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Billed legal fees for asking a question - RR401 Jun 06, 2019

I wrote to our board quoting the bylaws that allow me to take a portion of the hallway near my door that no one else can ever use in anyway. The board responded that I can buy it for the same price per Sq ft as apartments in the coop.

Then my next statement showed a charge of $300. When I inquired I was told it was legal fees for researching my question. Can they do that without notifying me that research is necessary and that it will cost me?

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You'll need to check your proprietary lease, but most leases only put the burden of legal fees on the shareholder when the shareholder is in default. Another case: you might reach an agreement to pay the coop's legal fees involving the preparation of a contract to purchase part of the hallway, as you are describing. But getting charged $300 for simply asking a question seems inappropriate to me. You might ask the board to point to the provision in the proprietary lease authorizing this chargeback.

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sale of sponsor unit without notification to shareholders - EW Jun 06, 2019

A shareholder/board member in my coop simultaneously sold her apartment and bought another (bigger) apartment (sponsor unit). The bigger apartment she purchased was one of few apartments that our coop had originally decided to keep for income purposes. I guess the decision to sell a sponsor unit is within the powers of the board, but I thought that when the board decides to sell a sponsor unit, they are supposed to notify ALL shareholders, so that every shareholder has en equal opportunity to buy that apartment. Am I wrong? There also seems to be a conflict of interest when the sponsor unit is sold to a board member.

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Management Derelict In cooperatives Safety - NYC May 29, 2019

We have an exhaust fan in our laundry room with rotating blades  to the street.

There was a screen covering these blades that was recently removed.

We are not a gated community and this poses a danger to humans and animals that might be playing in the area.

Since multiple request to cover the exposed blades have been ignored, are there any laws that require management to replace the protective screen?

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If you are a Coop or Condo your board needs to get a replacement or ask management to find a company that makes the protected cover. If something does happen like a child or adult cuts a hand or finger your building is in for a big law suit. Call 311 if you get no response from your board. Best of Luck.

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Access to Neighbor's Property - marym May 29, 2019

We are about to re-do the entire façade on our 5-story building. On one side is our neighbor’s courtyard and our contractor said he will need access there in order to do the work on that side. Our neighbors haven’t rejected our request outright but say it can’t be done now since their courtyard is used recreationally and they suggest late Fall/Winter. Our contractor has applied for permits and is ready to start now. Is there any legal obligation on our neighbors to provide access? Our contractor’s insurance would name them as additional insured.

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I think there has been a lack of communication and planning on your part. I don't know if your neighbor is legally required to grant you access, but they have told you you can have the access - but it's on their terms.

Your error was in assuming that you could get that access at anytime, but you didn't check with your neighbor to see if that was true.

Since you need them to get the job done, I suggest that you and your contractor adjust your schedules to accommodate your neighbor, whose help you need to do your facade.

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Warranty of Habitability - NYC May 17, 2019


Does the warranty of habitability apply to a common area such as the bike room, which our co-op does not charge for and states use at your own risk.  Risk meaning if your bike is stolen, they are not responsible.

The conditions in the bike room have become unsafe with some areas of the ceiling falling and an infestation of waterbugs. Our management and board will not remedy this situation and say this is not their responsibility. 

They said it was only a small area of the ceiling that fell and use of this common area is at your own risk.

They have not informed other cooperatives of the possible dangers from the falling ceiling and possible lead and  asbestos contamination. 





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I neglected to mention that a bike was damaged from the falling ceiling which the Managing agent and board say they bear no responsibility for.

The owner of the bike feels since the co-op allowed them to use a common area that was unsafe, they are responsible for repairs to the bike.

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Board elections - bow May 13, 2019

Our board president has been in power for 30 years, and we haven't had an election in forever. Some shareholders are looking to run this year for the first time in forever. There are many concerns:
- Management directed any shareholders turning in proxies to return them to the doorman. But the doorman have been instructed to hand deliver these proxies straight to the President's apartment
- Requests to the management for a list of who is running have gone ignored
- Libelous letters written by the Board president that paint the challenging shareholders in a very poor light have been put under all doors

Questions - can the board get away with "postponing" the election? What are our rights to challenge? Not receiving any replies from management...

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It would be helpful if you could post the wording in the written instructions for the proxy, and the actual wording of the proxy. that could help determine the illegality of your election process.

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Review your by laws and Certificate of Incorporation. They should tell you how often elections must be held and how many Board positions are up for election each year. They may also tell you about Special Meetings and perhaps circumstances that could postpone an election (like not having a quorum).

Have you contacted the co-op's attorney to ask these questions? Given the lack of elections for 30 years, there's probably something illegal going on. The lawyer can tell you more about it.

Has anyone considered running against the current President? It's not easy to do, but if you're dissatisfied with things, odds are there are others who feel the same way. Try to organize support behind the scenes for one new candidate that many shareholders would be willing to support.

The current President would be surprised and unprepared for such opposition, and that's your big advantage. But, you've got to mobilize the troops in order to succeed.

Best of luck!

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We had a President who controlled the Board for years by accumulating proxies. Shareholders formed a slate of candidates and distributed flyers outlining key issues and gave resume information. And counter collected proxies. It was a success.

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Termination of Proprietary Lease - Noise - YonkersCOOP Apr 28, 2019

Hello again:

The Board is considering a default of a shareholder's proprietary lease due to violations of both the House Rules and PL related to noise. From what I understand this is a rare practice by coops. The shareholders have not been able to work the issue among themselves and, in fact, the offending shareholders have rebuked and insulted Board members and management who attempted to mediate and resolve the matter. We have documentation and testimony who can verify the excessive noise.


Does anyone have any experience related to defaulting a shareholder's PL? Was it successful?

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Get a lawyer to advise you. Best of Luck

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Bad report on credit history cleared - Charlie Alfie Apr 25, 2019

Being self-employed is very challenging, however, your income can fluctuate, and there's always the chance that it could sink so low that you can not afford to pay your bills on-time, i totally lost it and it hurt my credit so bad, my score dropped to 563 before i took matters into my own hands by contacting a professional credit repair hacker at ( spiderwebhhack at gmail dot com (669)2005680 ). He cleared my report showing a list of inquiries, collections, existing debts & late payments and upgraded my score to 788 within 72 hours very affordable. I can't thank them enough because of their help as I own my own business now and I promised to take my time to publish this for them when i get results. Obviously my credit is good and i am impressed and grateful to this brain of wisdom.

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Seeking New Super - EES Apr 18, 2019

We are currently seeking a new live in super. As of today, we have been advertising solely with Zip recruiter. I am wondering if any other boards have used other hiring platforms to find superintendents for their building.
This is a non union job.
Thank you

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You can also try contacting the Resident Manager's clubs, they have members who out of work or just want a change.
Manhattan Resident Managers Club, Inc. MRMCLUB.COM -
Metropolitan Building Managers of NY - MBMNY.COM
New York Building Managers - NYBMA.ORG
Scandinavian-American Building Managers Guild - SABMG.COM

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responsibility for ceiling repairs in top unit - Mike L Apr 17, 2019


We are in a top floor co-op unit. The ceilings in one room are cracked badly, and made of heavy concrete. These cracks have been there since we moved in 6 years ago, but we recently had a contractor looking into other issues and he says we should replace cracked ceiling for safety reasons.

I understand walls and ceiling repairs are usually the responsibility of the tenant, but in this case damage seems to be due either to a past leak or flex in the roof above. Should we get an engineering inspection to determine the cause, in hopes of getting the co-op to assume responsibility for repair, or would that be wasted money? If an inspection says the damage is from a past leak or other roof issues, is the co-op responsible?

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An important bit I failed to mention is that there is no current leak, or at least not one that we've seen. Cracking has gotten worse over the 6 years, but we've never seen water or moisture on the ceiling.

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Mike - It sounds like you may be describing stress cracks, which are quite common as the building settles over time. You should ask the super or building manager if that's what it is.

If so, then plastering is usually all that needs to be done. If so, the co-op should be responsible for taking care of it at no charge to the shareholder.

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