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Using information gained by debt collector - Elisa Feb 19, 2024

We have an owner who owes quite a bit of money to our building. They use an old email address that often does not work well, e.g., our emails to them often bounce back. If we hire a debt collector, and the debt collector identifies the person's current, working email, does the board then have the right to use it? (This might be a work email.) Thanks for any insight.

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

You are right to identify potential legal and other issues involved with collecting a debt from a shareholder. I would contact the co-op's attorney to get their opinions and recommendations. Engaging a debt collector might create more problems that it solves because of NYC tenants' rights laws, and there are other less draconian ways to resolve an overdue maintenance issue with a shareholder.

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Gross Floor Area Calculation for Residential Building :: Does It Include Uncovered Roof Decks... - Joe Feb 18, 2024

I'm attempting to calculate the Gross Floor Area of my building (a small coop). What is not clear (to me) is whether outdoor, uncovered, roof decks are used in the calculation (description below).

GFA is one metric used to determine if a building is classified as "covered" under Local Law 97, which mandates reductions in greenhouse gas emissions starting this year (but getting serious in 2030).

Per 1-RCNY-103-06: "Gross floor area is the total number of square feet measured between the
exterior surfaces of the enclosing fixed walls. It includes vent shafts, elevator shafts, flues, pipe shafts,
vertical ducts, stairwells, light wells, basement space, mechanical/electrical rooms, and interior parking.
It excludes unroofed courtyards and unroofed light wells. For atria, gross floor area only includes the
area of atrium floors. For tenant spaces, interior demising walls should be measured to the centerline of
the wall."

Another definition I found says balconies should be included. Nothing I've found either includes or excludes roof decks.

WITHOUT including our roof decks my building is likely just under the 25,000 gross sqft threshold specified in LL97. Including them puts us over. This has serious implications for the finances of our coop in the near future.

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

If your co-op has a managing agent try asking them what the GFA is. In fact, they should be handling the LL97 issues for you as part of their MA responsibilities.

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Laundry Room used by neighbors - Pooh Feb 10, 2024

So we have a strange situation. We have neighbors (another building not part of our co-op) coming to our laundry room and using our machines. Not sure how many but from time to time. It’s not a laundry room in the basement so easy to get on the property . Laundry room has its own space. I feel that a sign needs to be posted …. No trespassing …private property! Has anyone experienced this?

> Join the conversation Comments (2)

We had that situation. A sign won’t work because the type of person who would do this will not be scared off by your sign.

You need to catch them in the act and then threaten them with legal action.

The best way to catch them is with a security camera in the laundry room.

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Many times, most often, are the shareholders, residents themselves giving keys to those they know nearby allowing them in, caretakers too.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you for your input.

I heard it might be a staff member’s relatives that live near by which makes no sense if you talk about security. Who really are these people? It’s still private property. So one minute you can’t sublet without permission but you can allow random people on our property and give them access? Now I understand why the Super wasn’t concerned.

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> Join the conversation Comments (2)

Oh the other point I wanted to make was our laundry room isn’t extremely big for all the units we have and we can’t expand it but I would need to wait to do my laundry because a relative of a staff member is using it? That’s not right.

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I believe you also have legal liability and face a potential negligence lawsuit if a non-shareholder is injured using the washers or dryers on your co-op's private property. Check with your co-op's attorney to see if you have any legal exposure.

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Questions regarding the situation of a parent purchasing a condo apartment for an adult child - Elisa Feb 04, 2024

If a parent purchases a condo apartment for an adult son or daughter, does that mean that the adult occupant of the apartment is the person who gets to vote in condo elections, rather than the purchaser? Our managing agent sometimes cc's the parent on messages about the condo and does not cc the occupant (though they usually do cc the occupant). As a board member, I've asked the occupant to clarify whether they want the parent to receive these messages, and they have not responded. (I'm considering reaching out directly to the parent regarding their understanding/ preference for receiving messages about the condo association.) I'm also unclear about whether the occupant is the person who should be voting in elections rather than the parent. The occupant has, in fact, been invited by management to attend the annual meetings and has voted in our annual elections. (To my knowledge, the parent has never requested to attend the annual meetings.) Any advice is welcome.

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Who's name is on the stock certificate? If the parents name is on both then in my opinion the parent should be the only vote. We have that type (sort of) of situation in my bldg. The parents name is on both, so when the adult child constantly is in arrears, we send notice to both. In fact the parent is responsible for both apts. All correspondence should be sent to both.

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We are a condo, not a co-op, so owners do not have stock certificates. Our management company has whatever document shows that the parent purchased the apartment; I'll reach out to them.

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Selling or Renting Super Apartment - Coop Feb 03, 2024

Does anyone have experience in selling or renting a super's apartment ?
We are a relatively small coop in Brooklyn and looking at this as a potential source of revenue.
Any guidance regarding legality and NYC regulations would be appreciated.

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Nothing specifically about selling or renting.

Before you sell or rent, be aware there are certain DOB regulations and codes that mandate a super has a physical residence in your building or lives within a couple of hundred feet from your building if the building has 10 or more units. In the future, this could have a problematic impact on your compliance if the super's apartment is not available for the super to live in.

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Monthly Fees - Frank Dayton Jan 30, 2024

Our Occupancy Agreement (Proprietary Lease) has a Section with rules on paying the monthly fee and voting rules for increasing fees. The ByLaws nowhere mention Shareholders obligation to pay their share of expenses.

The Board is considering simply moving the Occupancy Agreement clause into the ByLaws.

Is that the correct move? What is the standard form on this subject for the Bylaws, if any?

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The Proprietary Lease governs the privileges, rights, and obligations of the *shareholders*.

The Bylaws lay out how the *board* governs the co-op corporation and conducts co-op corporation business.

Two entirely different documents with entirely different purposes.

Before making *any* changes to either, especially the one the board is contemplating, contact the co-op's attorney. Without consulting your attorney for expert legal advice you could dig a hole deeper than you can imagine.

Full Stop.

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Disenfranchising Non-resident Shareholders - Peter Jan 29, 2024

Hello All,

In our Co-op we have some board members who are now proposing that non-resident shareholders not be able to vote at all in any matters.

I understand that non-residents can be restricted from becoming board members or officers but is it legal to take away all of their voting rights?

Thanks in advance for any answers.

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You should check with an attorney, but I'm almost certain the board does *not* have the authority to prevent non-resident shareholders from voting their shares. That would create two classes of stock within the corporation, and the board does not have the authority to create such classes. In fact, it's unlikely that *anyone* - including the full set of shareholders - would have the ability to do this. But again, ask an attorney for a definitive answer.

- Carl Tait

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Very simply, if they own shares, they have a full vote. No exceptions I can think of (IANAL). Unless your Proprietary Lease has a special carve-out (which I highly doubt), *any* share dilution can land your board and co-op corporation in very hot water.

I'm not even sure the restriction on becoming a board member or officer would hold up.

There may be special rules for sponsor-owned shares, so best to check with your co-op's attorney.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Steven, I completely agree with you that disenfranchising non-resident shareholders is almost certainly not allowed, while echoing your IANAL.

One point I can state with certainty is that non-resident shareholders *can* be barred from serving as directors. That's straight from our co-op's attorney. In fact, he's the one who suggested we limit the board to residents.

- Carl Tait

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Discrimination on the part of doormen - DM Dec 27, 2023

Some of the doormen in our UWS cop do not help carry bags for some residents but do carry them for favored residents. They make a point of sitting and doing nothing for the residents they do not like or have a vendetta against. The management has been told but the situation does not change. We have one or two doormen who will also not open the door for nannies and housekeepers.
What can be done?? It is terrible.

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You say that management has been told and nothing's changed. Maybe I'm mistaken, but it sounds like the Board hasn't been told - only management.

If so, notify the Board about the situation. Regardless of who you notify, it helps your cause if you can document names and dates for when the doormen treat shareholders differently. A paper trail is very important in these types of situations.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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They are part of the problem.

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> Join the conversation Comments (2)

Since the Board and mgt have done nothing after being notified of the situation, then I suggest making a list of dates and times when these events take place, along with a description of the infraction. Email this info to both the Board and mgt. You might also want to include the co-op attorney in the email.

At least it's now in writing and on record. As I said earlier, the more documentation that you can submit, the less the issue can be avoided.

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Another important reason for documenting everything in writing is if the doormen are Union members (32BJ), a very detailed written record will be essential if you find you need to take any action against them.

Do you know if the individuals in question have received any sort of official notification that their behavior will not be tolerated? An official write-up? Repremand? Discussion with your MA? These will be essential as you put together a paper trail

I completely agree with Marty that you need to involve your co-op attorney. In fact, I would talk to your attorney before having any further contact with your board or MA. If both have been notified and nothing has changed, this problem may be deeper than just bad doormen.

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Fiduciary responsibility of Condo Board members - Elisa Dec 21, 2023

In the past, certain maintenance work was not done in our building because some board members said that they, personally, could not afford to pay for it. So some work, such as re-painting common areas where paint had flaked off, was never done. Is this an example of the board members not fulfilling their fiduciary duties? If so, how should this be addressed? It seems that New York State requires that board members act as fiduciaries, but it would help to have clear examples (via written articles) of what is entailed in service of that duty. Thanks.

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Actually - I did find this article about fiduciary responsibilities from prior posts, and it answered my questions. Very handy reference: https://www.joindaisy.com/blog/whats-the-fiduciary-responsibility-of-board-members

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THank you for Holiday gifts from residents - John Geraghty Dec 21, 2023

Good Afternoon,
Is it appropriate or necessary to send thank you notes to the residents who gave me money this Christmas?
Any feedback would be welcomed.

John

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In my building, a mid-size co-op, residents really appreciated getting thank you notes from the super (especially since many residents did not provide any gifts).

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