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Tax Certiorari Attorney - jbm Dec 03, 2008


Can anyone recommended a good Tax Certiorari Attorney who has been successful with the city in reducing assessments. We have a 24 unit co-op in Chelsea

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I always found Sonnenschein, Sherman, and Deutch, 888 Seventh Ave, to be very competent.

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maintenance increases in 09 - newbie board dire Dec 03, 2008


We are raising our maintenance in 09 by 5%. I'd like to know what others are doing.

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We just announced a 12% increase, so consider yourself lucky.

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fuel is the same, labor did not go up. having raised ours considerably in the last few years, there is no reason to raise your mntnce if you are taking PRO_ACTIVE cost-cutting measures - supplies, insurance, energy costs, etc.

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Newbie - We are raising our maintenance 5% in 2009 too. NYC real estate taxes are going up (7%, I believe), and who knows what will happen in 2009 in this economy. IMO, unless your co-op is very well fixed financially, a maintenance increase is a good move.

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Yea! You are lucky we have 10% !!

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you need a very good Tax Certiorari ASAP/. get a new one if your regular one is not doing as well as he could be.

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9% to cover property taxes.

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$ to Fix the Heat Problems - Sam Kulovitz Nov 20, 2008


NYSERDA's been giving out large sums in cash incentives and subsidized loans (even in THIS day and age!) for co-ops and condo or rental apartment buildings in the Con Ed territory. You should look into it more or email me for more information.

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Green@metrogroupny.com

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Anyone Been Attacked / Threatened? - Frank Lovece Nov 20, 2008


Have any of you board member been threatened or physically attacked by a resident, a vendor or anyone else in the course of board business?

This is for a Habitat article on how to help prevent such occurrences, and how best to handle them if they do occur.

Anyone with personal experience with this or a story lead, please contact me at franklovece@copper.net ASAP.

Thanks

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. I was board treasurer threatened by resident, As always, it's a bit more complicated . Feel free to contact me if interested.

Regards,Elise

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Are you Elise Brodsky from NYC?

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New Products - Marcus Nov 19, 2008


I was at the CNYC thing this past weekend, and went to the new technology panel. Someone from Habitat was there and mentioned the New Products they have on the front page of the website. I was looking through it and there's a lot of interesting looking stuff. I was wondering if any other boardmembers have used anhy of the new products there. Is it a useful resource to look at now and then?

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I'm interested in the table lamp that doubles as a security camera, which was in the New Products section maybe a month ago. (It's here: http://www.habitatmag.com/publication_content/previous_new_products/brickhouse_nightvision_dvr_spy_lamp)

Does anyone out there have experience with surreptitous security recording? I see security cameras hanging from buildings on the street all the time, without a sign saying "you are being videotaped." Do we need to put a sign in our lobby if we've got a security camera? Is the law different for an obvious security camera, no matter how small, or a hidden camera? A lot of elevators have essentially hidden cameras, with no "you are being videotaped" signs.

Before I go to the rest of my board, I want to have good information, and wanted to check with fellow board members before going to the board attorney and racking up fees.

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No Subject - bbb Nov 18, 2008


can anyone out there please help me???

i have been in my co-op for 2 years now and have experienced nothing but heartache.
i have been complaining about mold for 2 years now around my air conditioner and have not gotten anyone to come look at until last week. when someone did come take a look at courtesy of the board,not only did they not fix the mold but they said it was because of my airconditioner sleeve. they took out my air conditioner changed the sleeve and left my air conditioner sitting on the floor. they refused to put it back in. they said the board told them not to put it back in. THEY NEVER TOLD ME THIS UPON THEM COMING IN AT ALL. HE TOLD ME HE WOULD PUT IT BACK IMMEDIATELY. they have also complained that i am using a 220 volt amp to run my air conditioner which was allready established before i moved in and one that they have seen during 3 inspections they have done. They are abusing thier power in order for their electrician and air conditioner people to get paid.
CAN SOMEONE HELP ME!!!!


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First step: Put everything in writing to the board and send it certified. Be brief and precise. Tell them they are violating the warrent of habitability by not completing the project.

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You said you had mold around your A/C. Is the A/C yours according to the PL or the co-op?

Obviously,the managing agent and/or the board should have provided you with the intended scope of their work.

To inspect the sleeve, the A/C had to be removed from the sleeve. If the A/C was yours, you should have removed it to facilitate the inspection of the sleeve. This is very similar to changing windows in a co-op. Residents are requested to remove drapes, furniture and other furnishings since this is personal property.

Obviously, the co-op assumed the removal of the A/C so that the inspection and removal of the sleeve could be done. In such a case, the co-op should have placed your A/C back and avoided further complaint. If the co-op did not do it, it should have informed you that putting the A/C back was your responsibility.

Finally, if the sleeve was rotted, but the condensate water was damaging the front wall around your unit, it was probably due to an incorrect pitch of the A/C when it was installed. An A/C should be pitched a tat higher up front so that condensates evacuate through the back of the sleeve and out the building not through the front and into the internal wall of the apartment.

So, make sure your A/C is installed correctly by lifting the front a bit. This will avoid water and mold growing on the internal wall. In fact, if the A/C was incorrectly pitch and this was the cause of the mold, it stands to reason that YOU own the mold remediation as may be caused by your own equipment.


AdC


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bank foreclosure notices? - rene Nov 17, 2008


Hi everyone,


Several shareholders in my building have received foreclosure notices from the bank saying the coop owes new york state. I believe this is overdue water bills which we pay off each month.

Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Any ideas how to solve this beyond paying off the back bills? Is there some sort of work out the building can do with the water company?

We are not in a financial position to pay off the water bill in full but we do not want the bank to foreclose on individual apartments. We have our annual board meeting tomorrow and i want to provide some direction to shareholders who have received notices. Any advice is appreciated.

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Debris Neighboring Building Roof/Yard - BN Nov 15, 2008


Our small co-op has a terrible rear yard neighbor. It's a privately-owned 5-story tenement with a ground floor commercial tenant which is a Chinese restaurant. We've tried to call NYC agencies about the multiple noise, sanitation complaints, but have had not luck with the sanitation problems. The restaurant has a 3-4 foot "alley" as a rear yard and they have turned it into an outdooor storage area. There are boxes of empty beer bottles, and garbage stored there permenantly. They have gerry-rigged a cardboard and plywoord "shanty" roof over the area and keep it weighted down with buckets. Isn't it illegal for them to block egress in case of a fire? There is also a very bad cooking odor migration happening that causes our rear shareholders real concern. The managing agent of the rental building does not care what his tenant's do--we guess they pay a decent rent to him. Anyone know who we can call to issue possible violations? Their air handlers and ventilation on lower rear roof is old and noisey and unsightly as well. They leave old pails and brooms on their lower roof which again, is horrible to look at. They are the ONLY bad neighbor out of 5 surrounding buildings.

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Document, document, document.

Take your case to your local community board and ask for their help in pushing for action.

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Condo' noise nuisance complaints - Michael Nov 13, 2008


We live in condo in Brooklyn. Our neighbors upstairs make a lot of noise. They have very active small child which running around and playing heavy ball. Whey have big dog which running through the apartment with big noise. Whey have terrible working washing machine which make not only noise also vibration. They band the main door and our drawer fall down.
We try to resolve this problem. But we receive biggest noise. They start to jumping and play loud music. Our fixture vibrating and ready to fall down.
We are senior citizen. We can not sleep at night. I have heart implant. Every week I have to call to ambulance.
How we can solve our problem?

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Type in Noise in the Search box above and you'll see a string of postings and replies e.g. these and more:
Noise/Responsibility AliceT Fri Feb 8, 2008 9:12AM
S/H who have a complaint to write (just one line) to the Board. Otherwise, -- you can make an anonomous(sp) call to 311, or call the police -
* Question about a noisy neighbor — BP, Wed Feb 6 3:47AM
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... more
o ATTORNEY Letter on behalf of the Board — Wits End, Thu Feb 7 6:29AM
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.
o noise — Batch, Thu Feb 7 3:36AM
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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Please keep in mind that the above discussions referred to co-ops, not condos. There is no warranty of habitability in a condo, which makes it much harder to pursue noise complaints against neighbors.

In my experience, 311 is largely useless except for creating a paper trail. So call 311 to record your complaint and get a reference number, then call the police if the noise is really bad.

If the noise is severe enough to cause visible shaking and loud thumping, take a video and put in on YouTube, then send the URL to everyone in your building.

This sounds like a terrible situation and I'm sorry you have to endure it.

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Conflict of Interest? - Kim Nov 13, 2008


Can a board member work for the same management company that oversees his condominium? And is this considered a conflit of interest? The board memeber is presently unemployed due to the down market and was considering working for the condominium management company.

Please advise

Thank you

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One way to test conflict of interest is as follows: If there is any seed of doubt, then it is said to be a conflict of interest that requires disclosure.

In this case and to avoid any seed of doubt, the board member in question should abstain from being an offficer of the corporation, i.e., abstain from being president, treasurer (the most dangerous of the positons since management controls the checking book) and secretary (second most dangerous position as the custodian of the corporate records). Finally, the shareholder should abstain from any discussion relating to the performance of the management company and the person should be protected by the management company by not being named manager of the property in which the person holds shares.

The other shareholders and board members must recognize that the shareholder in question has a large financial interest in the builidng and just like the other shareholders expect the builidng to remain financial stable and well-managed.


Many read great problems relating to this situation; however, it is well known that the CEO of major American corporations, in addition to being the top manager of the company and an employee of the corporation, sits on the Board of Directors and holds a substantial shareholder interest by virtue of holding shares of the corporation by way of compensation or even individual purchase.

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