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harassment over pets - mayor Oct 28, 2007


Advice/Feedback appreciated: I am a coop owner, and I have lived for many years next to the same neighbor who has periodically yelled at me over small, isolated incidents. I have always had a cat, and several months ago I was given a second one. My neighbor has gone ballistic, claiming that there is a "smell". I have been yelled at at several times to my face or through my door, my doorbell has been rung at 3am, and my neighbor has three times put awful, nasty notes on her door - once ridiculously threatening to sue me.

My neighbor also calls and harangues the management company. The managment company has called me on occassion (in turn), and although they refer to my neighbor as "my crazy neighbor" and apologize, they do give credence to the issue, in my opinion, by asking to check and see if I will allow them to "investigate" the smell (though they have never come into my apartment itself). The board has been to the hall to investigate, the building staff has been to the hall to investigate - no one has smelled anything to support this extreme nastiness. Furthermore, I feel very harassed and am nervous going into and out of my apartment as I know I could be attacked and yelled at at any time.

I am in uncharted territory. It all looks very silly but I know how quickly things like this can go from silly to serious. What can/should I be doing to protect myself and and peace of mind? Is there a way I can get my peaceful life back?

Thank you

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Your neighbor sounds... uptight.

Ever talk to her about this?

Try that first. Take her a plant.

If all else fails, write the board and ask for a written response about the whole issue.

Be nice in your letter.

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Haha! Uptight! I know!

Frankly, I am not sure I can bring myself to bring over a plant but you may be right. I will try and picture myself doing it....

As I mentioned in my other response, I tried to talk to my neighbor when this all happened. Even invited the neighbor in to prove the smell was not originating in my apartment. Now that I think of it, I also mentioned that if the cat litter smelled to that degree then it would stand to reason that their paws would smell too, but that is not the case either. Not to repeat myself, but after agreeing that there was no smell, my neighbor began to get worked up and ending by yelling outside my closed door.

I think that I should write to the board and ask for a written response no matter what. And it should be about the whole issue.

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Just a thought. If your neighbor constantly complains of a bad odor and your cats aren't the source of it, maybe the odor is in your neighbor's apt. Ask your mgmt company to make an appointment with her to inspect her apt. They can say they want to track the "supposed" odor or something like that to justify the inspection. It sounds like she has a problem that has nothing to do with you or your cats but maybe there's something in her apt that's creating an odor. If you and the mgmt company haven't been in that apt, who knows what's in there? Maybe very unsanitary conditions. Maybe an odor is filtering in from another apt or from outside or from dead mice someplace. You never know. Might be worth looking into.

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keep a VERY detailed record of each time your neighbor contacts you - in what form and the exact time. After there is a bit of a pettern, call the police. also - you can send a certified letter to the neighbor stating tha tyoua re intendeing to file a harassement charge if you continue to be bothered by baseless complaints.

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You are right, my records should be very detailed. I have kept a little "sketch" of each incident but I have certainly not been diligent about time and nature of the contact. The certified letter is a terrific idea! I wonder if it would help to have it come from my lawyer's office?It is amazing to think of contacting the police...

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You are right, my records should be very detailed. I have kept a little "sketch" of each incident but I have certainly not been diligent about time and nature of the contact. The certified letter is a terrific idea! I wonder if it would help to have it come from my lawyer's office?It is amazing and scary to think of contacting the police...

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No resident should yell at another resident in a builidng.
If there is a cause you have not explained. I don't think it has to do just because of smell. Consequently, you should try to MEDIATE the issue through the board or management and find out if there is something in which your irrational neighbor may articulate that you may remediate. IF there is nothing to remediate, then perhaps through mediation there would be a point of TOLERANCE where the two of you may live.

However, speak with your local enforcement agents, and even your own attorney to try to get an order to get the neighbor off your face or even ringing your bell at any time of day or night to annoy you.

AdC

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Hi AdC,

Is mediation something I can specfically request from the board or management? Would it be a formal process?

I agree, it sounds crazy that my neighbor is yelling because of smell, but that is what my neighbor says. And that is the reason my neighbor gives for continually calling the management company. The first time this happened, I invited my neighbor in. When he/she came into my entry-way he/she said "Oh my! What a beautiful apartment" and then, "I dont smell anything!" and then promptly began getting very upset about there being two cats, etc., and the upset escalated to full-blown yelling. The upset began in my apartment and the yelling continued even after I closed my door.


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Right now, the best you can do is keep record.
The Board would not (or should not) get involved unless there is a lot of substantiation for it. Otherwise, they are getting involved on what may seem more of a personal issue and not a building, or board matter.
Your objective is showing that the neighbor is breaching your right to the quiet, peaceful enjoyment of your premises, which is promised in the proprietary lease that you signed.
Give the Board reason to mediate. Simply letting them know that someone is bothering you is not enough.
Do you know a layer friend? Have them write a letter to the resident to seize and desist from all harassing behavior... add it to your documentation.

~AR

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Do you know a layer friend? Have them write a letter to the resident to seize and desist from all harassing behavior... add it to your documentation.




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An alternative if you do not have a "friend", as not to spend $200+ for a letter is to write the letter to the resident from yourself personally, and inform the party that this is a letter of intent to pursue legal action and openly cc:Sue Everybody, ESQ (obviously replacing the name with any). This also gets decent response, and it adds to the documentation needed.

Remember, this is not my choice method, just a method that sometimes work

~AR


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The Board needs to intervene. First, what does the House Rules' Pet Policy say about housing two pets? If the co-op does not object to it, WHY a resident of a co-op has to take violent objection to two pets?

Second, by now shouts may have escalated to co-op common property (common hallways, parking areas or lobbies, etc.)which may affect the morale of the building and/or other neighbors witnessing the conflict in person or behind doors.

So, if you recognize that there is "breaching [your] of a right [to the quiet, peaceful enjoyment of your premises,] which is promised in the proprietary lease and the THE BOARD is not willing to intervene WITHOUT PARTIALITY what else is expected for that co-op??? I think one of the Board functions is to ensure the enforcement of the propreitary lease in its entirety... no pick and choose of the most interesting sections.

A board should address the issue before it is out of control. I would say, speak through management to both parties to find "the truth" surrounding the issues impartially. If there is any corrective action or subjective problems that need to be addressed, a letter should be sent stating the position of the Board including suggesting mediation if this were a viable alternative.

Otherewise, a board who does not intervene should be given my most EXTREME recommendation: buy two guns in order to have a GOOD OLD FASHIONED DUEL. Give a gun to each party and hope that one eliminates the other as quickly as possible. IN this way, the board will free of problems ad will have no need to intervene.

AdC





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If a board intervenes without proven cause, beit a breach of lease, house rules, etc, it is considered harassment. This is why I state to document and provide valid cause for intervention, so that the resident cannot come back and state that the Board is harassing them. Much like the police cannot overstep their bounds in certain situations unless a citizen files a formal complaint against the opposing party... I'm sure many of us had herd that at one time or another; call the police to complain about certain activities and we are told that we must come in and file a complaint before they can act on the situation in the manner we want (It has me many times). this is to protect themselves, not you. For the same reason the Board should not jump into a situation that is undocumented; if they are sued by the trouble resident for harassment, they have no ammo to fight with, even though they may be 100% right.

~AR

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I don't think someone who is being yelled at frequently by another will need much to document if it happens in common areas of the property and gives you proper notification with specific information. Also, the agreaved should try to file a police report and obtain legal help as you well put it before.

However, an appropriately crafted letter by management to the alleged offender may open the avenues of communication and send a signal that management and the board may be willing to help with any deficiency brought to their attention.

AdC

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While it is good that the building residents hear it, unless the residents are willing to go and testify in court, it means nothing.
I agree with your overall thought, however, I am just extra cautious for the following reason....
I personally would still advise the Board to be hands off until there is documented and just cause. Just cause defined by a breach in the PL, BL or HR, whereby the Board then has a duty to intervene. Even at that point, the Board should not do it, it should be Management writing the letter and leaving the Board out of it as to protect them.
Sometimes, management will get involved in this situation to find out that there is usually three sides to a story; apartment 1's, apartment 2's side and then the truth.


~AR

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Board has fiduciary resposibility for the co-op; thus, it has responsibility for strict observance of the PL and by-laws (not to say half-observance as this chatroom in general may demonstrate). Thus, management and/or co-op counsel are delegated to deal with these issues.

As a Board who is concerned with preserving the quality of living that you have even recognized, a letter received from the shareholder with sufficient documentation (dates, hours, location of incident) or even verbal reports from witnesses of at least two observable events are enough for investigation by management. This is similar to a noise complaints from one neighbor about another: a Board through management should not start a noise investigation that may be considered frivolous, i.e., an isolated incident or a claim of noises from another apartment with no date or hour or good description of the noise to justify an investigation.

HOwever, should the board receive a reasonable letter to open an investigation, it has no other choice but to request the intervention through a well crafted letter from management and if necessary with co-op counsel to bring order to a situation that may escalate into an unpleasant neighborly dispute for other residents.

AdC


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"I personally would still advise the Board to be hands off until there is documented and just cause. Just cause defined by a breach in the PL, BL or HR, whereby the Board then has a duty to intervene. Even at that point, the Board should not do it, it should be Management writing the letter and leaving the Board out of it as to protect them."

It sounds like what I am saying and what you are saying are the same thing, with exception to the fact that I like more documentation or substantiation; this is just a managers way

best
~AR

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New Management - Miriam Oct 27, 2007


In transition from a major managing company to a better one: do you know how the documents (kept in the offices of the managing company) get transferred and which are the time rules of the archives?
I worry that they could be difficult in giving us the full documentation....
Miriam

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Miriam

First thing is their is no such thing as a better company... they all offer the same promises!

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The term "management promises" is either an oxymoron or a contradiction.

This industry has a severe problem.

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"The term "management promises" is either an oxymoron or a contradiction. This industry has a severe problem."

That's about as correct as a woman saying "All men suck"
It is based on your experiences and not necessarily true with respect to the whole.

Most times, if a woman wants to find a perfect man for her, but she keeps attracting the same slime, she's asking the wrong questions, putting out the wrong impressions and doing something to attract what she has.

I'm a man, married 19 years, and my wife is still my best friend.
I am also in management, and take extreme pride in what We do and how it is done; and I am not the only one, I know of many more.

Point is, Good Managers and Management companies do exist.
(Sorry for the long winded analogy!)

~AR

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Drum roll, and what Management Company may I ask (and others)

FN

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I do not like to advertise here because I realize it is not the proper venue - but since you asked! - We are: R.E.A.P. Property Management / NYCRealtyManagement.com / 800-605-4711
We just started managing publicly; we are diversified and have over 16 years of experience with Cooperative management. I personally manage each building until it is handed off to an account manager with my supervision.

Another company worth checking out would be Weber-Farhat, 212-727-0022 - also very honorable - Moises Farhat

~AR

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Most responsible management companies realize that change is common and cooperate fully with each other in the transfer.
The old management company such give the new one all the information they have.
This might be a good time for the BOD to keep a list of what documents and which years the new management company has.

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Thanks for all the inputs: maybe some of you know how many years od documents are supposed to be kept by law?

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I agree with Left on this one. Most management companies would be familiar with each other and would have an understanding/code of conduct? when it comes to change as they all have eperienced similar situations in the past. In addition it would not look good if a management company failed/held back files etc during a transition phase as it would be frowned upon etc.

FN

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just went through a management change --a daunting experience. and the previous management company did not have our records from 2000. But, after a threat of sicing Adam Bailey on them they suddenly found them the next day

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CGER: Who is Adam bailey, we may need him too. Thanks

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a lawyer (bit of a publicity hound) but goes for the jugular. lol

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While I am not answering your question (sorry) going forward: Now I am only a Resident Manger (Superintendent) but I am smart enough never to let the management company have more then the past two years of records. These records are records of the corporation and THUS should be kept in a safe place at the corporation. I always advise to keep the records at the building. There is always some space available where to keep the many boxes. Otherwise rent a space. Keeping the records at the building does give peace of mind, and if needed to go to them, there they are.
That's my two cents worth.
Pg

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Miriam:
Major company to a better one... not necessarily major, to be better! As most know, I have a small management company, so I may be able to answer most of your concerns...
If the company you are departing from is professional, you need not worry. At the very worst, the bank recs will be slow forwarding, so your AP may want to stay on top of that. Typically, all resident files, DOB files, Violation files, Individual stock certs, and leases, all tax files, accounting files, bank statements, construction project and local law filings and reports, fuel storage and boiler filings and info, there is a lot more. Your new managing agent/company should work closely with the prior company to ensure the accounts are promptly switched over to their name, new signatory cards are filled in and sent to the bank, notices to all vendors and residents go out ASAP. A small escrow would stay with the old company to pay some residual bills. usually, the initial files should be transferred in the first few days, and the rest follows.

Hope that helps-
Good Luck
~AR

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Need Pet Information... Urgent... - SaraSara Oct 24, 2007


ADVICE/FEEDBACK NEEDED..

We live in a very Pet friendly building, (and want to stay that way) but some of the owners have become a little too pet-friendly, and are housing between seven and ten cats in one bedroom apartments. One owner has four dogs.
We are reworking our old house rules, and we want to limit the number of pets and have other rules. Do any of you have this in your house rules? Suggestions/Experience

QUESTIONS/COMMENTS PLEASE:
1-Limit the number of pets to Three is the way the Board leans. But, we have a least one owner with a very large apartment, with three cats and two dogs, which is very reasonable.

2- Once we limit the number, (3-5) do we have a legal right to force owners to get rid of thier pets.

3- In the future is it possible to actually enforce or monitor the number of pets in an apartment.

4-limit the number of dogs (2) and cats (3)?

HELP!

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the exisitng pet owners are grandfathered in unless there are smell and sanitary issues that may violate healh codes in which case write them a letter FAST.

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Perhaps a - 1 pet per every 600 square foot of apartment rule - or something on that order would suit...

Any residents with pets at the time of the ruling is permitted to keep them, but not replace them.

you only have 30 days from the initial date of the infraction of the pet rule before the pet owner gets to claim "pet residence". So, if a person gets a pet, the super must notify you/management ASAP.

~AR

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"Limit the number of pets to three is the way the Board leans. But, we have a least one owner with a very large apartment, with three cats and two dogs, which is very reasonable."

Sara, you should consider other things besides apt size in deciding how many pets to allow. People come in contact with other residents (and other dogs) in the bldg when they take their dogs out. There can be "encounters." Dogs bark and howl, and neighbors below can hear their nails when they run through an apt with bare floors. Cat odors filter out into halls. Exotic birds make noise. We had one a few years ago. It squawked very loudly, day and night, and it drove everyone on that floor crazy.

If you enact a pet policy based on apt sq footage, that's up to you. But some people don't like dogs. Some are afraid of them, maybe not because of a dog in the bldg; maybe they had a bad experience once that's stayed with them. Some people don't want their young children near a strange dog in an elevator. It's fine if you have a pet-friendly bldg and want it that way, but I doubt that every single apt owner in your bldg has dogs/cats. You must consider the comfort and feelings of the non-pet residents too.

We have a no-dogs policy and don't intend on repealing it, but we have a few residents who wish they could have a dog. Sara, do you ever get complaints from non-pet people about dogs in your bldg? Any idea if you have, or are, possibly losing buyers because they don't want to be in a bldg with a lot of pets, especially dogs? Just curious.

Unless your pet policy is based on apt sq footage, it must be the same for everyone. What applies to one applies to all. The BCL says all shareholders must be treated fairly and equitably. And what do you means by "pets"? Do you mean just dogs/cats or all pets including birds and fish? Some people have ferrets, gerbils, snakes, or other pets that run, crawl, scamper or slither around! Better state very clearly in your policy what critters it applies to.

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A pet policy always makes sense, no matter if you are pet friendly or not. I would say that you should conduct a search through the internet for recommended policies by the Humane Societies of different places before you redact your own. Also, colleges have their own pet policies that deal with exotic animals, i.e., hampsters, ferrets, camaleons, etc. Thus, information is vital.

Below is a specific recommendation from a humane society from Hawaii. It seems excellent to read and follow their recommendations because... who else but humane societies to look after animals and pets.

http://www.hawaiianhumane.org/programs/petshousing/PDFs/pet_policies_buildings.pdf

RE your questions:

(1) You should at least ask a month of the year dedicated for updating pet records: veterinarian records of vaccinations, etc.
(2) New photos submitted and even personal inspections to make sure that the photo submitted corresponds to the pet in question.
(3) Fish tanks should be specified by size, not by number of fish. You will find through the internet equivalent weights per tank size. This is important for structural considerations.
(4) Did you know that certain diseases such as cat leukemia stays in the apartment two years after a cat has died? Therefore, a new owner of an apartment with a cat may inherit the disease from the prior owner. Thus, although not your business, may play in some instances considerations if you were to get vet records.

Good luck, but let me know where is your building as perhaps I will keep it out of my range. Although I like animals, I don't think a concentration of them in an apartment does any good for a building (just personal opinion).

AdC

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No Subject - Mwolfe Oct 24, 2007


I've just become board treasurer for our small coop--and we've never had a treasurer who did anything,ever, so I'm trying to set up some systems for how much reserve we should have, how we'd build a fund for capital improvements, basic financial reports for the board, etc. Is there a good book about coop finance or article that someone can recommend with some basic guidelines? Thanks.

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Your are in luck. On Nov 11 Council for New York Cooperatives and Condominiums is having their 27th Housing conference. They have many lectures on coop/condo issues and many for treasurers. Go to CNYC.org for more infor.
I apolgize to all if this sounded like a commerical for CNYC, was not my intent. (ok maybe a little, but its all for the cause)
Peter G

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Thanks! I'll have a look.

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Pgrech said it best. CNYC is one of the finest sources for information n this community. Habitat Magazine is the other. CNYC links from www.habitatmag.com and its own site www.cnyc.coop.

Go for it. You'll be glad...and informed.

Best Wishes,

SJP

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Pgrech's advice on the CNYC seminars is the absolute best place for you (and the rest of the Board)
However, if you have any specific questions we are here.


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MWolfe: Congratulations! CNYC is your best hope. Mary Ann Rothman is always there to help. November 11 Housing Conference is a must for you so call them and book. There is a lecture for treasurers. Tel#:212-496-7400

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Thanks. I'm trying to get more board members to go to that conf as well. + I've got lots and lots of questions, but I'm trying to get some answers from the archives here (which have been very useful) before asking my many other questions. Great board, here.

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search for new super - adelaide Polsinelli Oct 22, 2007


Our super just gave us 2 weeks notice.

Does anyone know where I can find supers looking for new positions? or does anyone know of any supers looking for an upgrade?

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you can post a super wanted posting at this website job page
and see what resumes maybe posted already the site has 150,000 plus hits a month.

NYCSTA.org that is the web site for Superintendents & Resident Managers Technical Association
Good Luck
Pgrech

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I just checked out that NYCSTA.org site for the first time. I placed an ad there for a super also.... thx

~AR

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Thanks.
It is a good website, designed to help both supers and boards/blding owners.
There is also a newsletter too.
Pg

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By the way, with about 8 weeks to go to the holidays, its a tough time to be searching for a good super.
Pg

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You can also contact me at (212) 319-8375 or mikemac72@aol.com for the Manahattan Resident Managers Club, Inc. and I will pass along your request to my my membership.

Good luck.

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thanks so much. I really appreciate your assistance.

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As part of one of the building managers associations in NYC I personally help buildings find staff (supers,handymen etc). Feel free to contact me at 212-223-6439. I am also in agreement with PGrech that it is definitely the wrong time for your super to leave with holiday season around the corner.

Regards,

FN

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"I am also in agreement with PGrech that it is definitely the wrong time for your super to leave with holiday season around the corner."

I think PGrech meant it is a bad time to look for a super, not for Adelaide's super to leave the builidng.

If her building's super is leaving before the holiday season, it may mean that his/her work left a lot to be desired OR the writing was on the wall: NO TIPS during the holidays for BAD WORK!

Looking it with more optimistic or generous eyes: the person is retiring or got total disability.

AdC

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Nickie what I think Jamie is saying is that, Management tends to hire supers that best serve management and not the building. It is a given that the board should have final say in who is hired but not always is the case. It is great to have a super who can speak English but should not always be the final decision focal point. Experience is a major plus but also should not be the focal point. Finding a good super is like a recipe, Many ingredients added together to make the perfect fit. Note I said perfect fit, as so many buildings hire qualified supers but shortly thereafter depart as the super really wasn't what they are looking for. So, matching a super to a building in my opinion is as important as experience, language etc.
Just my two cents.
Nickie let's do lunch soon.
Pg

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I agree with you Pgrech. I was merely pointing out that the question posted was where can I begin/search for a new super. What qualities/skills one has to offer is a seperate post (to Jamie). Lunch yes,soon

FN.

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I agree and I understood. Too many times questions are not answered according to what was the asked Even though at times there are related issues, need to keep on track to the answer and not digress.
Pg

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thanks I will call you on this. your assistance is much appreciated.

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The board should have the final say in the engagement of a new super. Management will hire one who will answer to their needs. This advice is from experience we got tired of "I must ask Mangt". first We now have a good diligent super. Just beware. Working knowledge of English at least should be a "must"

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Adelaide? is looking to know who she can reach out to to find a suitable candidates to run her building. Whether you speak good grammer, answer to mgt/board that is a seperate issue/question. As I stated she is looking for a super.

FN

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This is a job interview. Ask questions.

Our S/H got together and forced the Board to fire our last Super. He was dis-honest (been caught takeing kickbacks, undisclosed criminal record, and he was doing renovations without premits) but he renovated and took care of a few board members.

These BoardMem and MangCo told us that this as "as good as it gets". But we had a strong interviewing committee, did real background checks, visited thier buildings to see how they lived and worked. This was valuable in that the Super we hired, in his last building had a very organized and clean office/work-space whereas the next one on our list had a messy office/work space.

AND most important -- let the final canidates know that they WOULD be fired if they did not do their job or were caught taking kickbacks.

One advice: Watch out for "experienced Supers" who are use to the old ways (you scratch my back, I scratch yours) and tend to drop back into bad habits -- so do consider someone who may have less exerience, but is anxious to move up and wants a good reputation. Also, ManCo can give recommendations, but should NOT be part of the interview/decision making.

For the last two years we have had a great Super! Who loves his job, and works hard. Our last Super gave orders, stayed in his apartment. Our new Super is respected by the rest of the staff -- because he is in his office every morning, and Works!

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Nice story Sara, the lesson here is, do your homework before you hire a super. That is where your previous board/mgt company failed miserably. The above example applies in most hireing processes.

FN.

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Number of bids for comparison - Bee Dub Oct 22, 2007


When you are putting out RFQs or RFPs for contractors to bid on work for your building, how many different companies do you ask for bids from? What do you consider the minimum number of bids the Board has to have to be able to hold a meaningful vote?

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It all depends what you are trying to accomplish and the size and scope of the work:

If you are talking about an exterior work or window replacement, etc. the engineer or architect should be able to select the best companies and any other companies that you may recommend. In many cases, you may have 5-10 invitees to review the work and the RFP's or RFQ's. From those 5-10, perhaps 2-3 will end up providing bids depending on how busy the contractors project their schedules to be by the time you intend to do the work.

In other words, many will be called, but only a few will come through.

In small works such as a $30 - $75 K and depending upon the nature of the job job you may have 3-5 potential bidders and only 2 may respond, again because of the same considerations.

AdC

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In our building, anything less than $1000 we don't bother with bids. If the cost is less than $5000, the board discussed whether we want to do multiples bids. If there's a contractor we've worked with before, and we like his work, we may just go with him without bidding.

For larger jobs, we do bids. AdC does a great job of laying out the details for those big projects.

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Many managing agents have the ability to perform small repairs up to a certain dollar amount without board approval. Most of the time these jobs are given to a house contractor, super or regular. I have about three contractors that I use often, but I play them against each other to obtain a lower price/better job, etc.. I also on projects that I many not have experience in (where I do not know the pricing and protocol on my own), I will call in an outside contractor or two so I know I have everyone being kept honest (plus I learn). That is how I do it, but i have at minimum 3-10 projects going on at a time... so if you are a "newbie" to the contracting world, I would suggest obtaining 3 bids by sending a package to 5 contractors and create a spreadsheet and compare each item, apples for apples.

~AR

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Coop-owned unit - conflict? - Bee Dub Oct 22, 2007


Our coop owns several units in the building (we got them when the sponsor defaulted in the 1980s). They are currently being sublet to rent regulated tenants. When units become available, we sell them. This periodic inflow of cash is great.

One of these units is under contract to sell. The time has come for the Board to review the application and interview the potential purchaser. Isn't it a conflict of interest for the Board to vote on his approval, because we inherently want the unit to sell? Or is it enough that we are balancing our interest to sell with our interest to have good paying tenants?

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YOUR QUESTIONS: Isn't it a conflict of interest for the Board to vote on his approval, because we inherently want the unit to sell? Or is it enough that we are balancing our interest to sell with our interest to have good paying tenants?

MY ANSWER: Boards should be motivated to review the sales of individual shareholders with the best intentions of accepting a sale so that the individual shareholder may continue with his/her life. However, this goodwill should be balanced by your responsibility to ensure that the potential buyer has the financial attributes and fulfills the occupancy expectations that you wish to see in a new shareholder.

In the case of the co-op selling the unit, I'm sure your board wishes to maximize the market value of the unit for the benefit of the corporation, but more important than obtaining the market price for the unit is to get an individual shareholder who meets the attributes that you expect to see if the unit were to be sold by an individual shareholder.

Again, money should not be the final consideration, but the potential shareholder's financial test and the other considerations that make the evaluation of an application. Finally, if the potential buyer is paying the right amount, but the board is not sure, the much talked escrow account in prior postings could also be added to the sale if additional attributes for the potential buyer are also met.

AdC


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Vault spaces - rfs Oct 16, 2007


Have any of your buildings ever had problems with old vault spaces under or directly adjacent to your basements? Were there every any problems with the City wanting to use/or change the dimensions of the vault space? If so, what happened?

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many of my buildings have experienced changes. What is the issue?

I have 4 buildings right now going through an eminant domain where they are taken back for the duration of the second avenue subway project. some were closed, some changed, etc...

~AR

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Rights - Pgrech Oct 16, 2007


I was asked by some one... Where can I obtain information about the "quiet enjoyment" rule of a shareholder in a New York State co-op set-up. A good definition of the term "quiet enjoyment" would also be apreciated. I'm also interested in information about the business corporation law portions which deals with rights of shareholders in a NYS co-op. I know the by-laws of the coop would have these, but need the actaul law.
With great thanks
Peter

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Pgrech, from the American Bar Association:
"What does "right of quiet enjoyment" of the premises mean? That legal phrase does not refer to noise; it refers to the tenant's legal right to occupy the apartment. The landlord would violate the right by renting the same apartment to two different tenants or by removing the tenant's belongings."

My assumption--and I could very well be wrong--is that if the resident is complaining about noise renders his/her apartment unliveable, then NYS Real Property Law §235-b the warranty of habitability may be the relevant law but it's up to a judge to decide if the noise is illegal. NYC also recently passed a new noise control ordinance that took effect this July but I don't know the formal name.

Finally, NYS business corporation law is important for coops but I think they literally constitute volumes so I can't pinpoint which sections are most relevant because I'm not lawyer!

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Thank YOU.
Pg

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double dipping - Anonymous Oct 14, 2007


Our co-op (condop)initiated fees payable to the co-op and to the managing company for any alterations in one's unit. I think the managing company is double dipping. Their fee is paid via monthly maintenance and now directly from any alterations. Why does the managing company needs to be paid on alterations wanted by a shareholder? Greed besets.

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First please attach some name when posting (Mary, Bob, Jane, not annon). I am aware of Coops charging a fee for alteration agreements (this is for the preperation work involved/or additional work involved, such as reviewing the agreement, faxing, sending copies to the architect etc, and is a one off charge). This does happen.

Fat Nickie.

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remember, the management co. wants YOU as a client. keep the fees as low as possible. like $100 for a simple decoration agreement (painting etc), $300 for a more in-depth one. etc.

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It seems like I didn't word my original message correctly. You mean I, as a shareholder, have to pay the management company, for example, $100 to paint within my own unit? I am not talking about common areas.

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Are you anon? same person?

Bob

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Dear Anon,

You probably have to fill out a form stating your intentions (to paint), and to indicate that you (or your contractor) have adequate insurance.

The management company then has to verify and file the information. That work is typically done by someone besides the property manager. You're paying for that person's time.

You'll ask, Aren't I already paying their time?

Nope. The management company charges its lower possible rate to get your condop as a client. Extra services are paid by the individual who wants the extra services done.

If you wanted a management company that didn't charge for special services, your board would pay a higher annual fee to the management company, which the board would then pass on to you in the form of an increased common charge or maintenance fee.

Charging the individual keeps the monthly fee low for those residents who don't do extra work.

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In most cases this is not double dipping. Read the management contract, most likely it will be in there that the management company shall charge for alteration agreements, project management as well as closings. Most management companies do. This is a way to supplement the low management fee they charge per month.
Pgrech

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As some other posters put it, Management contracts are written to keep the management companies rates low. in doing so, many services are not included into the contract. Most of these include Alteration, Sales, Sublet application and agreements, closings and refinancing. Therefore, when these services do arise, the management company rightfully charges for them.

~AR

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