evidence—of subletting their coop unit. The only thing management said was very vague and heresay, along the lines of “someone saw…”. This shareholder has also been threatened with additional monthly fees (as stipulated in the House Rules). They responded immediately, saying the assumption is incorrect, and is still waiting for a reply. That was two weeks ago.

Any thoughts on how to proceed, where to start? Honestly… how do you prove a lack of evidence (no they didn’t have a Ring camera until now, after this started)?

Respectfully, please reply only if you have some experience or knowledge in this area.

Thank you so much!

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

I don't have experience in this specific area, but I was board treasurer for 15 years and these are the steps I took under similar circumstances:

1) Have your neighbor make printouts of every email and other electronic textual communications they receive or received in the past.

2) Make copies of every bit of correspondence they receive regardless of how it was delivered (USPS, slipped under the door, etc)

3) Speak to other neighbors they are close to, to see if anyone else has experienced similar treatment.

4) As soon as possible, consult with an attorney who specializes in co-op law. I know it will cost money you were not expecting, but poop is a fact of life.

What I would *not* do is take any action whatsoever before your neighbor speaks to an attorney. Don't respond to any emails or other communications, immediately shut down any verbal conversations, do not initiate any actions, even responding to the email you said in your original message your friend sent two weeks ago.

The more your friend refuses to engage, the more agitated the board will become and the more prone they become to making mis-steps. I know this is hard, but even if a board member gets up into your friend's face, advise them to simply stand there, smile, and politely say when the confrontation is over, "thank you for sharing that with me." Full Stop.

I wish you and your friend all the best.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you, Steven424. Much appreciated.

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Why is not the Board giving access to Financial Records? What to do? - Gina Apr 02, 2024

We recently had an assessment imposed in out Coop of about 380 shareholders. While it is apparent work needs to get done, a few shareholders requested in writing access to financial records. There was a letter sent to the Property manager by am attorney, and he seems to have gone crazy. It is important to mention that the Property manager is kind of the gate keeper. There is no way we can speak with the Board and when we asked for the records in a meeting, the president said "No". In the last 14 years has been no quorum, therefore, the Board Members have remained by default in their position. Please share best practices on how to get shareholders to participate so when November comes we are prepared for a new board. None wants the actual Board, but the property manager seems to intimidate people and they are scared to act.
Can we create a Facebook group? or any other platforms we can utilize?

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Facebook group is a good way to involve shareholders in the coop but if you have had 14 years without getting enough votes for quorum you have an issue with shareholder apathy.

Do you have mostly residents who are shareholders or are many apartments being sublet.?

Does the coop still have unsold shares?

I am a shareholder in coop that 2 years ago started a Facebook group that was able to influence shareholders to get more involved and was able to make changes in the board in the 2022 coop election.

In the 2023 election it was harder to reach quorum.

Both elections used online voting plus the standard paper voting proxies.

Roy

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coop insurance - DP Mar 28, 2024

Hello,

Looking for references.
My coop insurance (Allstate) has gone up more than 25% this year over last year. Is anyone else experiencing this kind of rate raise? And if not, does anyone have an insurance company or broker they would recommend?
Thank you!

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I have Travelers / Geico. It went up a bit but not that much.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

I have State Farm. I've been with them since 1996 and I believe longevity has an effect on premiums. My rate did not go up anywhere near 25%.

Some factors to consider.
* The size of your deductible. It usually ranges from $500 to $2000 per claim. If you're not at $2000 and you feel you can afford the hit if you have a claim, I would change it to that limit. It will reduce your premium.
* How long have you been with Allstate? Longevity and claim history has an effect
* How many claims have you filed that Allstate had to pay out on?
* What are your various coverage limits?
* Do you have any riders for non-standard insurance, like for jewelry, artwork, collections, things like that? The value of these easily liquidated items has gone up significantly

Bottom line, the cost of insurance had gone up out of proportion to the actual cost of repair/replace. Increased litigation and large damage awards are a factor. Cost of replacement materials and labor has gone up. Increased crime, vandalism, theft, fire all have an effect on premiums.

If you think co-op owner's insurance is ridiculous, you should see your co-op corporation's premium. I was treasurer and I *know*.

Shop around, but make sure you go with a company that is rated A.M. Best "A" or "A+". You don't want insurance that is going to struggle or not be able to pay at all when you need insurance the most.

Good luck.

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Thank you for your input, especially you Steve; as usual your feedback is very complete. The rate went up because (a) rates went up, and also (b) Allstate automatically raised something within it. I can't go into it all, but, bottom line is that I spoke to my agent, reduced some coverage, and will take the hit for now. Best regards...

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Best of luck to you too, DP.

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Board Elections - problem with Inspector - Disenfranchised Mar 25, 2024

A new Managing Agent was recently hired by the board of a large NYC coop. Some shareholders are unhappy with the performance of the board and the new Managing Agent.

At the annual meeting the board members who hired the new Managing Agent also appointed them to act as the exclusive Inspector of Election. In this capacity the new Managing Agent / Inspector refused to make the results of the election available for review and would only announce the "winners" of the election (which happened to be the same board members who hired the new Managing Agent).

This behavior appears to violate the coop’s by-laws and Section 610 of the Business Corporation Law, but the controlling board members and Managing Agent insist they have the right to act in this manner. Shareholders who ran in the election but were told they “lost” have no way to examine the results and feel disenfranchised. Any thoughts on how to address this matter would be appreciated.

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Zoom Meetings and the BY-LAWS- Board Meetings - Gouverneur Gardens Mar 13, 2024

If the BY-LAWS are silent—no mention—regarding Zoom or online meetings, Can the Board only implement Zoom-online meetings with Shareholders until they decide to change them?

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IIRC the NYC Counsel or the NYC legislature enacted a special exemption permitting board meetings to be held via Zoom or any other video conferencing service. This was done during the height of Covid and was intended to facilitate the board being able to conduct business every month despite any provisions in the By-laws. Check with your co-op's attorney for a definitive answer.

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Per a follow-up email from HPD today, in-person meetings are not required. Conversely, online platforms such as Zoom will suffice in agency requirements.

Your Thoughts Please .....

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Not sure what else can be added to this conversation. If the HPD said in-person meetings are not required, the board has carte blanche to conduct meetings in a venue of their choosing, be it in person or virtual online.

Am I missing something in your question?

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Perhaps BCL "Business Corporation Law " has something? The majority of shareholders are not board with online only, and many are not tech-savvy. Thank you.

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I think it’s good to ask shareholders from time to time what they’d like. In 2024 boards need to be more open minded and not everything is about looking at old documents from 30-40 years ago. How about a compromise and one year virtual and the next year in person so both sides are happy?

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Community Room Access to Shareholders - Gouverneur Gardens Mar 07, 2024

Can Shareholders in a Mitchell Lama Cooperative requesting access to the community room to discuss the Election be denied by the Board and Management?

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This is an interesting question. I would believe if a shareholder is requesting the community room to have a shareholders meeting the board should not have the power to denied the shareholder in question the community room.

It’s not like they’re having a party or fundraising event where the board would have the right to express concerns of allowing the shareholders in the community room.

So with that being said I hope there’s an attorney out there that could answer the question in a legal manner if the shareholder in question has had his or hers request to the community room rights violated.

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There are rulings in the Mitchell Lama Guidelines underscoring accessibility rights to shareholders. . Worth stating after much push back Gouverneur Shareholders were granted access to use the space to discuss Board Elections. Its was censored by the Board nonetheless. . If anyone out there with legal experience please help with suggestions it will be greatly appreciated.

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If the co-op is a mitchell lama co-op the mitchell lama rules states the shareholders rights. also
Hud rights and responsibilities

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The Mitchell Lama Guidelines contain rulings underscoring shareholders' accessibility rights. It is worth stating here that we received a lot of pushback from the board.
Shareholders were eventually granted access to our community room to discuss Board Elections, but not without censorship from board members.

Anyone with Legal experience, please advise. It will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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