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Intercom system recs - AWBK Aug 06, 2019

Hi all,

Looking to purchase a new intercom system for our building. Needs to work via cell phone as we do not have hard wiring to all apartments (and do not wish to install any). Also, our residents have expressed privacy concerns about some of the features the latest "high tech" video intercom systems have with storing visitor photos, etc. So we are looking for something low/medium tech but reliable, as in an established company with a proven track record. Video is not required. Any advice is appreciated.

AW

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Look at Teman.com/GateGuard . It works with your cellphone and we never share your data. We're live across every boro in NYC, from walkups to luxury condos and office buildings. It can buzz an app on a smartphone or tablet or call a phone or land-line.

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Just a few words and saving you from enormous headaches. Invest. In. An. Independent. Security. Consultant. They can save you so much more than headaches. They can save you time and a HUGE amount of money.

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I was interested in this same topic. I saw the first comment there from Ari about this Teman GateGuard device. I googled it. Under the news tab I saw that this guy was arrested last month for allegedly counterfeiting checks from clients to the tune of $297,000. After that I googled him, too, and now I'm cautious of this device.

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What city are you in? Doorking is the most reliable system and is based in MN.

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Deducting Capital Improvements on Federal Tax Return - marym Aug 01, 2019

Can an individual shareholder deduct capital improvement costs from their federal taxes when they sell? This is not a building-wide capital improvement but done by the shareholder in her apartment. Our co-op does not give credit for this when determining profit.

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board and managing agent blocked sale AFTER interview - unhappy Jul 28, 2019

After the buyer passed the interview, as a seller, I was required to have an "exit inspection." The super flagged two things that had previously been approved in a post renovation inspection. One "violation" would require me to remove a middle kitchen cabinet because the fuse box is fully accessible but is behind a cabinet door. The other violation stated I was missing an emergency shut. After hiring a plumber, I discovered it was already there. After demonstrating that no other building on my street requires these inspections, 3 supers of other buildings said the cabinet "violation" was "stupid," the renovations had been approved, and that the "fix" would deem the apartment unsellable, I was given the option of informing the buyers that the cabinets were a code violation and they would need to assume the risks or the managing agent would not sign off on the sale. The buyers walked.

Although the information for sellers states the inspection is required, it says nothing about what is done with the information and how the results can stop a sale. Additionally, other information my managing agent provides related to apartment sales includes a page with IMPORTANT on top of the page and informs the buyers of the inspection. It then advises them to ask for a copy because they will assume responsibility for any violations that remain unfixed.

So even though it was the buyer's responsibility to inquire about the inspection, I was told by the board's lawyer that I had to provide the information, unasked. I have already bought a new home and moved. Can I hold the board and managing agent responsible for not following their own rules and costing me my sale? I will now need to relist the apartment (at a time when fewer people are shopping), stage the apartment (since it's vacant), and continue paying maintenance fees until it sells.

Please advise.

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I'm not an attorney so keep in mind the price to paid to hear this.

You say that you were told that inspection is required. The first thing I thought of is what did YOUR attorney have to say about all this? I assume he knew about these inspections after you found out about them.

If the Board's attorney said that you had to provide the information unasked, my first order of business would be to ask MY attorney if it's true and what happens next.

I think you need to speak to your attorney to find out if:
1) Everything you've been told is true
2) Do you have any legal grounds to hold the Board and managing agent responsible?

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

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Thanks. The buyers have returned to the table with the understanding that I have very little time to resolve the situation, so my attorney (who is not a litigator) is trying to negotiate with the building's attorney. She has never seen anything like this. Most knowledgeable people (supers, board members in and out of my building) with knowledge of, but no control over, the "violation" say it's a non issue and the board and agency should just approve the sale. In addition to submitting photos and history, I pulled up all codes related to the situation and it looks like I'm 100% in compliance. My lawyer has submitted this as further support. Unfortunately, even though the board president agrees it seems "silly" she defers to the building attorney. The building attorney wants to add additional protections for fear of a lawsuit from the buyer (despite the fact that they make clear the onus is on the buyer). It seems like they created rules without knowing the law and empowered a super who is power hungry and also ignorant of the codes. Instead of backing down, they are creating hoops I need to jump through. So, I'd appreciate any and all advice in the event that this deal does fall through.

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Personal Trainers at Coop Gyms? - BBCA Jul 24, 2019

Do most coops allow residents to bring in outside personal trainers to the coop's gym? If so, what does the coop do to address the risk? My understanding is that the coop insurance wont cover injuries caused by any non-resident, including an outside personal trainer. Do you insist that the trainer have a large insurance policy, naming the building, etc., as an insured (similar to a moving company/contractor)? How do you ensure that the trainer maintains the required insurance?

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Liability of Laundry Room Vendor for DOB Gas Shutdown - H. Jul 18, 2019

If DOB issues violations shutting down the gas supply to laundry room gas dryers, which may
possibly be due to the laundry vendor not complying with City gas installation regulations, can the vendor be vulnerable to civil action to compensate the Coop? The laundry Agreement may be boilerplate.

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Any Laundry operator "worth their salt" will ensure code compliance prior to any installation. Correct meter connections and hard pipe gas are an ABSOLUTE MUST!!
At Aces Laundry each new install is inspected by a seasoned expert to make sure that code compliance is adhered to!! If one of those other companies out there tell you "It's fine- 'Grandfathered in' just like your previous laundry room", WALK, DON'T RUN and call Aces Laundry to ensure safety and Code compliance!! The last thing you want is your shareholders and tenants cooking "off a Hot Plate" while you pay for the mistakes in the laundry installation !!
Aces Laundry - 917-416-3899 I'm here to answer all of your questions 24/7.
( Just like our service!!)

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Violations cited laundry equipment installed without
a permit, and gas lines not tested and certified by DOB,
An ECB hearing is a month away and dryers are shut down.
This was just a random inspection by FDNY and DOB.

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In generic terms, it is unlikely that ANY laundry professional would willingly and intentionally install machinery that would jeopardize the safety of the residents. laws such as, the necessity of sprinklers, in laundry rooms have been on the books for decades. More recently, we are seeing DOB exercise these regulations. Most importantly, contact a professional for assistance. Automatic Industries has been in business for close to 50 years. You are welcome to contact us with questions.
Denise Savino-Erichsen, President
Automatic Industries
www.automaticindustries.com
1-800-THE-WASH

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But even if the vendor UNINTENTIONALLY violated DOB regulations, can they be liable for damages or compensation
to the coop? Would their insurance pay it?

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I’m not a lawyer, so remember what you paid for my advice.

It seems that if the vendor caused the situation - unintentionally or not - then they are liable. Hopefully they have insurance that you can file a claim against.

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I believe that they have insurance. But this might not be resolved quickly, and 190 households are scrambling to use alternate neighborhood laundry services.

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Co-Op Abatement and Star - marym Jul 15, 2019

Why do shareholders who get STAR checks directly from NYS (this was implemented a few years ago) get a higher co-op abatement from NYC than those who do not get their STAR checks from NYS. Both types of shareholders have the same size apartments, number of shares and maintenance. Thank you.

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Could you explain how one receives their abatement directly from NYC? Are you certain it is the STAR abatement? From my understanding the STAR abatement is sent directly to the Managing Agent who then either disperse the money to the owner OR some Coops keep the abatement thus avoiding a maintenance increase. There is a similar question going on about how to obtain lost abatement in which a commenter recommended this link: https://cooperator.com/article/star-on-the-rise/full This is a very good article, explains much and includes the following: "When you live in a co-op, the money doesn’t go directly to the unit owner, but to the building itself. It’s then up to the management company or building administration to disburse the money to the proper parties.... the abatement is paid in a lump sum directly to the building"

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I believe you are referring to information on the below link from the DOF website.

I believe this only applies to homeowners not co-op's and condo's

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

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I would like to correct my previous response.

I was informed by the DOF "If you currently receive the Basic or Enhanced STAR exemption, you will continue to receive it, but you can choose to register for the STAR credit to receive a check instead"

I was told that the amount of the Star credit will increase in the future but the value of the exemption will not. No further explanation as to why. I also asked if the co-op abatement was included in the lump sum check and was told “No, the check is only for the STAR credit, which is issued by New York State”.
I hope this helps you..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck!

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Hope this site helps you.

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

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

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

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

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

sounds like it is your word against theirs.

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


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

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I do now....

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

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Billed legal fees for asking a question - RR401 Jun 06, 2019

I wrote to our board quoting the bylaws that allow me to take a portion of the hallway near my door that no one else can ever use in anyway. The board responded that I can buy it for the same price per Sq ft as apartments in the coop.

Then my next statement showed a charge of $300. When I inquired I was told it was legal fees for researching my question. Can they do that without notifying me that research is necessary and that it will cost me?

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You'll need to check your proprietary lease, but most leases only put the burden of legal fees on the shareholder when the shareholder is in default. Another case: you might reach an agreement to pay the coop's legal fees involving the preparation of a contract to purchase part of the hallway, as you are describing. But getting charged $300 for simply asking a question seems inappropriate to me. You might ask the board to point to the provision in the proprietary lease authorizing this chargeback.

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