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Little notice for adjacent apt renovation - practice Apr 13, 2019

Psychotherapist in his own co-op professional suite has been given 2 days notice to find another place to practice (or to terminate practice) because of adjacent apartment renovation which will be so noisy as to make psychotherapy conversation impossible. The Board says there is no recourse. Is there any?

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Can they schedule apointments after 5:00pm after the work day? Until the work is completed?

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Internet/cabe repair access on weekends in a coop - DM Apr 11, 2019

Our building has always permitted repairs to cable/internet (by Spectrum. TW etc) on weekends or whenever without approval.
Suddenly they are claiming no internet repairs may take place on weekends though these type of repairs are not disturbing to anyone.

How can this be?

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Why don't you ask the Board why they made this decision?

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The house rules only state not work on apts by contractors on weekends. The Board just made this up.

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I understand what you're saying about House Rules, but your answer implies that you did not flat out directly ask the Board why. That's the only way to be sure of the Board's reasons - not to mention it would also provide documentation if some chicanery was taking place.

As a Board member, I would certainly expect someone to stop and ask me why this type of decision was made if it happened in my co-op - and I better have a good answer for that shareholder.

Do yourself a favor. Stop guessing and ask a Board member.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

It is not a guess. This is not a house rule. The head of the board is making an arbitrary decision. In fact, she has a history of this. All I want to know is if anyone has heard of this.

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I'm not saying that I don't believe you. I AM saying that, as a Board member, I will tell you that 99% of everything Board-related is legal.

So you'd better be able to prove that what you're saying is true, such as "she has a history of this." Can you prove this to an attorney? You'll need documentation, which is the best way to prove anything.

If your Board has an email address, then I suggest that you email the Board with your original question. It's a valid question. Then they MUST reply. There's your documentation. Without it your point will be hard to prove.

Good luck to you.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

They are silent when you email them

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If my cable was down and I worked all day and off on weekends you better believe I'd let them in to fix my cable & internet.
What is wrong with these boards? They give co-ops and condos a bad name. My co-op has a bad name crazy is one another is they keep raising maintenance and collects high assessments.
Like to know if it was them what they would do. Sorry letting off steam. Best of Luck.

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They should be able to make emergency repairs on weekends, alot of people are starting to get telephone service with the cable company and in case of an emergency they would not be able to call for help.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

I would just like to share that Verizon came to my neighbor on Saturday, when the management office is closed. The Super is on call. They nicked the sprinkler system pipe in the hall and flooded the area in front of our doors. I think they should work when the management office is there.

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Quiet Hours - YonkersCOOP Apr 02, 2019

Hi: We've had a number of noise-related issues between shareholders, specifically excessive noise emanating between units during the late night/early morning hours (i.e. walking too hard, loud talking, TV/radio noise, etc). Despite the Board's efforts to have the shareholders work it out among themselves, not much has helped curb the issues.

I just wanted to ask if any Board/coop has implemented some form of 'quiet hours' at their respective building - similar to hotels - where residents are 'encouraged' to keep their conduct at bay during a set time during the nights/early mornings. If so, has it worked and how did you sell it to the residents?

Thanks!

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Contact your shareholders explaining the problem and they all need to have 80% plus entry to apts. covered with rugs and sound proofing padding. You can abide by the 10 PM no noise law. If a shareholder has a number of complaints send a letter that if it continues they will be fined $25. Have your board start a complaint committee and after 30 days all shareholders have to have rugs installed and will be inspected. No excuses. Best of Luck

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Psychotherapist in his own co-op professional suite has been given 2 days notice to find another place to practice (or to terminate practice) because of adjacent apartment renovation which will be so noisy as to make psychotherapy conversation impossible. The Board says there is no recourse. Is there any?

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

I think the Board is not being reasonable if they gave this person just 2 days notice. It's highly likely that the Board had more than 2 days notice about the renovations. The Board knows about the private practice.

This psychotherapist might be advised to get an attorney and get an injunction until this can be worked out. I don't think the Board acted properly in this situation.

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Video doorbell and privacy in an apartment building - DM Mar 31, 2019

Evidently, you can install a camera in an apartment hallway only so long as it shows your doorway only and no activity of the neighbors or in the hallway itself.

The new "smart" doorbells - which have a direct line of sight out into a hallway - might reveal the neighbor, say, getting his newspaper in his/her jammies or people going to and from his / her apartment.

This seems illegal. And/ or these types of doorbells may invade your neighbor's privacy. Has anyone dealt with this issue his in their coop or condo?

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Adverse Possession - NYC Mar 30, 2019

A person has been living in our co-op for the past 13 years.

She moved in to help her elderly parents and was not on the proprietary lease or stock certificate.

Her parents past a way more than 10 years ago. They left her the co-op in their will.

For 13 years this quiet woman now a senior herself has lived in the apartment, never causing any problem, never late with her maintenance, received a letter stating she must now put her name on the lease and stock certificate and go through the admission process.

Our by-laws state you must be on the proprietary lease and stock certificate to live here however, the co-op has man people who have domestic partners and are not on the P.L and S.C. Does this now affect them as well or is this one woman being targeted?

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An attorney should determine if the lsnguage in the Proprietary Lease or by laws conflicts with the New York Business Laws and court rulings related to this situation.

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The easier case first. Domestic partners have nothing to worry about since they would be covered by the Roommate Law, if nothing else. You can *always* have a roommate sharing your apartment, regardless of what the Proprietary Lease may say.

The case of the woman who moved in to take care of her now-deceased parents is more difficult, and you should absolutely consult an attorney. The shareholders are no longer occupying the apartment, which means you'll need to check the Proprietary Lease. Most commonly, the relevant portion is Paragraph 14, "Use of Premises." The classic test is whether it says the permitted occupants are "the Lessee AND ..." or just "the Lessee, ..." In the past, the "AND" case has been held to require concurrent occupancy by the shareholder, though there have been some cases challenging this. Again, the advice of an attorney is required.

Frankly, though, it seems ludicrous and more than a little obnoxious to try to press such a claim after the shareholders have been dead for a decade. In fact, if the circumstances were known to the board the whole time, I would imagine the woman's attorney could argue that the board tacitly consented to her occupancy and it's too late to press their claim.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you. Very helpful.

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The woman also stopped receiving any concurrent occupancy  benefits after both parents passed away.

When she questioned this with the on-site manager, she was told that was because her name was not on the lease or stock certificate.

This is validation that the co-op was aware of this situation and did not enforce the rules.

She is curious to weather the co-op has been receiving Star benefits for her apartment and keeping them and if so are they entitled to because the co-op is not in her name.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Sorry, Star benefits

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I’m not an attorney but I don’t think she’s entitled to Star or any abatements since she’s not the shareholder.

I agree with Carl that the co-op will have a hard time removing the daughter since the Board knew about it for more than a decade.

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Thank you. I will replay this information.

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President casting deciding vote in a tie - Diane Mar 26, 2019

This pertains to a coop in Queens. If there are an even number of board members (8), and a vote is taken, and there is a tie, is it legal for the president to always cast the deciding vote. The president says that the only time he votes is if there is a tie. That means whatever he wants he will vote that way.

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That's odd that the by-laws would allow an even-numbered amount of Board members or even allow the President to cast a deciding vote on matters. I would suggest to review the by-laws to confirm that's the case and, if so, at the next annual meeting lead an effort to change the number to 7 or 9, where the President's authority is limited in that regard. Best of luck!

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I agree with Yonkers. This was incredibly short sighted planning by the co-op’s authors since you’re now experiencing the result.

You should consult with the co-op’s attorney because you’ll need to amend the bylaws. That will normally require 2/3 of the shareholders approval to pass. This will require a coordinated effort akin to a political campaign in order for you to succeed.

Good luck!

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This sentence in your question is odd: "The president says that the only time he votes is if there is a tie." Do you mean that you actually have *nine* board members and the president usually doesn't vote? Or do you mean that the president is not a board member? That would be unusual but not impossible. Some by-laws permit officers who are not directors, though the president usually has to be.

Check your by-laws, but typically, only directors can vote. If your president is a director, then he should *always* be voting, not just to break ties. And if your president isn't a director, then he usually wouldn't have a vote even in case of a tie.

If you really do have a board with only eight directors and eight votes, I agree with the other comments that this is just bad practice. You should change to an odd number of directors, following the procedures outlined in your by-laws.

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Tax Returns in Board Package - marym Mar 25, 2019

We require an IRS transcript in addition to the return itself. However, a potential buyer said she just filed her taxes last week and won't be able to get the transcript in time to submit her Board package. Should we accept the return without the transcript?

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I don't know how many years of tax returns you require to be submitted with the application. It's 3 years for us. Based on this criteria, it seems like you have 2 options:

1) Accept the 2018 return and wait for the transcript. In the meantime, review the application without the transcript and tell the buyer that you won't be able to make a final decision until the IRS gets back to you. Both buyer and seller need to agree to this.

2) Have the buyer substitute 2015 for 2018 so they'll be submitting returns for 2015, 2016, and 2017. You can get the IRS to verify 2015 faster than 2018. I assume you also have current employment verification for the buyer so you can see if they're working steadily and earning enough money.

Good luck!

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Thank you Marty. We're not concerned about the person making enough money but making too much. We are an HDFC and have to make sure they don't make too much money to qualify, especially for 2018. We're sorting it out though.

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Board officer - Hadas Segal Mar 23, 2019

Can a unit owner that is in violation of condominium's bylaws serve as a Board member?

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I think it's up to the board.

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It may depend upon the specific violation and if it's mentioned in the bylaws. Review the bylaws and see what it says.

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email instead of meetings? - Richo Mar 18, 2019

It's 2019 & my fellow shareholders unanimously loath face to face meetings & the delay in scheduling them. Is there a safe and legal way for a coop to hold votes and elections over email? Any downsides or concerns?

Is there anything that need be done with a quorum & face to face?

I'd love if there were some boilerplate available online.

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Most By-Laws don't address this unless they are of recent vintage. I believe that if you want to conduct business via email, you need to have a motion to that effect at a Board meeting. If something is decided via email, it should be incorporated into the Minutes of the next Board meeting. This is a laywoman's advice - not a lawyer's.

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Does your co op have a managing agent/lawyer? If yes, what does he/she have to say about this? Can't believe everyone is busy one day out of the month. Why did they join the board if they have such a busy life? What makes you think they all will be available for a conference call if they don't want to meet face to face for a couple of hours. I do hope your building isn't run like your board. Best of Luck and let us know what the out come is.

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people's choice - I'm not sure if the OP is talking about monthly Board meetings and/or Annual Meetings. I agree with you that these Board members certainly sound like they don't want to put in the time needed for a Board and a co-op to be run successfully.

When he mentions elections, I assume that's for the Annual Meeting. Even if proxy voting is allowed, the AM is where the shareholders have the opportunity - and the right - to speak their mind about the way the co-op is being run by the Board.

It sounds like the co-op has trouble getting a quorum at the AM. No need to wonder why. With the attitude presented by the OP, I don't think I'd want to attend the AM either.

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Gas line management in coop building - Gas line to coop apartment Mar 16, 2019

We have recently purchased an apartment in a prewar coop in Westchester County, NY.. Originally, the apartment had gas service, however the previous tenant used electric appliances. The existing gas line was pressure-tested but it failed the test, as you might expect. Whose responsibility is it to restore gas service to the apartment?

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