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Need new Mang Company suggestions - AliceT Feb 16, 2008


We are interviewing for a new mang company! If you have any suggestions please forward...

We have about 100 units
20 yr coop
Middle income building owners
Manhatten East Side

In our 20 year history, we have not had a large Man turnover and in general this is not a difficult building, but our present Mang company has turned into a disaster. We are relieved to know that it is not only us -- another of thier buildings have called with the same problems.
If you have a good company -- please forward thier name...
Thanks,, AliceT


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The Argo Corporation has been very, very good for our co-op.

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we changed management companies last year and our three finalists came down to argo, midboro and andrea bunis.

we are a 400 unit coop in downtown manhattan,

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Thank you for your info... However of the three you mentioned, we have recieved extreme negative feedback on one... could you tell us who you hired... Thanks, AliceT


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re: extreme negative feedback

now you have me wondering about which company you are talking about.

in a vote of the BDs midboro won by one vote over argo.

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Richs, Did you receive my last message about your Mangement company?//

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Alice

i did not receive your comments about our mgt company. please resend

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Dear Rich, Dont mean to be vague, but at this time my advice is that every board member read the Manangement agreement, keep every Email -- have Owners CC Board members with thier complaints to your Mananger, and check the accounts...And remember, the Mananger and Manangement company works FOR the Coop...
Which, is probably good advice for any board.
AliceT

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hello Alice T

i hope you still read these boards. please pm at the listed email address.

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Because of the Habitat new format, I dont know if you will get this, but you may want to make sure that the whole board has a copy of the Mang agreement.

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I have a management company to recommend, a start up, but the managers are licensed and have over 25 years experience.

Veritas Property Management in NYC. 212-799-2365. Tell them PPS referred you.

The Pres.

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We plan to start interviewing for a new ManCo immediately --could any of you give us any pointers. Questions you asked, or issues you felt were important..

Thank you... AliceT

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Here some questions we asked when interviewing new managment companies: Good luck...

How much is your management fee?

Provide a list of names and numbers of other coops you represent in our area? Reference purposes only.

How many managing agents do you have?

How many buildings does your company manage?

How many buildings do each managing agent have to manage?

Are your managing agents licensed?

How many years have you been in business?

What accounting systems do you use?

How often do your managing agents visit their buildings?

Do you have managing agents that speak a foreign language?

Have you managed buildings that are union?

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Veritas Property Management are great. 212-799-2365.

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What is Veritas Management great at? No one on our board never heard of them. Please eleaborate. Thanks.

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Be on guard. When our former management company heard they were not in consideration they messed us up badly. Almost a year later we still have missing files and statements. Only under the threat of a lawsuit did they give us files. Monthly accounting statements were delayed. The former manager refused to sign off so that our accountants could certify our annual report. And they were late in submitting bills which resulted in thousands of dollars in penalties and a downgrade of our credit rating with D&B. This is just a condensed version of what went wrong

This was a major NYC management company not some fly by night.

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We had the same experience with many management co. So do many other co-ops,just look at all the co-op that keep switching.

We decided about ten years ago to become self managed. We took responsiblity for our own actions. No more lost records,late tax payments etc.

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Ted I would like to have your email address to share about this. I'm curious if it is our same
M

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After a 30 year succesfull career in the Coop/Condo Management industry I have started a consulting service which among other services assists Coop and Condo boards in the management selection process at a very affordable fee. If you are interested please contact me at nyc.retailman@gmail.com

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J-51 - ABB Feb 06, 2008


We put in a new elevator about a year ago and our managing agent was supposed to file a J51. He didn't and didn't seem to have any idea if we'd be eligible or not. Based on some web-reading, it looks like, for Manhattan, if the units are valued over $40k, the building would not be eligible. Is that correct? Has anyone succeeded, in Manhattan, in getting a J51 abatement? Does your managing agent handle it or do you need a special lawyer to file? Thanks for info or suggestions!

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Did you ever get an answer to this? We're in Manhattan and also thinking of elevator repair.

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Our coop in midtown Manhattan (60 apts) got a J51 abatement recently for just over $100K in tax benefits for our boiler, elevator and exterior capital improvement projects! The application fee for a J51 is $500 and our property manager handled the filing. The program is sponsored by the NYC Dept. of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD).

Go to www.nyc.gov and keyword in "J51" for more information. You can also call the HPD at 212-863-5517 for complete details on eligibility, how/when to apply, etc.

It's a tax benefit opportunity that you should definitely take advantage of.

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Thanks. After the board did what research we could, our agent finally hired a specialist lawyer who is applying for it. Congrats on getting your abatement!

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Thanks, ABB. My only comment to you: I don't know why your prop agent hired a specialist lawyer to file a J51 abatement for you. Our agent handled it for us. Seems a waste of money in legal fees. We have a coop attorney but we didn't even have to use him on this.

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One of the many reasons that I'd like us to look for a new agent who is more up to date on what's going on....what can I say? Too late on this J51, but I've saved your information about what to do for next time.

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ABB - I may be wrong but I think your agent can start J51 filing when construction on a cap improvement project begins but you have to file for it within 4 yrs after the job is completed. Just my opinion but if your agent doesn't know if your bldg is eligible for J51, there's probably a lot he should know about many other things but doesn't. Every good agent knows about the J51 program or at least how to find out about it.

My suggestion: get a new agent/mgmt company and don't put it off. You may be losing out in many ways with the one you've got.

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What is the value of some of your apartments?

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The sale value of our apts are in the $450K to $500K range.

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Question about a noisy neighbor - BP Feb 06, 2008


I'm looking for some suggestions.

We have a Sh who's complained to the board/mgmt every few months for 2 years about noise at all hours by her next-door neighbor - blasting music, screaming phone calls, throwing items against walls (she lives alone). Mgmt has sent 5 letters asking her to be considerate of others. The latest one was firm but not threatening. She wrote back denying that she makes any noise and said if she continues to be harassed she'll take legal action against the coop. She would too. She's a very difficult person.

The Sh tried talking to the woman, to no avail. Residents on the floor tell this Sh that the noise drives them crazy too. Her unit is next to the elevator. A few times when I've gone to that floor, the second I get off the elevator, noise (usually music at top volume) hits me like a brick.

The board/mgmt advised the Sh to try to get other neighbors to write letters of complaint to mgmt to support the Sh's claim. Without their cooperation all we have is a "he said, she said" situation. No one else will send a letter altho the noise also bothers them. We also told the Sh to call the police who'd opefully arrive while the noise is going on. We even suggested that the Sh try to tape record the noise outside the woman's door. The Sh doesn't want to call the police and possibly incur her neighbor's wrath, and she said tape recording doesn't work.

The Sh is a very nice person but we just got another letter from her and she's at her wit's end. Her parents (in their late 70s) recently visited for a week and couldn't sleep bec of the racket from next door.

Cases of noise don't carry much weight in courts which, in NYC, consider them mostly a "nuisance."

What else might we do to resolve this. Any ideas will be much appreciated. Thanks ~

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The offender's actions affect more than one shareholder, which makes it a board responsibility to handle.

Why have you been waiting for the shareholder to do it?

Call the DEP. Call 311. Call the police. Call an independent noise specialist to record the decibels.

Don't force the shareholder to do it, that's the board's job.

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The Board can only do so much. The S/H have to get involved. This is a problem in our building. S/H call, but dont want to become involved -- and you are putting the Board in the middle of a "he said-she said" situation.

The best would be for all the S/H who have a complaint to write (just one line) to the Board.

Otherwise, -- you can make an anonomous(sp) call to 311, orcall the police -

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Start the paper trail now. Co-op's attorney needs to step in and get the ball rolling - with a notice of complaint letter. If you have a management company, they too should get involved.

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average mntnc increase-POLL - st Feb 04, 2008


our mantnc just went up 6%. (having gone up an enormous amount in the last 2 years and having had a budget surplus last year. everyone: what was your average increase? lets take apoll. my very very wise downstairs neighbor says that when this happens, it is usually due to mismanagement.

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$0.37 per share, per month, which works out to a little less than $100 per month for my apartment.

Of course, it's not realistic to expect maintenance never to go up. But what some of us in the building question is such a large increase, particularly after the accountant's positively glowing report at the last annual shareholders' meeting.

I understand rising fuel costs, etc. Everyone I've talked to has had a maintenance increase this year. But the increase in my particular building was roughly twice that of other buildings in the neighborhood.

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1 Get more involved in the management of your building by participating and joining a committee
2 Ask for explanations of changes or items on your financial statement from your managing agent.
Any increase or decrease should show in a comparison between the amounts in a column
3 Building's are almost as different as people. Most solutions end up as a compromise.
4 Don't forget you are an owner not a renter. What happens to the entire building effects you and your investment

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is a rumor-mongering jerk.

Boards don't vote in maintenance increases to cover their asses (unless there's something hinky goin' on, which is very very rare, despite your neighbor's statement); they raise maintenance to cover things like 10% increases for water and electricity, 20% increases in insurance premiums, 20% tax increases, and sky's-the-limit for fuel oil. Please keep in mind that board members are shareholders, too, and have to pay the same increase everyone else does.

You're better off asking the super next time.

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why dont you say something helpful? for one, it has been a mild winter. our fuel charges will not be much more than last year. our insurance went down with renegotiation. etc. no - we are suffering from mismanagement and a board that is not making every efforts to cut costs and is not being advised to do so. a good manager would give them bulet points wiht how to reduce costs. for one - you should challenge your water bill, etc.
are you so scared of change and being proacive that you must insult my neighbor?

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Ok, something helpful: a coop is a business, so why not try a spreadsheet approach:

- Maintenance increase history, as many years as possible
- Assessment history, ditto
- Costs for everything major you can think of: that new elevator, the new carpet in the lobby, plate glass window fixed, storage cages installed, code violations cured.... those old annual reports you filed come in handy after all, and if you forgot to file them, the management company has copies.

Now ask questions like, What kind of major annual increases has/does/will your building face each year - gas, electricity, water, fuel oil, liability insurance, interest rates, taxes? Were there unexpected repairs like a sewer pipe break? What sources of income does the co-op have to offset those? Ask questions like that 'til you run out of questions. By then you'll have a better idea why most co-ops raise maintenance as a rule of thumb.

Not done yet: figure your share history. What did your shares cost when you bought them? How much would they fetch today, as determined by recent sales? Do any of the expenses you thought were "arbitrary" - like the new chandeliers - have an impact on your building's image and value to buyers? Hmmm, guess they mightn't've been "mismanagement" after all.

Looking receipt by receipt, anyone could probably discover "mismanagement" of some kind in any co-op, from the purchase of new mop heads ("what was wrong with the old ones?"), all the way up the continuum to outright fraud.

There are boards that are fumble-fingered and boards that are light-fingered, but I'd also wager there are boards that have a firm grasp of their fiduciary duty.

How about positive kudos for THEM?

Throwing around words like "mismanagement" is dangerous when you don't know what you're talking about. Accusations like that rocked our building awhile ago, and it took A LONG TIME for it to recuperate. And - looking closely into them - the charges were baseless.

All that turmoil for nothing, when shareholders could have just talked to the board openly and treated them with the respect VOLUNTEERS deserve for taking responsibility for EVERYONE'S investment.

As for "mild winters" - take a look at your fuel consumption stats. You'll find even mild winters suck up a LOT of oil, and prices are still in the "need oxygen" category.

Next time, run for the board and see for yourself how hard it is to balance so many egos, mouths and - ah, get outta here. I got things to do.

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According to NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), the number of heating degree days through Feburary 2, 2008 is up 6.5% from last year's pace. This year's colder winter is coupled with a 40.2% increase in residential heating oil prices according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administrations's latest pricing survey. Unless a particular coop has drastically reduced heat supplied or spent considerable money to invest in a more energy efficient heating system, then it's highly likely that coops' heating costs are up dramatically from year-ago levels.

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Batch, what's with the crack about asking the super?

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That "crack" was a compliment. This person WOULD have been better off asking the super, who (even if not privy to board discussions) often has a far better grasp of the state of the building's infrastructure, financial health, and the costs of repairs, supplies, etc.

Chill. I don't insult hard-working people who do the best they can, many times at far too low pay, far too long hours, and far too little respect.

If I say something, I say it plainly. Innuendo is for those who second-guess the doers.

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I must have read it wrong, I am sorry about the response that I wrote.

Mike

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we were able to avoid an increase by taking 100% of the tax abatement. in past years we took 50% or less.

if we did not do this we were faced with a 6% increase.

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cell tower on roof - commercial rental? - danny Jan 25, 2008


is income from a cell tower on the roof part of the former 80/20? can we now negotiate high rental rates with them?

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Misbehaving Guests of Shareholders - BN Jan 17, 2008


A shareholder who has been no problem since moving in two years ago recently had a boyfriend move in with her who is causing problems for shareholder above them and in the building in general. For example, they were staining and varnishing their floors, painting etc,. and it dragged on for two weeks causing toxic fumes to permeate the hallways and unit above. They lived elsewhere while this was going on cause the fumes were so bad. This should have been a two day job. The shareholder living above then contacted management and registered complaints about the fumes. Subsequently the new "boyfriend" cursed the shareholer out in the hall. This guy talks so loud you can hear him in the apt above, he shakes the floor in the unit above when he walks. He puts garbage out wherever and whenever he likes disregarding the recycling laws etc. The shareholder he cursed out wants the Board to take some action to head off any further altercations. We suspect drug use on his part as well, Should we send a letter from the co-op lawyer to the shareholder and put her on notice about house rules he is breaching? And what about the cursing etc? We are afraid he is a time bomb. Is a lawyer's letter the next step or a letter from the Board? Thanks, this is a new one.

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I believe (correct me if Im wrong) after 30 days, a person living in an apartment is no longer a visitor -- but a renter or subletter, and subject to the House rules and a sublet screeing by the Board.

If there is a fire or an emergency, it is the Manangements or Boards legal responsiblity to have a list of all residents, and I believe that after 30 (60?) days, if you live in an apartment -- you have to be listed as an occupant.

There are also Insurance issues that apply, and if they are not listed, than this could lead (accident etc) to a libility issue. We faced this Insurance problem with a S/H who had three full time employees.

Check your House rules and CoOp lawyer. And, as always put your questions in writing, you never know when you will need to refer to the Email trail...

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If they are there with the shareholder, they are a "roommate" and not subject to any approvals. fortunately the roomate law overrides and coop laws. However, they cannot engage in offensive behavior. The offensive behavior of this occupant is the problem of the prime shareholder. It must be very well documented and based on %100 fact wiht no element of personal biase.

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I am intrested in the Roomate Law, could you direct me to where I can find it..

However, I am certain that after 30 (60?) days, anyone living in an apartment -- for legal: libality and insurance reasons, have to be listed.

But do check your house rules...

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you can google the law. The landlord may write the sharholder asking for the name of the new resident but they may not ask anything else. They are entitled to the name only (privacy issues). There is no other official process. god bless the roommate law.

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What if the "roommate" is not legally registered as living at the co-op? Does the Board have more rights in that case as to screening, employment, etc. of the stranger in town? What if the guest is keeping a rent-controlled residence uptown as well or has a registered address in another state? Do Boards have a right/obligation to do due diligence on unknown people/guests? What form would that take?

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If the person is a friend or other relation to the primary resident and living with the resident the board has no right to ask anything other than a name. I love that boards are too nosy anyhow. the hwole coop concept has gotten really warped. Love the roommate law. it is coop board proof. but also it is non of their business - ie it is meant to protect the domestic partner privacy of a resident.

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Yes, privacy protection is an important right but so is the right of shareholders in their building to peace and quiet enjoyment of their premises and knowing who is living in their building for security purposes. We do not care what their relationship is between two peoplle or what they eat for breakfast, we do care when a "guest" or visitor is creating a disturbance by acting in an unruly fashion and threatening shareholders. From the answers I have gotten here it seems like the responsibility falls on the shareholder who owns the unit and we should take action to let her know via a lawyers' letter that these house rules are being violated and she is responsible for the behavior of her guest.

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other than that, you cannot control roommates. each apt. is entitled to one. a papertrial - an OBJECTIVE and accurate paper trail is the correct path for you. The incidents must be 100% factual and not just some loud noise tha tis made occasionally - but have real credibility.

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If these misdeeds were to occur in our building, we would have our attorney send a certified letter to the owner of the unit indicating the misbehavior of the occupants in the unit with the need for immediate cessation of the undesirable behavior which is contrary to the proprietary lease and bylaws and inimical to the quality of life.

If there is no change in behavior, the second or third letter, depending on the gravity of the situation, would indicate the co-op’s need to begin proceedings to terminate the proprietary lease.

In our case, if the occupancy of the apartment changes and the management office was not formally notified, we would also have the attorney note that in the letter, e.g.: violation of the proprietary lease.

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correct - get the facts exactly straight in the letter so you cant be sued for harassment or character defamation. the letter cannot be baised on any personal dislike of the person - it must be 100% about behaviour that is in direct violaiton of the house rules, etc.

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I have to agree with st comments regarding the guest. One has to be oh so careful and not rush to judgement otherwise it may be a very costly lesson that you Coop learns. Make sure you have all your facts, documentation, log records etc correct. I believe it can be worked out in a civil manner without lawyer, attorneys, lawsuits etc.

FN

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greening your building - free: Jan 22 - atg Jan 14, 2008


The Small Property Owners of New
York's (SPONY) membership meeting of
Tuesday, January 22 at
7 p.m will be devoted
to Greening Your Building,
including solar and
basic enegy conservation
measures.
It's at the Marriott
Courtyard, 866 Third
Avenue (between 52-53 Streets) in the
Empire Room, 14th floor.
Suggest you call first: 212 410 4600.

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new door in a coop - sandy m Jan 09, 2008


it says in our prop lease theat the enrty door is the respnsibility of the coop. we are having the below problem and need advice on how to manage to get a new door from the coop.
the entry door to our coop apt was installed some 20 years ago with an old door. we are now having problems with the bottom lock and notice that the door is slightly warped withinthe frame. this means you have to push and pull to open and close - it is also impossible to replace the bottom lock since it is bashed from a break in attempt to whatever apt it was on prior to this one.

it will not work properly with new locks - it will merely be a jury-rigges situation. how can we get the coop to give us the new door we need? advice please. they tend to be very frugul and difficult even if this is their responsibility.

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Sandy, do you mean the front door to the building? And that it used to be the front door to someone's apartment?

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Sandy,, Unitl the Board takes you seriously, they probably won't respont... We have changed the course of our Building with "Email Power", and all it takes is one determined person.
I suggest that you start an Email trail. Send the same or variation of the same, Eamil every week requesting that your door be changed. Inform them that this is a safty issue, enviormental issue or quality of life issue. But keep the Emails going.

Also, send Emails (every week) to the Man company (they absolutely HATE the Email trail) and any other Email addresses you may have. and very simply be determined and persistant.
Call the DOB and register a complaint. They will come to the building to check for a violation.. and if there is, than the CoOp will have to pay a fine...
Also if you are a renter, your apartment OWNER, is responsible, so do include him on the Emial train, or overwhelm him with letters. (type them up, and send them out weekly... Unfortunately its the squeky wheel that gets the grease....

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The coop is definitely responsible for the entrance door to your apartment - if if doesn't close correctly, etc - get all your corporate documents it is in there - Did you write to management company and coop board - do it in writing - if nothing is done call 311 - if the door is seriously damaged and cannot be fixed they must replace - Building department will come down to investigate and if there is problem they will issue a violation - keep writing to management and board as to status - if they do nothing you can replace and take them to small claims court - don't take them to housing court - I did that and won, door must be replaced but the management company and board still played me - if you have a building violation saying it must be replaced that is it - get price of door, all court costs and if they are really bad maybe damages or time charges

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i live in a co-op in yonkers. they recently put my carbon monoxide tester in my apt i have told them i was never given fire alarms. they never did anything to give them to me. i never knew we were supposed to have them in the apt. no one ever told me. there is one in the hallway. there four units in my dwelling. i do not believe there are sprinklers. there definitely not in my unit.

also. i have had an ongoing and consistant problem with my front door to my apartment. i have gotten lock out on several occasions over the last six years. the empergency number asked if i wanted a new knob or door. i said door of course. well the manager at my co-op is on a power trip and she told me no i am not getting you a new door. you will get a new knob. since then that knob has given me time and time again problems where i have to have them over to fix. now the problem is worse i can't get out of my apt. sometimes i am total stuck in there and its basically turning the knob back and forth and wiggling to get out. i am scared if there is a fire there is absolutely no way i am getting out.
i had the maintainance guy there today and he said the door is cracked and we have to replace door. i said well its no wonder i can't get out and this is been on going problem. said he would tell the manager and get back to me. but didnt'. i called no return call. my friend called no return call to them. i want to know isn't it required to have fire doors? also they sent out a notice and i still have copy of 2o05 and 2006 all tenants to have fire doors through a phase. i told the maintainance i should get the fire door right/ and he totally hesistated and said i will go tell theresa? this is ridiculous? i could die in a fire b/c of some scam they are pulling on the town/ this co op is known for getting bought off, fixed elections so we can't switch management companies and totally abuse of power to terrorize other female tenants. i know one being harrassed in my complex is a female police officer. its ridiculous and no one does anything. i always say something and i am penalized or ignored b/c they hate that i don't sit idolly by to be screwed.
if anyone can help i live in bryn mawr co ops in yonkers new york off central ave.
people deserve to get honesty and not get robbed in todays day and age especially with our economy the way it is.

thank you
sonja kahian

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The email that stated the following is definitely correct - 1) The coop is definitely responsible for your door - 2) write letters to management, cc board & lawyer describing everything - dates that problem began, what steps you have taken - contacting management, board, etc - take pictures - 3) definitely call 311 - an inspector will come down and look at the problem, discuss it with you and issue a violation with a date that it must be rectified, if they violate that definitely take them to small claims court - make sure that you have gotten quotes from door companies, etc not housing court which I did upon the suggestion of a lawyer and then my board and management company violated the court order

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You are right; the coop is responsible for the entry door.

There are few things that need to be considered:

1. Has a professional locksmith or even a knowledgeable super been called to check the hinges and door alignment?

2. If after the door has been inspected and found beyond repair, then it should be changed. Many of the doors in buildings are built to provide some fire protection by not allowing drafts into a building in a fire. If sufficiently warpped, may not render the required fire safety requirements.

This is something the board needs to consider once they call a good professiona locksmith that does not only limit himself/herself to the door mechanism but to the entire door alignment.

For your information, a steel door may be over $1,000 + installation costs and taxes. The co-op should be looking to spend over $1500. This is why boards tend to think about a change of this nature. Thus, an opinion of the entire door and how it hangs should be important before considering to replace a door.

AdC

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back-fees and "lost" storage fees - danny Jan 08, 2008


OK so an illegal subletter is caught after 2 years and AR or Adc says the coop cannot then charge back fees. Right so lets say the coop forgot to charge basement closet strorage fees for tow years(for a certain no. of shareholders) and then whaloops you with a $600 bill saying they lost it in some kind of computer re-setting. Do you have to pay?
I have paid $400 of it but am thinking they have no right ot ask for he rest since they made a boo boo. Much like not charging the backfees for the subletter once they caught the person.

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Hi, Danny,

I'll take first stab at this. AR and AdC may chime in too.

First, as a moral issue, if you owe the money to your neighbors you should pay it. Didn't you notice that you weren't being charged all those months? I'm hoping you tried to correct the billing error even though it wasn't in your favor. (If tables were turned, and the co-op were charging you twice, I'll bet you'd make some noise -- and you'd want your money back!)

So how is this different from the illegal sublet?

The storage space isn't illegal (right?). You made an agreement to pay for a service, and the co-op wants to you pay for that service. Yes, the bill was delayed, and I hope they'll give you a few months to cough up the remaining $200. But not charging you is an honest mistake.

(As opposed to the illegal sublet, which was a dishonest deception.)

Oh, and if you're a shareholder in the co-op, you're basically taking the position that you should be able to cheat your neighbors and yourself out of the money. If you don't want to pay for a storage cage, you can always clear out to make way for someone who will.

Sorry for the harsh tone, but your co-op is a business, and you're the owner. You should know better!

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yes. true what you say. I am mad at managment and the board though for not charging the $5000 worth of back fees for the illegal sublet. it is far more than my back storage. I dont understand why they cannot charge the back fee for the illegal sublet. that tenants did use tow years of approved time prior to the illegal time.

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Hi, Danny,

I don't know why they can't charge back fees for the illegal sublet. My guess is that if it was illegal then you can't charge for it. I mean, if it truly was illegal -- violating the law, not just the house rules -- then they could be sued or something, but that's tremendously expensive and is no guarantee of victory.

If the sublet was just a violation of house rules/proprietary lease, then maybe there was a way to collect money. Thing is, the co-op would have to be able to prove it was a sublet (not a "roommate" who was the shareholder's "brother" or some such dodge) and that the person lived there the entire time (instead of "visiting" or "house-sitting"). There's lots of grey areas out there in subletting because shareholders would rather take advantage of their neighbors (and fellow business owners) than agree to follow the terms of the lease they signed.

Let's hope your board will watch more closely for improper sublets in the future. It's not easy to run a building as a volunteer!

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Read your Mang contract, more than likely your Mang company is required to keep these records, and collect fees.

If they have not, they are in breach of contract, and you should lobby to have them fired. We just discovered that our Mang company has lost substancial fees, because they have not kept the records and for years have not collected fees... Again, you have Email Power, and if you send your complaints to everyone you know, (the Mang comapny hates the Email Trail) you will get answers.

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I say "AMEN" to the Board treasurer's response. Pay up sir/madam. The rest of us will not pay for you.

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While I am not an expert on the subject I believe that all concerned parties knew that these were no freebies here. Simply if it was rented someone has to pay for it. In my property if a subtenant uses storage space the owner is liable (what agreement/fee) if any is between owner and sublet once the Coop gets paid its annual rental fee for storage. Finally if someone is trying to find a loophole it appears one does not care too much about the running/upkeep of the property as the money could be used for improvements etc.

Hope I was of some help.

FN

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We just discovered that our Mang company does not have a sublet list, nor have they collected any fees --for years. This is a substancial loss of income for the coop.

You do have to pay the fees, but, you should read your Mang contract, and like us discover that they are in Breach of contract -- and start an Emil trail and work to have them replaced.

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Doesn't your mgmt. company provide the board with a monthly report showing all incoming and outgoing monies? The board should always go through this report with a fine-tooth comb to make sure that nothing has slipped through the cracks. I sympathize that your mgmt. company has neglected to collect sublet fees for years, but your board needs to share the blame for this -- you are the mgmt. company's boss, after all!

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Shareholders Have Equal Rights - JBM Jan 08, 2008


I've heard that levying substantial sublet fees (provided there is nothing in the PL that authorizes such action)is considdered a "violation" of the equal rights all shareholders have in the corporation. Specifically, that no one shareholder or subgroup of shareholders can be singled out for a negative policy such as this since the PL does allow sublets with board approval. My question in general is does anyone know what is the underlying basis for the "equal rights for all shareholders" principle? Is it part of New York Business Corp Law or something else. Dont see any such language in the several PLs I've looked at. (Not talking about unequal voting rights based on numbers or class of shares)
Thanks

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Hi, JBM,

I'll take the first crack at this.

If the fees for a sublet apply to anyone who sublets, then the fees are not unequally applied. Since they apply equally, no one is being treated differently.

For example, just because the little old lady in 7-B chooses not to sublet while the soldier sent to Iraq for three years in 12-V finds a renter doesn't mean the soldier is being discriminated against. He's being charged for taking advantage that the co-op offers.

Likewise, let's say your building has a party room that's available only for a fee. You want to rent it, but don't want to pay the $50. You can't claim that your being discriminated against on the grounds that your neighbor -- who isn't having a party in the room -- doesn't have to pay it. The point is that your neighbor, or anyone else in the building, would have to pay the same rate for the same service.

I can't tell you where the equal rights for shareholders principle has its source, but it wouldn't have to be printed in your PL any more than your PL has to prohibit any other illegal activity.

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I don't think the sublet fee has anything to do with equality but what the PL says about being able to sublet an unit. The PL usually says something about shareholders may be able to sublease the apartment provided that corporation is notified and "reasonable expenses" surrounding the rental are covered by the shareholder. In other words, the co-op does not seek a "sublet fee" but recovery of reasonable expenses. This is why a "fee" amendment is usually introduced in coops where subleasing is allowed.

Finally, shareholders in a co-op most likely have COMMON SHARES with same value as stated in the beginning of the black book or prospectus. Therefore, the deviation of the PL is a breach to the coventant between a shareholder and the co-op and has nothing to do with a violation of the equal rights since all shareholder who sublease their apartments are most likely charged the same fee.

AdC

AdC

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Thanks for the response. I guess my main question is still - where does the equal rights for shareholders principle find its source. I've heard (as in my original example) that sublet fees that are significantly above the normal expenses of administration apparently constitute unequal treatment and require an amendment to the the PL based on this equality principle.

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I don't think the problem is equality but USURY and what is defined as USURY.

Youur rights are defined by the PL. Unless the PL has language to allow sublet fees, a co-op runs the risk to be taken to court and lose the case. Many shareholders accept the sublet fee, even if not truly legal, because they undestand that subletting may be a privilege that they may be taken away. So, it's better to pay the co-op for the provilege of having a sublessee while the real shareholder is enjoying other pastures (whether greener or not so greener).

When structuring a sublet fee, boards have to be conscious that the sublet should not be so high as to constitute usury. A certain percentage is acceptable, after than percent, the fee becomes questionable.

AdC

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Sublet issues aside - In general -Does anyone know the source of the principle of equal treatment for all shareholders. (i.e. granting some privilege/right to some shareholders and not others).

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It's difficult from these posts to understand what you mean by the "source of the principle of equal treatment."

All Shareholders have the right to vote, sublet, renovate, participate in amenities (eg., fitness rooms, pools, roof decks, parking, etc.) whether fee-based or not. All Shareholders have the right to sell their shares. All Shareholders have the right to run for a position on the Board of Directors.

The Proprietary Lease and ByLaws of each cooperative outline all of the rights of ALL Shareholders. What privileges or rights are you referring to, where some Shareholders are receiving "unequal" treatment?

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McKinney, consolidated laws of New York - book 6 Section 680-800, I believe Section 709 has paragraph that you cannot treat shareholders unequally - same thing

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Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

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