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Dogs in Elevator - SaraSara Aug 21, 2007


Is it a law that Dogs must be muzzled in the ELE.. I am not normally afraid of dogs, but we do have two dogs that make me nervous.. Problem? They belong to board members...

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Well Sara does your coop have a policy regarding "pet rules"
Also just because a dog looks threatning does not make it vicious. Find out does the dog have a " history of violence" (thats a movie also ha). And finally it should/does not make a differece who owns the dog. Board president, etc.

Hope this helped FN

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I don't know of a law about muzzling dogs in elevators.

In our co-op, all dogs are required to be leashed and under the control of their handlers in all public spaces of the building, at all times. If a dog were so dangerous as to require muzzling, the board could choose to tell the owner to find a new home for it.

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It is up to your house rules to define the leash/muzzle rules in the buiolding. Some smaller buildings mandate that pets must use stairs.
write a letter to the board and inform them that you feel threatened in your building and you have the right to feel safe and secure in your own building, etc..

~AR

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Sorry AR, Sara mentioned that the dogs made her nervous. You mentioned that Sara was threatened?. Two different points here. It is possible that the dogs look vicious but may not be threatening.

FN

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Don't matter.
The point is not - if they are vicious…. If i feel threatened, I am.
I understand that a certain level of her perception is reality, but nevertheless, no one should have to feel nervous just because some one else may feel they have a right to have their dog in the open.

Further - a history of biting does not tell what a dog will do today. Many people get bit by dogs that never bit anyone before.

A coop/condo should consist of everyone understanding and working together towards a single healthy comfortable environment without compromising the interests of the building as a whole.

~AR

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Sara: An idea if you have more than 1 elevator. I used to live in a condo that had many dogs. Many people didn't want to get in elevators with them if they looked or were known to be unfriendly. We had 4 elevators and 2 were designated for dogs. Their owners could only use those unless 1 of the others came and no one else got in. It worked very well.

If you have 1 elevator and someone is nervous about getting in with a dog, maybe that person (or the dog owner) should offer/agree to wait and take the elevator on the next trip.

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that is what usually happens though some people hesitate to openly discuss it.

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naughty billing on a mntnce bill - sb Aug 20, 2007


in a cop, the managing agent, at behest of the board pres, consults the coops attorneys on a matter relating to an employee . the matter was caused by an incident with a shareholder but it was not a direct incident in that the shareholder actually did nothingdirectly to incur the legal fees - the board/managing agent just needed some info. and advice . 7 months goes by and the board decides to put the legal fees on the shareholders bill (they were billed to the coop and paind many months ago -) with no notice - just, zingo, added onto a mntnce bill. seems illegal to me no? to say nothing of inappropriate. advice? r esponses?

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Can you explain/elaborate a little bit so we can help.

FN

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I cant go too much into detial for various reasons but I can tell you that it involved a building employee as a primary suspect in a theft. the determination was made byt the police and the coops lawyers got involved althoght he union lawyers are supposed to be working for members. in fact, ti may just have been an inappropriate usage fo funds byt the board pres - anyhow - some 8 months later they are attempting to bill the shareholder even thought he client was techincally the coop and the cost was incurred by the board and managing agent as they needed consultation.

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> "the matter was caused by an incident with a shareholder but it was not a direct incident in that the shareholder actually did nothingdirectly to incur the legal fees ... "

I'm no lawyer, ba, but that seems to be the crux of the issue.

It's entirely possible that "an incident with a shareholder" would result in the shareholder paying legal fees, but it seems impossible to tell from this. It's worth remembering that one can incur liability (such as for a bill) even if one is not directly involved.

In our co-op, if a shareholder makes a request (or a demand) that requires the co-op to use legal services, the shareholder is charged for those services. The alternative -- that everyone in the co-op should share in paying the bill -- just isn't fair to the rest.

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thanks - there was no direct request. it was entirely an option of the board to seek counsel and they did not even have to incur the fee. now they are trying to pass it on - the costs - and it seems inappropriate. again, the shareholder did nothing directly.

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The board certainly has the option of seeking counsel, even if the issue in question appears clear-cut.

This shareholder may certainly ask the board for an explanation of their reasoning behind passing on the bill. Be sure the person does so in a polite, non-confrontational way, to ensure a response.

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the board has informed the shareholder the charge was an error. phew.

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Yay!

Nice to know that your board can admit a mistake.

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rain and sewer back up - board newbie Aug 18, 2007


Due to the heavy rains 2 weeks ago, a sewer line backed up into our basement and flooded it. The smell is pretty bad and we had our super do a clean up. But the carpet leading down to the terra cotta tile floor got soaked and we are debating what to do. Management suggested calling in a clean up/sanitzing service and replacing the bad carpet. The estimates are $1500-$3500--a huge amount for our small brownstone. Anyone have a protocol to suggest following up a flood like this? we want to take proper precautions to make sure contamination and mold are eradicated. Any referrals for cleaning services? Thanks all.

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Before the next heavy rain and things deteriorates further you need to take action

Alexander Wall Corp.for property damage and disaster recovery specialists in the industry.

Gary J. Alexander, President
877-868-4373 • galexander@alexanderwall.com • www.alexanderwall.com

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I don't have anyone to refer you to, but I agree that you must remove this soiled carpet immediately. Clean the area underneath with some sort of high-end professional solvent. Or at least a bleach solution!

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I use Spic and Span Carpet Man @ 866-299-0872
they are very good and inexpensive
for flood damage, cleaning, etc...

~AR

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In a situation like your this is how I would handle it.

1. Make sure the drain line is clear. Have a professional company come in and take care of it. Do you need a cover to catch leaves, debris etc? Check the drain line on a continual basis.

2. Check to see if you have insurance coverage. Document and take photographs if necessary.

3. Have a professional company come in and address the carpet situation straigh away. More than likely thd padding underneath the carpet is retaining the water/moisture and causing an odor at this stage. Hope I helped

FN.

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Did you check to see if you have insurance coverage for this loss?

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The best method to keep this from happening is to clean your sewer exit every 6 monts. You'll be surprised, if you have washers in your building, the soap balls that are retrieved from your building sewer exit line. In fact, this is why it is recommended to use liquid soaps and abandon the powder.

Our co-op had such a backup into the boiler and since then, the board learned its lesson. The cost of such a service is $360 - $400 in Westchester and we pay it with a BIG SMILE, knowing it will not happen as a result of NEGLIGENCE.

Finally, there are many good ODOR COUNTERACTANTS and even liquids use to disinfect floors able to kill such contamants from feces, etc. Keep a supply for emergency and, in your case, I will get rid of the carpet and buy a new one. So, its $3,000 to $3,500, pay it and get rid of the contaminants and odors at the same time.

AdC



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help - nipple at bottom of sink internal?? - big al Aug 16, 2007


totally rusted up nipple pipe at bottom of old sink - this piece of pipe goes intot he wall. I assume it is therefore coop respon to x=fix and whatever is outside that is mine. right. again - the nipple is aobut 60 years old and the treads have rusted through and water is pouring out where the nipple meets the u-bend. thanks.

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As a rule of thumb anything that is outside the wall is the shareholder responsibility, anything inside the wall is the Coop/buildings responsibility. There are some situations where a pipe may be corroded both outside and inside a wall. Your building may have a ruling on the responsibility issue in such circumstances. Our Coop absorbes the cost in a situations like the above as part of our prevetive maintenance program.

FN

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it protuds from sall so it seems it must be coop resonsibility. anything attached to it , would be the shareholders. no? seems standard.

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The nipple is usually begining within the wall to the T fitting, also within the wall. This nipple (probably a galvanised piece of pipe) is a common problem and is a building related repair (even though 2/3 of it may be extended out of the wall.)

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In our co-op the shareholder is responsible for this small piece of pipe. This is a threaded piece connecting the sink's waste elbow to the local internal line in the wall only common to your bathroom or two bathrooms if back-to-back.

Because you have exclusive access to this little piece of pipe (not to mention that it's your soap and hair buildup that entangles here) and to change the elbow a good plumber will do the pipe as well, PLEASE absorb the cost of the little pipe since the work should not add much more to the invoice of your replacement of waste elbow and small pipe. Nickel and diming happens to be ridiculous and the elbow and little galvanized pipe entails no more than $80 by the person who snakes a line.



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i have to say, well meaning as you might be, the emai you have posted makes no sense. the nipple is over 40 years old. it is rotted out with corroded threads. the internal part of it is unreachable - inside the wall. what on earth are you saying? i dont think you understand or have full knowledge. please try to be more accurate. thanks. and this is NOT nickel and diming this is expensive plumbing for which we pay thosands of dolares of monthly mntnce.

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The pipe (Nipple) I believe he is talking about is the water supply, not the waste line underneath the sink.

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the item (nipple) goes intot he walla nd must be screwed into a t pipe. if they want me to screw with it (so to speak) for sure it will drownt he downstairs neighbor. it must be coop respons. wish me luck. they are cheap and they discriminate.

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I don't think there is need for sarcasm to anyone providing an opinion; thats why the site is here...

The repair should be a building related repair as I previously stated; even if it is partly out of the wall.
Cheep is expensive in the end. If these are left to the shareholder it will go neglected and incur more damages and cost to the building than if the coop would just go in and make the repair as soon as it is evident.

some coop bylaws state that it is a shareholder responsibility, but still opt top make the repair because of the aforesaid reason.

~AR

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No. Water supplies are small pipes that end in two small valves. These valves protrude from the wall and connect to your faucet. The pipe they are talking about connects your waste under your bathroom sink into the internal plumbing.

For the person's information with fear to flood the apartment below, please note that if the line is not back to back, this is your private internal line starting from the bathtub, connecting to the sink and falling just one of two inches above the toilet into the stack.

AdC

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This is done quite often in our building and it entails very little work for a plumber who cleans the line. In fact, when the plumber is called to snake a severely backup line always find the rotted elbow and pipe that you refer to and it's changed as a routine item with no big sweat. The interior pipe with the aerating pipe is the co-op and we change it at co-op expense without batting our eyes.

AdC

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loss assessment coverage - sally Aug 15, 2007


want to add it to a coop policy. anyone got advice, tips, input ?

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You mean you want to add it to the corporation's policy, right? As opposed to adding it to the policy of a single apartment in the co-op?

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I dont think you can add it to coop's ins. however, every coop should have a GROUP RISK policy. muxh cheaper.

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Thanks for the tip -- I'll make sure our co-op is covered with a group risk policy.

Individual shareholders should add to their homeowners' policies a loss assessment coverage. In the case of Castle Village, the large assessments shareholders are paying to cover the costs of the collapsed wall are, generally, covered by loss assessment coverage -- if the shareholders had it (and had enough).

What's enough? Hard to say. After Castle Village, I increased my line of coverage to $10,000.

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Can anything really be done about this? - rfs Aug 14, 2007


We have a renter in our condo building whose dogs are not house-trained. This regularly creates a problem of a horrible-smelling hallway for the neighbors, simply because of the unit's door being opened and letting the vapors into the hallway. The dogs do not go on the hallway rug-that is not the problem.

Meanwhile, the renters (trustafarians) couldn't care less. The owner is a foreigner, who is constantly travelling, doesn't really speak English, and virtually impossible to reach. The owner's contact person in NYC, also foreign, doesn't want to get involved- other than collecting the rent.

What, if anything, could be done to remedy this situation where the tenants and owner could care less?

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Check previous posts/archieves. This subject was discussed many times.

FN.

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Did you contact the owner of the apartment or the sponsor?
I am sure the PL or the subordinate rules must address this in some manner, even if not directly. The owner will have to cure just as any other shareholder, especially if you prove a breach of lease.

... this is another good reason why I highly recommend yearly reviews for all sublet applicants, whereas the owner must submit a sublet renewal application annually. This would provide you the leverage needed in cases as this.

Notwithstanding the aforesaid, you do have options, but must read your governing documents to determine what they are and how to proceed.

Best
~AR

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Sink garbage grinders - kitchen sinks - Treasurer Aug 10, 2007


We are a new bdlg (4 yrs old) and have shareholders who have requested the board make a decision re: Garbage grinders
we would like to know if your coop / condo allows such installation and what is your bldg experience (if you allows them).
Our managing agent has concerns about plumbing issues, and provided examples about coops in Qns where the bldg has to hire a plumber once a year to "clean" the pipes form the food residual that "sticks" to the pipes.

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience / opinion

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Just finished a reno ourselves... the supplier of our new appliances expressed surprise we hadn't included a disposal. When I stated because the co-op has had problems with pipes clogging (our building's 100 years old) we hadn't even considered a disposal, he stated that they'd come a very long way in technology and the disposals now were capable of shredding garbage so fine, it wouldn't clog.

Don't know if this is the case or not; our board hasn't made a policy on the subject, in any case.

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Unless your plumbing was originally designed to handle garbage grinding or major laundry loads in apartments, I would say NO to such equipment.

Only had one apartment unit that had it. At the time it was placed under the sink the co-op was too new to know right from left. During the years, this was the WORST line with clogs - I would say every month we had a major clog and on more than two occasions major damage to apartments as the clogs also affected the apartments below.

These disposals may be great for single housing and for builidngs whose pipes or infrastructure was built for that. Otherwise, let people handle garbage the usual way.

AdC

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Thank you to all for your input.
It was very helpful

We also found an article on the Cooperator about this:
http://cooperator.com/articles/191/1/Garbage-Disposers/Page1.html

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Unless your plumbing was originally designed to handle garbage grinding or major laundry loads in apartments, I would say NO to such equipment in apartments.

Only had one apartment unit with such equipment. At the time laundry equipment and garbage grinder were installed, the co-op was too new to know right from left. Perhaps it was heaven on earth for shareholders, but a real issue for the co-op.

During the years, the apartment line was the WORST l with clogs - I would say every month we had a major clog and on more than two occasions it caused major damage to apartments as the clogs also affected stack and the apartments below.

The problem was resolved, when the current shareholder had a major local issue in her apartment and decided to disconnect the equipment. At that time, the co-op stepped in and prohibited the shareholder from installing a new one. The problems disappeared like MAGIC!!!

These disposals may be great for single housing and for builidngs whose pipes or infrastructure was built for that. Otherwise, let people handle garbage the usual way.

AdC

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Like most responses I am not if favor of them. Why create a problem when one does not exist in the first place. It reminds me of all those people that want to install washer dryers in their apartment and when they back up they question why. The plumbing was not designed for such and I have yet to see garbage been ground down to a state that it does not line the drain lines. (of course the sales person will tell you different)

FN.

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I suppose I will raise my hand and vote against, as everyone else did... I think that's unanimous?

You may get away without problems for the first few years, but it will catch up.

~AR

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Folks,

The plumbing is one piece of the equation.

The issues really relate to residents.

To be effective a garbage grinder/disposal needs water to flush the minced pieces.

Many, if not most residents fail to flush the residual material by running water for a minute or two.

This creates blockages which build and eventually create backlogs of water and disposal material.

Just conjure for a minute that kitchens are back to back. Most often there is a common waste line to the main waste line.

What happens?

The adjacent apartment receives a backup of water and debris.

We've banned disposals as they are too much trouble.

But, you should decide for yourselves.

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Supt Cellphone - NT Aug 10, 2007


Is it common practice to provide the Supt w/ a cellphone or pay for a portion of his bill since many calls are work related?
The sponsor of the building that I am in has sold quite a few units in the past year so more and more sh seem to be calling the supt's cellphone.

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This appears to be a no brainer (forgive me). If the building requires the super to be available for emergencies etc how are you going to reach him/her? Surely you do not expect the super to pay out of his/her own pocket when you are the ones calling him/her. So what if the super makes a few calls to friends. Are you going to be penny wise and pound foolish? I guess it is OK for large corporations to have huge expense accounts and we turn around and question a few dollars on a cell phone. Finally when I go on vacation I bring my cell phone and make several calls (roaming charges/international) work related which the Coop pay as I am addressing their needs.

fn

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I resisted to this idea, but had to cave in.

Reason: Today there is no perfect technology. Beepers or cell phones are all wireless these days and you need to go to more expensive beeper service, i.e., two-way and/or with text-messaging services to have a good coverage for your emergencies.

1. Beepers need to be two-way so that there is memory in the event that the super is beeped and he/she is in a "dead zone." Not like the golden era of beepers when they used to retain the numbers. The cost for two-way beeper is approx. $14 a month.

2, Cell phones also have "dead zones" and super may be out of touch with the building emergency because the ringtone is not available; however, there is phone mail to the rescue.


My thnking (not necessarily your own or anyone else's):

1.It is best to have the co-op pay for the equipment and service. Tell the super that the phone must remain for the replacement when on vacation and in this way your co=op does not have to suffer interruptions in the event of emergencies.

2. Have a written document that super is responsible for misuse and loss of equipment and charges resulting from such problems.

3. If you pay a stipend for the use of the super's phone, still make a written document as to what you expect by way of services and what the calls should cover.

4. Make sure that the cell phone provider you use have the widest coverage possible in your city and within the building. If there are "dead zones", you should know what are these are how long is the super supposed to spend in those area, i.e., boiler room, some dark storage area in basement or even elevators and hallways.

Whatever decision you make, it should make sense by way of service and cost.

AdC

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Adc while I agree with most of your opinions/responses it sounds like we are waiting here for the superintendent to miss a call and jump on him/her. Of course there are dead zones etc. What you need in a situation like that is to have a back up plan, ie, call the handyman, have the concierge call the plumber etc and get the ball rolling so to speak.

Come to think of it now, I had a manageing agent whome for some reason when I called after hours seemed to be always in The Holland tunnell (or dead zone as he used call it). Not sure if he eventually came out of that tunnell.

FN

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Good news (maybe not for the agent though) Holland Tunnel and the others are no longer dead zones.
PG

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Well, perhaps it is a punishing mentality, but some supers need to be waken up by some sort of corrective dose.

I'm sure you got your managing agent out of the tunnel after being too fat, i.e., the same excuse became overused to fit in the tunnel. This is what it sounds like, too.

My issue is not cell phones, but costs and if you have been served well with a service, why pay more just because it talks?

IN fact, my credo is there are very, but very few things in life that I consider emergency. So, those things have to be pretty critical.
AdC

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I pay all of my supers cell phones. What i did, is switch my spers to nextel, with free incoming, then just pay the $59 monthly fee and he is responsible for any overages. Since incoming is free, the bills are always at a minimum anyway (and if i cant get him on the phone, theres always the two way built in radio!)

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Apartment "sitting" - Gerry Aug 10, 2007


We have a sublet rule. A Shareholder has asked if she can have her cousin apartment "sit" for 8 months while she goes to Los Angeles.
Should this be considered a sublet?

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There are two answers to that...
A technical one and logical one.
Technically and legally: Subletting is when the lessee or tenant rents out all or part of the apartment to another person, while still maintaining status as the prime tenant/shareholder. so, if the person is house-sitting, they would not be paying rent and no legal sublet action is taking place, therefore, no infringement. However, some boards do, in the house rules further define subletting to include housesitting for more than XX weeks.

You need to know first, who is paying the maintenance, and other bills, if it is the house sitter, then let them know that it is considered a sublet (being non-descriptive about your reasoning as possible) and that it could not be permitted; that is, if the Board is opposed to it.
then you might wish to amend your house rules to include other scenarios such as this, time frames, etc.

i typed fast, did I convey the thought correctly?

~AR

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8 moths is 2/3 of the year and cousins are not considered members of the family. Ready your proprietary lease for occupancy for the definition of family members.

Finally, how do you know the person is a cousin? Well, a difficult one to provide proof.

AdC







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8 months is 2/3 of the year and cousins are not considered members of the family. Read your proprietary lease for occupancy for the definition of family members.

Finally, how do you know the person is a cousin? Well, a difficult one to provide proof.

Although I usually agree with AR, "housesitting" becomes a rather elastic term. In addition to what AR said about proving who is paying for the basic services, it comes to mind that why not housesitting the following year, etc. Why not start a swap of property with a foreign owner to spend vacations, etc.

I think unless you have a building doorman and strict definitions, it will be difficult to control your occupancy and a chaos may follow.

AdC







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I think you hit the nail right on the head with creating strict definitions, so these terms do not become, or remain "elastic".

Best
~AR

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I agree that you need strict definitions of who can stay in apts. Most Prop Leases state that a "guest" is allowed for up to 30 days (or longer with board approval in writing) but the primary SH/resident must be in occupancy at the same time - the guest can't stay there alone.

Gerry - As AdC said, it's difficult to prove that a person is a cousin. My guess is, whether the person who'd apt-sit for your SH is a cousin or not, he just needs or would like a place to stay in NYC for 8 mos. Why does he have to live there? Most people who go away for an extended period have someone come in once/twice a week to check the apt, collect mail, water plants, etc. Is the cousin from outside NYC and able to drop work or other commitments to live in your SH's apt for 8 mos? If he lives in the area, why can't he just come in once/twice a week to take care of things?

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Sorry, I accidentally hit "send" too quickly.

Gerry - What if your SH goes to LA for 8 mos, you let the cousin stay in her apt, then the SH tells you she has to stay in LA another 6 mos or a year. At that point would you tell her the cousin has to move out? That could be sticky.

It would also be difficult to prove if the cousin is paying the SH rent and if this constitutes a sublet. The SH may tell you he isn't paying anything but it's not necessarily true, whether he's really a cousin or not.

Gerry - your board has to define cases like this and decide if you want to allow the cousin to apt-sit. This has come up with us a few times and our board always says it's too easy to turn apts into a hotel for friends and relatives.

One of your main concerns should also be that your SH pays maintenance, etc. every month. You should have her address in LA and be able to reach her. If you let the cousin apt-sit, you could require the SH to pay 8 mos maintenance in advance. That's stiff but some bldgs would do it. And what if you send SHs letters with important news about the bldg, new policies, financial issues? I think you should be able to send such letters directly to the SH and not assume the cousin would forward them. A lot can happen in a coop in 8 mos and you have to keep all SHs informed.

I think you need more info from your SH and you need to make the terms of any apt-sitting you decide to allow very specific and very clear. Just my opinion.

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Thank you all for your responses.
Our Board has agreed to treat this situation as a sublet.

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For your information, BP, proprietary leases "lifts" the wording that you mentioned below from NYS Tenant Law regarding tenants obligations to inform landlords:

"Most Prop Leases state that a "guest" is allowed for up to 30 days (or longer with board approval in writing) but the primary SH/resident must be in occupancy at the same time - the guest can't stay there alone.


In other words, any shareholder may have a guest up to 30 days. Of course, guest means a person that is not left alone in an apartment. Only hotels refer to people who pay to stay in a room of a property "a guest". IN fact, by stretch of imagination, you may say that management who represents the hotel owner stay in residence 24 hrs by managing the "castle."

AdC


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no grey area here. its a sublet.

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Amount of financing - Gabrielle Aug 08, 2007


Currently our building allows maximum financing of 80% for shareholder loans. In light of incredible valuation increases for apartments in our midtown Manhattan building there has been some talk about reducing the maximum financing allowed to a level of 70%.

What do your buildings require....and is this a valid concern?

Thank you.

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Oh, yeah. Let's make midtown Manhattan apartments totally for the rich.

Good grief.

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Lighten up Batch. As a repsonsible board we are concerned that certain shareholders may end up over extending themselves. If that occurs, foreclosures can follow...and no board wants any of their units to go into foreclosure.

Get a grip.

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As a responsible board, are you also concerned that you would be probably be requiring people to put up 10% more money from their family's liquidity?

Of course no one likes foreclosures. So why put more monetary pressure on people?

You should be more concerned that they are able to make their monthly maintenance payments, with sufficient cash reserves to handle any assessments.

Forcing people to surrender unnecessarily large downpayments is one way to keep out the kind of lower-income people your board obviously doesn't want. These kinds of discriminatory policies are part of what's behind measures like 119 in the NYC Council.

My grip is pretty firm, thanks.

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"Oh, yeah. Let's make midtown Manhattan apartments totally for the rich."

News flash: they already are ;-)

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Even the rich aren't rich anymore.

Only the FILTHY rich are rich.

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Some ideas for you:

The theory behind larger equity is that shareholders will treat the property as its own, i.e., there will be a higher regard for the building because you have more vested by way of your own money.

1. The argument may hold some water, but I've seen shareholders who own their 100% equity on their shares and their apartments are kept in deplorable conditions.

2. Some shareholders have put down 10% or 20% and have decided to invest in upgrading their units and go ahead and spend 40K or more to re-do kitchens, bathrooms and other luxuries.

I think the problem is admissions: how good are you in detecting investors or individuals who wish to flip units without putting a nickel into the unit. I think in 80 or 90% equity there is the suspicion that the buyer intends to flip the unit at a higher price to liquidate the mortgage which finances 80 or 90% of the unit.

However, bottomline is that if people can afford a mortgage at 6.35% fixed, 30 years and only but 10-80% equity and meet their financial obligations, they will rather do it if they do not have to commit their cash and use it for other creating wealth elsewhere. This is the premise of many businesses and the mentality of a free enterprise that we so adore.

Good luck!

AdC






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Some ideas for you:

The theory behind larger equity is that shareholders will treat the property as their own, i.e., there will be a higher regard for the building because you have more vested by way of your own money.

1. The argument may hold some water, but I've seen shareholders who hold 100% equity on their shares and their apartments are kept in deplorable conditions.

2. Some shareholders have put down 10% or 20% and have invested over $40K in upgrades to their units, i.e., new kitchens, bathrooms and other luxuries. Thus, adding value to the building.

I think the problem is admissions: how good are you in detecting investors or individuals who wish to flip units without putting a nickel into the unit? I think with 80 or 90% debt there is the suspicion that the buyer intends to flip the unit at a higher price to liquidate the mortgage which finances 80 or 90% of the unit.

However, bottomline is that if people can afford a mortgage at 6.35% fixed rate for 30 years and only but 10-80% equity, meet their financial obligations w/o going into great deal of sacrifice, they would rather do this if they do not have to commit their cash, which may be used for creating personal wealth by investing it. This is the premise of many businesses and the mentality of a free enterprise that we so adore.

Good luck!

AdC






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One of my buildings just made it 30-70 split and i am actually recommending it to some of my other buildings that warrant it.

The good thing is, in a changing market, even if the market dips a little, you (the board) still maintains a safe amount of leverage in case of foreclosure. You have to figure if a shareholder is months behind, then there are foreclosure fees on top of that, then late fees, legal, etc, that can eat up the typical 10-20% easily. then if the market is soft, the Coop is behind.

While yes, it does make it harder on some new buyers, it creates a more solid structure for the corporation and for the shareholders who are there at current... and that is where your concerns should lie.
Best
~AR

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While I am fully aware that co-ops are corporations, and thus businesses, they are also HOMES.

Can we have a little sympathy for the poor schlubs who come up against boards that are so anxious about their bottom line that they overlook they might be turning away terrific people who would make excellent neighbors... great shareholders...

simply because they can't afford to tie up 10% more on a million-dollar apartment? That's $100,000, folks. Real money. Money they might have saved for a college education, medical emergency, entrepreneurial investment or long-term care for a parent. Gone because some bean-counting board wants "leverage" in case of foreclosure. Good grief.

Evidently, home is now where the bankbook is.

What is this country coming to?? I guess, the bottom line.

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You seem to have a warped view concerning who lives in a building and who does not. It is this same perception that says to permit people into this country and let us pay their health insurance, give them housing and food stamps, just because they deserve a chance...

In other words you think that a person should be permitted to become a shareholder on the basis of them being a nice neighbor. Sorry to bust your bubble, but it does not work that way. A board has a fiduciary responsibility to the building/Coop/corporation or whatever you want to call it and must abide by it. Numbers do matter, leverage is important and the responsibility to maintain a financial healthy coop is more important than "excellent neighbors".

At the end of the day, when the nice neighbor cant pay, is over leveraged in other areas of his/her financial and has too many debts to pull out of (just because that is the unfortunate American way and the foreclosure rate today confirms this), and the apartment isn’t worth the amount paid for... are you willing and able to pay? Because when your maintenance goes up because of the legal bills associated to the coop and the lack of revenue to the building for an extended period because the good neighbor didn’t pay for a year, you will have to.

So yes, home is where the bank book is, especially when a Board has to manage other peoples homes and be responsible for the outcomes.

Notwithstanding the aforesaid, once desirable conditions are met by the prospective shareholders, then, and only then do we seek the intangible assets that a shareholder may bring to the building.

And that is the bottom line.

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I'm glad you qualified your first statement by stating the following:

"One of my buildings just made it 30-70 split and i am actually recommending it to some of my other buildings that warrant it."

Although our co-op does not have a practice of demanding a certain equity, we are VERY careful recognizing what is a "danger" signal on a 10-90% equity-debt mortgage. A good percentage end up being rejected, another portion end with parking an escrow for 18-24 months with the co-op.

Our record of late payments is virtually zero. We have one of two shareholders who may be late two months and they are immediately remitted to legal with a $50 late charge each month they are late.

So, collections are pretty good for the past 10 years.

AdC



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