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NYC Tax Abatement Not Received - Coop Owner Jul 04, 2019

I informed my managing agent that my coop is my primary residence. However, I never received my rebate for the monthly nyc coop condo assessment.

Managing Agent recently responded I did not return a notarized statement they sent to me a few years ago stating the property was my primary residence, so they did not inform NYC Dept of Finance.

Before they finally informed me of that, I had phone conversations and emails asking why I hadn’t received the rebate, where they never told me about the need for the notarized form. So, I missed out on two years of rebates.

All current communication with the Board and Managing Agent is ignored.

I’m considering small claims court. Any other advice or thoughts would be appreciated.

> Join the conversation Comments (5)

Ask management for the form, this time take a copy for your records. Also fill out the NYC abatement form on line. They have 4 different types. I believe it's called the "Star Program" You have to fill this form out every 2 yrs. also keep a copy on file. Good Luck

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

I agree with PC’s advice, but I think that the STAR rebate is administered by NYS. I’m out of state now so the info is not in front of me.

You can apply for STAR online. The 4 NYC abatements are Senior Citizen, Real Estate, Veterans, and Disability.

Good luck!

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Hope this site helps you.

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/benefits/landlords-star.page

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it's your job to manage this, not your managing agent's. your board should be able to help keep you informed but ultimately you should be doing this for yourself.

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I don’t believe the writer’s question was answered. He lost 2 years of the abatement and how does he reclaim it? He wrote “I’m considering small claims court.” Indicates he is seeking the abatement he is entitled to.
1) Would the writer succeed if they were to go to small claims court?
2) What recourses does the writer have to reclaim their lost abatement?
3) When a person purchases their first coop, how and who is responsible to advise the new coop owner of the abatement paperwork?
The answer: “it's your job to manage this, not your managing agent's … you should be doing this for yourself” is just too severe and judgmental and unhelpful, please read on:
When I purchased my first and only coop, I was never informed of the Abatement by NYS, NYC, at the closing or by the Management or my lawyer. Four years later in a brief talk with a neighbor I learned about the abatement.
It was the Management Company who gave me the paperwork (the Mgmt Company is owned by the Sponsor, who is also the Board’s Vice-President and whose employee is the Board Secretary) the aforementioned have been controlling an entrenched board and running this coop for 15+ years, so with those facts now known, the Management, Sponsor, Vice-President and Secretary MUST know about the abatement paperwork.
4) Since I did receive the paperwork from the Management, would you agree they are at fault? They did say in an email “there is nothing they can do about it now”.
5) If, yes, Management is responsible, how do I proceed, do I go to small claims court or do I try to make a claim on their ‘error and omissions’ policy and how would I do that?
6) Would I be entitled to interest on the abatement should I proceed with small claims court?
Thank you for your assistance.

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According to the article on the below link, it seems like it is the responsibility of the manager and board to notify and keep shareholders appraised of Star benefits and Co-op abatement but basically your responsibility as well.

I had a similar situation and contacted the D.O.F. via email. once I had all documentation and my concerns were still not being addressed by management, I contacted my councilman. I was given a direct telephone number to D.O.F. who stepped in and helped resolve the issue.

sounds like it is your word against theirs.

You should have a consultation with an attorney on what is your best action on this matter.


https://cooperator.com/article/star-on-the-rise/full

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

I don't see how you can collect from DOF for past 2 years when they never received the proper documentation from your management company or you never attempted to contact them, however there might be others in your community who have the same situation. you might be able to help them as well as yourself and also point out your management company and board were derelict in their responsibilities to act in the best interest of the co-op and its shareholders.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Regarding the comment: "...proper documentation from your management company or you never attempted to contact them"
What must be heard is: "First Time Coop Owner" when you are a First Time Coop Owner a person cannot inquire about Abatements when they do not know such exists in the first place. In my coop there is no 'community' solidarity, which is another problem. It is the Managing Agent who receives the abatement in a lump sum, right? It is the Managing Agent who is aware of New Owners, seems to be the Managing Agent should be responsible for reimbursing New Owners either from their "error and omissions" insurance or out of their management fee.

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why not respond to the question without being judgemental towards other's comments...

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Accountant who will work with HDFC - Alden Jun 23, 2019

I'm on the board of an HDFC in Brooklyn, and our accountant has completely fallen off the face of the earth for the past year. We're looking for a new accountant or firm that will take on an HDFC. Anyone have one to recommend?

> Join the conversation Comments (2)

We’ve used Bill Rank of Bloom & Streit for over 20 years. Honest and smart.

Don’t know if he works with HDFC, but call him at 914-253-8381 to find out.

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Hi, We are an HDFC in Manhattan. We have worked with George Dimov CPA for the past year -- so far so good! He is extremely responsive. You can find him at george@dimovtax.com / (833) 829-1120.

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lets talk fire insurance , what really happens locally - coop fire Jun 22, 2019

Yonkers NY =coop rebuild time =over 2.5 years
Allstate insurance normal coop policy = 1 year relocation max= everybody in the fire building with allstate had this clause
state farm= 1 guy had a 2 year relocation max=
one other family had a cash umbrella limit= probably the best if you review it yearly

remember you have to pay your mortgage while you are unable to use your apartment and paying rent in your temporary 3 year abode.
i always knew about replacement value insurance and carried it, i learned via a friends misfortune with his house fire.

the insurance brokers always tell you , you will be back in in a year, This is untrue in yonkers and probably many areas of NYC.
My journey through this is almost done,

Fire Hydrant are not suppose to freeze not in canada, not in yonkers = Improper maintenance or installation causes this

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In addition to the relocation issue, I learned, after my neighbor's fire that my replacement coverage didn't apply. My clothes could be cleaned... at a cost 3× the cost of replacing them. Many other items, too. It seems the insurance company doesn't weigh the options to see which is less expensive. As a result, I couldn't afford to have everything in my apartment cleaned (rugs, art, ...). I should've had at least double the personal property coverage.

I do now....

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I'm sorry that you had to go through this terrible ordeal. But, thank you for giving us the benefit of your experience and information. Much appreciated.

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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?

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

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.

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

While I don't have an straight answer to your question I would like to share what happens in my coop --the Sponsor puts his apartments up for sale at a high price resulting in no purchase and then he rents them. He never announces to the Board or to Owners that a unit has been vacated by the non-eviction tenant. Also I do not believe it is the Board who has power to decide what happens to a Sponsor Unit or who the Sponsor sell his unit to, for this you must consult your Offering Plan for the rules about selling non-eviction tenant units. In my coop the rule is the Sponsor must sell the unit upon the death or voluntary move out of the Non-eviction tenant. The OP does not state the Sponsor must first offer the Unit to the Board or an Owner first, there is no Right of First Refusal in my coop

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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?

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

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. 





> Join the conversation Comments (2)

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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you assume all liability for stuff you store in areas in the building (assuming you signed a waiver when you stored a bike). BUT that doesn't absolve the board from keeping the building in good shape. Take pics and involve 311/DOB. this is not legal.

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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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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

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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We suggest that you collect the proxies from your neighbors. You can bring those to the meeting and vote on your nominees. Feel free to call if you want to discuss 917.648.8151

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yes i remember when our board pulled the same thing, the trouble is too many shareholders do not realize what the board is doing and that it is not proper .

remember the last dated proxy is the only one that counts. So you can knock on your neighbors door , explain what the board is doing, ask them to sign a new proxy with a later date. If their proxy (board)has the correct info , you can copy it and use it for your use, the later proxy is the only one that counts.
some boards playing this game tell the shareholder to leave the date blank, and here is where you need a real lawyer to speak up.

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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?

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Get a lawyer to advise you. Best of Luck

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