New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Energy Rating - NYC Nov 24, 2020

My Co-Op received a D energy rating because there was a conflict between the D.O.F. and the D.O.B with the tax code.

Can this error have an adverse affected on the Co-Op's abatement or any of the Star benefits?

Who is the responsible agency/party to correct this error?

If the fault is on the part of either agency will our Co-Op have to wait 1 year for an updated rating?

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Fire Safety for small walk-up buildings - Elisa Nov 24, 2020

Hi, could someone share easy-to-read information on the basics of fire safety for small walk-up buildings? We can't afford a full-service management company, so the one we have doesn't provide much oversight. Through an informal conversation with someone familiar with fire safety, I've learned that we are not in compliance with regulations - for example, not every apartment has an address posted on its door, and we have mats in the hallway at each apartment's door (the person I spoke with said these are "tripping hazards" and should not be there). We also need to post routes for safe exit. Is there a straightforward, easy to read summary of fire safety requirements for small walk-up buildings? We don't have elevators so our needs are different from buildings that do. I've googled, but the documents I've found are quite dense and full of legalese. For example, I can't find one that says that every unit must have its address posted (e.g., 4C, 4D, 4E, etc.). Any suggestions welcome. Thanks.

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WAIVE OF RIGHT - MARISA Nov 13, 2020

Can the Co Op administration waive my right of giving permission to other unit to park in my space, when I'm gone from the AZ state? I was told this because I'd been late for a few days with the HOA fees/ They said I don't have the right, and that they may force me to sell my unit.

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

First, are you in AZ or NY? I'm sure the underlying co-op regulations are very different in the two states.

If you're in NYC the first thing you should do is read the co-op's governing documents to see if they specifically address who has control over the parking spot. Owning a parking spot is very different than renting or simply being asigned a spot to use. You need to determin which applies to your situation.

Also, it's a huge leap from being a few days late with HOA fees and being forced to sell your unit. Something definitely does not smell right. I strongly suggest you consult an attorney to determin what is going on, because a forced sale is not to be taken lightly, and an attorney can most likely prevent or delay all such actions against you.

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Washer dryers - Robert Nov 06, 2020

Considering next steps for a possible upgrade in a Westchester condo building
pro's and con's of buy vs lease
any recommended vendors
suggestions on going rate for unit owner usage
other tips or ideas.
Thank you
Robert

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We have been very happy with Automatic Industries https://automaticindustries.com/our-company.php. We've leased from them for almost 40 years and found them honest, reliable and quick to deal with a problem.

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Board - DP Nov 04, 2020

Hello,

After months of asking my coop's managing agent WHO made up our current Board, and her sending me the list which made no sense, she told me this: "The board has the right to appoint board members until the next annual meeting which has been postponed due to the pandemic."
1. Does anyone know if this is true (calling Steve247) or, where I can reference the law on this?
2. What about the fact that they did so without notifying any shareholders?
3. What about oversight?

So now, the Board is a too-tight group of buddies including two who previously served and were subsequently rejected.

• One had verbally threatened another shareholder in front of everyone (including one of the MAs) at a previous meeting. Her response to being questioned—on not doing her job as sec'y properly (e.g. never taking minutes, etc.)—was met with her saying: "I have friends. I can mess you up." The following year, the same woman was nominated by her friend but NO ONE seconded her, so she was not elected. Now, suddenly she's on the board again.

• And the other had to leave due to being in the press for sexual harassment against multiple women at his own company. HE is an investor and has never lived in the building—been renting his apartment for more than 11 years. When he was president of the board, he was so arrogantly sure of himself that he insisted he could negotiate a new mortgage/refi. Well, he wasn't able to deliver on his promise, so, in a financially compromised coop, we lost an additional $7,000 b/c that app. fee was non-refundable. Now, suddenly, he's on the board again.

To add to the issue is the following:
• At the last Shareholders' meeting, we couldn't elect a new board b/c we couldn't raise a quorum.

Please help. Informed answers, please. Many thanks!

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Wow. I'm sorry that your co-op is having so many issues. How many units are in your co-op and how many positions are there on the Board?

Let me review your items in order.

"List of Board members that makes no sense."
...Just curious since I've never heard that statement before. In what way doesn't it make sense?

"The Board has the right to appoint Board members."
...If you had a full Board and then one or more Board members subsequently resigned or were removed before the next Annual Meeting, then the Board definitely has the right to appoint or not appoint someone to fill some or all of those Board positions prior to the next Annual Meeting - pandemic or not. It's happened to us several times over the years.

However, we have never been in your position where we don't have a full Board to begin with, so I don't know if it's legal to appoint Board members to fill all vacant Board positions prior to the next Annual Meeting. That's an entirely different situation.

My guess is no. How can you fill a position that no one was elected to in the first place because you didn't have a quorum. But, since I'm not a lawyer, I could be wrong, so I'd suggest contacting the co-op's attorney (if you know who it is) to ask this important question.

"What about the fact that they did so without notifying any shareholders?"
...That is blatantly wrong. They definitely should have notified shareholders of positions being filled on the Board. But, what are the penalties for failing to do so? I don't know. That's another question to ask the attorney.

Unfortunately, I don't think it's illegal to fill Board positions with people that you or I find lacking moral values - even if they were convicted of crimes in a court of law. I'm sure that the prior secretary not taking minutes is a violation of any co-op's By-laws. Again, another question for the attorney.

I know it's a lot of work, but have you tried talking to your fellow shareholders in an effort to organize other people (perhaps yourself) to run for the Board? Seems like the only way to get rid of the current Board is to throw the bums out by electing different people. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.

That's all I have for you at this moment. I wish you the best of luck. Stay strong. I'm sure there are other shareholders who feel the same as you do. You need to find and organize them.

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electric car charging stations - Annie Oct 09, 2020

Our 5 building complex with 200 units is searching for a company that specializes in the installation and management of outdoor, electric car charging stations. We are looking for an arrangement similar to our laundry business with Hercules, where the company manages the equipment and pays the complex a percentage of the revenue collected.

Any and all suggestions appreciated.

thanks, annie

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Hi Anne,

Call to discuss electric car charging station project. I represent Green Energy Technology by JGM.
www get-ny.com

complete Electric car charging station solutions
email me your availability for a zoom call with President John Comack and partner Marc Horowitz
complete turn key solutiobs: design- build, installation, and financing "one stop shop" for car and truck charging stations
email me your availability and I'll coordinate with "GET" partners
Call with questions
Regards,
Brendan Leavy
C 718 541 0715
Brendancleavy@gmail.com

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assessment - DP Oct 08, 2020

Hello,

Is a coop board or management company legally obligated to inform shareholders when they get their assessment what that annual assessment will be used for? Ahead of time.

I live in a very compromised building—meaning 100+ years, not well kept up, needing so many crucial things (curb appeal is always the last on the list). We have very little reserve funds. I explain this only to acknowledge that emergencies come up all the time, where that assessment money might end up going. But I would like to know what the actual law is around this, what the protocol is... Are they required to tell us beforehand?

Looking for informed answers, please, rather than opinions.

Thank you!

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

As far as I know there is no statute or regulation requiring a board to disclose how an assessment will be used. Something called the Business Judgement Rule gives boards broad discretionary powers to make decisions without having to justify them, as long as they are legal and in the best interests of the co-op.

It sounds to me as if you already have some idea of where the money will go. Have you tried asking the board what the assessment will be used for? Most boards will inform their shareholders beforehand why the are being assessed, but there is no specific requirement to do so I am aware of.

They could use as generic a reason as "reserve fund replenishment", which, in the situation you describe, is a very valid reason.

If you believe there is some sort of malfeasance going on, either check with an attorney or search online for how to report suspected co-op board misbehavior. Ultimately you can vote to replace members of the board at the annual shareholder meeting, or if it is urgent enough, check your bylaws for how to cal a special shareholder meeting for the purpose of recalling one or more of the board members.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you Steve. Your first paragraph answers my question.
I had been asking the building's management company to tell me beforehand what their plans were. Now, understanding that there is no requirement for them to do so, I'm done with that request.

The rest is stuff I either already knew, or cannot actualize. Too long, too pathetic a story to tell of a building where at our last shareholders meeting, we couldn't even elect a new board b/c we didn't have a quorum. It's that kind of building—impossible to accomplish much. Very annoying.

Thanks again.

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I understand what you are going through can be very agravating and frustrating. Good luck with receiving the information you are asking for.

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COVID, The By-Laws & HDC - Nichole Oct 06, 2020

I own a Co-Op in Harlem, while I am currently living in another state to take care of my ill father. I was recently subletting my unit to a tenant. However, in August, she moved out. Due to COVID, coupled with the illness of my dad, I do not feel comfortable moving back to NYC as I would need to commute back to care for him regularly. Unfortunately, my building is governed by some HDC regulation that only allows subleasing for 2 out of every 4 years. Does anyone have any guidance on this? I am pleading with my board to extend grace for at least one year. I love my apartment and do not want to give it up. But with the current situation and impending shutdown of the city again, I cannot risk the regular back and forth commute to my very ill father. Any thoughts on what I can do to delay this? I do not want to sell my unit!

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coop conversions from 1970's and 1980's - Veronica Feliciano Sep 26, 2020

I am a shareholder in a coop that was formed in 1986. The sponsor still owns 64% of the shares. We have a board of directors 7 people, but we do not, have a majority of shareholders who live in the building on the board. Are there any other coops who have the same problems that we do. The sponsor still owning a majority of the shares, if you sell your apartment, you have to sell to a cash buyer because the banks won't approve mortgages for a sponsor owned coop, having to live in a building that is a majority of renters rather than owners. Also having very little say in what happens as far as repairs, the cost of repairs, when the building is run like a rental building. I bought this coop in 1989 with the hope of this becoming a real coop. What, if anything, have other buildings done to correct this situation?

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co-op with garage space - co-op with garage space Sep 22, 2020

I currently live in a 8 building co-op complex in Queens. My daughter, who is looking to purchase a co-op in the same complex, found an apartment that she is interested in purchasing. She found an apartment that has been on the market for a long time now. Apparently, the apartment was purchased by an individual many years earlier with a parking space attached to it. My daughter loves the apartment but doesn't want to buy the parking space. The management mentioned that in order for her to purchase the apartment the parking space has to be sold beforehand. Nothing can be done unless the parking spot is acquired hence the long duration on the open market for that apartment. Is this even legally correct and what are my options in moving forward?

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I can't see any reason why it would *not* be a valid requirement. Co-op's were created with all sorts of covenants in their governing documents, and I bet the relationship of the parking spot to the unit itself can be found in the Proprietary Lease. You may have to go back to the Offering Plan, or the other documents like the Bylaws and House Rules.

As for being "legally correct", there is no law, governmental regulation, or section of administrative code I am aware of that addresses the relationship between a parking spot and a co-op unit. Parking spots are usually highly coveted, and shareholders can make a lot of money renting them out (if allowed by the co-op).

I am not a lawyer, so the above is all supposition on my part. If it really becomes a sticking point, your best bet is to consult with an attorney, or maybe try searching in Google for parking spot attachment to co-op apartments.

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I agree with Steven. I would contact management and directly ask if your daughter would have the right to rent out her parking space.

If they say yes, ask them to show her where in the Lease, By-Laws, or House Rules it says this.

If it actually says it, have her meet with real estate attorney to confirm this. If so, then could use that attorney since this seems to be the only possible sticking point.

In my co-op parking spaces are not attached to the apartment because they are so coveted, as Steven notes.

Good luck!

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