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valeting your garage - pk Feb 20, 2020

My building doesn't have enough spaces in our covered heated garage. 150 units & no guest parking in NJ, in a small town with limited parking. We have 160 parking spaces and essentially 3 extra after all are divided up. Our 3 bedroom PH apartments or 5 units, each get 2 spaces & everyone else gets one space. We have 44 two bedroom units and the rest are mostly one bedrooms leaving 11 studios. We recently decreased our maintenance by $50 to increase the parking fee to $100 to see if anyone would give up their spot to those seeking an extra for a 2 car family. Waiting to hear the status of this. We've suggested valeting the garage to the Board, which would bring an additional cost, but they feel it would be too expensive. We feel it would add value to the building. They gave no numbers to back up the valet cost, but it would allow all day guests to park in the garage when many are out at work and hopefully allow for more parking.


Can anyone provide details on their valet situation at their building? Which company do you use? Did it solve any problems that you were having beforehand?

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I live in Queens so I don't have valet parking. Can't help you with that since I don't know anything about it.

I do find your overall parking situation interesting. You say you don't have enough spaces in your garage, but you actually do - for one car per unit. I think that's as fair as it gets. Are new buyers told at their interview that they are entitled to one car? I hope so. No surprises are needed.

What you actually don't have is enough parking for the # of units who want multiple parking spaces. I assume that people who want multiple spaces knew the situation when they moved in, so how can they complain now?

I hope you get some volunteers who grab the $50 maintenance decrease in return for giving up their spot, but I don't see that happening.

You describe your small town as having limited parking. So if I give up my car for the $50, where am I now going to park my car? That doesn't make sense to me.

Would having valet service somehow help these owners who surrender their spaces?

I can see how having a valet service could seem to add value to the units, but at what cost? The Board should be able to divulge exactly how much valet service costs. Perhaps you can also do your own research to see how much valet service would cost. Call up a few companies and get a quote. I'm sure that's all your Board did.

Good luck.

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I was just looking for feedback from anyone in a building with Valet & their experience using it, which company, etc. Everyone is told at the interview & prior that each unit gets one space, but we are always looking for ways to offer better amenities. Our parking is underground, covered & heated. I personally think that it would be great if all 2+ bedroom units were able to have 2 spaces. During the day many spaces are empty. The shareholders asked that an ad hoc committee be formed to see if there was a way to allow day visitors to park in the garage if space was available, but this request was met with silence.

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I'm guessing that allowing day visitors creates potential security problems for the Board. Since you have a garage, day visitors would need to gain access. How do you get into the garage? Remote control clicker? Key?

You would have non shareholders in a area where other owners' possessions (car, maybe other items in the garage belonging to owners) are located. That's an insurance/theft/personal injury liability situation to be considered.

Does the garage lead to any access into the units or is the garage a stand alone structure? Do you have cameras in the garage in case something went wrong?

You might need to review your insurance policy and check with your attorney if there are any liability concerns for your building due to day visitors parking there.

I understand how it would be nice if the 44 2BR apartments each had 2 spaces each. But, how will you do that? By taking 44 spaces away from other units who already have them?

We had a similar situation last year. Our attorney said that as long as they are not in arrears with their parking fees and they are not subletting their space (not allowed to do that here), the parking spaces belong to the unit and the Board cannot take the spaces away.

It's a pain in the neck issue for the Board, but they should at least give you the courtesy of finding out the valet costs and answering your questions.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

We are just lookin for creative ways improve the garage amenity.
We all have a fob to enter the garage, but you can buzz the front desk if you need to.

Thank you for the comment regarding day parking and liability. Good point!

All we are allowed to keep in front of our car is a shopping cart.

No other storage allowed. Occasionally someone steals a shopping cart, unfortunately.

I'm sure we could never give all 2 bedrooms a second space, but there are spots where we could double up cars and who knows, maybe a valet system could determine how many total cars could be parked in the garage. A premium could be charged for the 2nd car. We already have people saying they would pay more for a 2nd spot. Each unit is guaranteed a spot, so there is no taking any spots from anyone unless you somehow were able to acquire a 2nd or 3rd spot when there were some available.


And that is why I'm here, to connect with those that use valet to gather info. If our Board wants to inquire, they will or won't. The Board does not appreciate people getting info on their own.

You need a fob to get in to the elevator banks.

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Good info and thanks for further explaining the situation. Let's say it's possible for valet parking to somehow put extra spaces in the garage.

How do you determine who gets first choice for these extra spots? Is it based on seniority as an owner or seniority from how long you've had a parking space?

I'd recommend reviewing your game plan with your attorney just to make sure you're on solid legal footing.

The Board will need to fine tune these details and have the answers ready for the shareholders, some of which will surely complain no matter what you decide.

As far as the Board not appreciating people getting info on their own - what does the Board expect people to do if the Board won't get the info for them?

Do you want the info or do you want the Board not to be mad at you? Your choice.

Good luck.

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film shoot compensation - Sheila Feb 17, 2020

The co-op board of the building I own in has recently decided to determine how much compensation a shareholder is entitled to..In past years the shareholder negotiated the fee for the use of their unit and the co-op negotiated for their fee.
Now the co-op has put a cap on the dollar amount a shareholder will be compensated. Is this legal???

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Less than 25% of owners have Garage Spot - increasing fee to market rate - TerraceBoardMember Feb 11, 2020

Our building has a covered garage with approx. 35 spots (149 units in the building) and an approximate 10 year waitlist to get a spot. The garage fee was $80/month until 2019 when it was raised to $100; and then this year the Board (4-3 split) decided to raise the fee to $125/month. Garage spot shareholders are complaining that this increase is unfair and meant to try and kick out elderly shareholders. The Board reasoned that the increase was because the current fee is much less than market rate (approx. $250+ in our neighborhood) so rather than increasing maintenance by 3% to cover the budget deficit, we raised the maintenance by 1% and increased the garage to bring it to $125. How have other Boards dealt with pushback about raising garage fees? My logic is that the shareholders are not entitled to a garage spot and Coop as a whole is a business and it makes business sense to raise the garage fees to be closer to market rate so that the building as a whole benefits financially. Anyone have any tips for how to deal with annoyed garage renters?

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I commend the board raising the garage rentals it has been long time coming. All garage renters expected the garage spots to be subsidized by shareholders. I don't understand why these people rather pay the high maintenance increase than their garage rental cost. Please do not let them bully you into feeling guilty they do this every time it goes up. I've seen a couple of them have a fit over a $20 raise. Also you have a handful of shareholders who use their spots as a car storage and not an active parking spot. These cars never move. I suggest you do what we tried to do raise the rental fees until it reaches the street value. Keep in mind you have 149 shareholders to only 35 parking spots. By your 4-3 count your board has 3 people that rent garage spots. What happened to your 2 other board members? Maybe before the new elections you can put it writing that it be mandatory to raise the rental fee every time maintenance is raised until it reaches street value. Since there was a budget shortfall makes sense to maximize any possible source of income for the benefit of ALL shareholders. Keep up the good work.

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we went thru this same situation a few years back. our garage was running more than $150 below market in the neighborhood. i suggested bringing it up by $50 and received a crazy amount of pushback. My point was that the garage has a waiting list and it's therefore a privilege (NOT an amenity) and it should serve as a source of income for the building. a higher maintenance will impact sale prices so the garage increase is the smart way to go. i finally got this thru the board when i had the treasurer do the math for the board members with parking spots and showed them the difference between the incremental garage cost and the incremental maintenance increase (about $2). good luck.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

My building doesn't have enough spaces. 150 units and no guest parking in NJ in a small town with limited parking. We have 160 parking spaces. Our 3 bedroom PH apartments or 5 units, each get 2 spaces & everyone else gets one space. We have 44 two bedroom units and the rest are mostly one bedrooms leaving 11 studios. We recently decreased our maintenance by $50 to increase the parking fee to $100 to see if anyone would give up their spot. Waiting to hear the status of this. We've suggested valeting the garage to the Board, which would bring an additional cost, but they feel it would be too expensive. We feel it would add value to the building. They gave no numbers to back up the valet cost, but it would allow all day guests to park in the garage when many are out at work.

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Shareholder behavior - Michael Feb 06, 2020

Curious what other issues boards have run into with demanding shareholders harassing board members? Have a situation with a shareholder making brazenly false complaints into 311, threatening lawsuits over completely unsubstantiated claims, etc. I realize there is likely some degree of mental illness at play here.

What are your stories and how were the situations dealt with?

Thanks!

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Pre War Building Roof Replacement with SOLAR Panels - GS Feb 05, 2020

Hi all,
My pre-war building potentially needs the roof replaced. We are thinking about pairing the roof replacement with the introduction of solar panels. We need to find some specialist engineers who could guide us through the cost benefits and feasibility of this plan. Presently we have wood joists under the roof. Does anyone have a referral base of specialists in these areas? Any guidance at all is appreciated.
thanks very much!

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Congratulations! Wish my building will do this. Call Brooklyn Solarworks (347-474-7144) 200 6th St. Bklyn NY. They have done several roofs in my area. They will guide you and educate you on the process. Best of Luck moving into the 21st century. Your building will save in your electric bills. $$$$$

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Contact Bright Power and ask for Darren Johnson. Bright Power is a leader in all things energy. Our building is starting to think about doing the same.

https://www.brightpower.com/new-york-city-solar-co-op/

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This company has been installing solar panels all over Bklyn.
"Brooklyn Solar Works" (347-474-7144. They just installed solar panels in a co-op building in Prospect Pk S.W. the super said they are getting cuts already on their electric bills. It's a win win. Wish my building will do it, but they can't move away from 1990. Best of Luck

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Another minor issue you may encounter if your building is landmarked and any part of the solar panel installation will be visible from grade level along what's called a "view line", you may need to check with the Landmarks Preservation Commission. They sometimes get persnickety about what should be a non-issue.

If you are landmarked and someone who passes by your building sees the solar panels and complains to the LPC, expect a visit from an inspector. So if you're landmarked, check with the contractor who's doing the installation.

If you're not landmarked, please disregard all of the above...

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Coop board misdeeds - Brian Coyle Jan 31, 2020

Coop with no sublet restrictions, in univ. neighborhood. I sublet out. Shareholder below me, on board, has water damage in bathroom ceiling. Accused me of poor maintenance, board agreed without inspecting. I sealed floor, problem continued. Finally board hired plumbing co. - they found valve leak behind wall, bldg's responsibility. This disproved board president's expectation. Same day president directed super to pour 'pitchers of dye water' along floor edge. Took pictures of dye on ceiling below to show floor is problem. Then claimed plumbing co. did dye test. I contacted plumbing co. they asserted absolutely not. This isn't how such tests are done, by code. They found leak in valve only. President didn't deny, in writing, but claimed mgt co. instructed her. Mgt. co. denied this.

I hired professional bldg. inspector to assess floor, he declared it sound, above average. Forwarded to board. No response. Board has blocked my current attempt to sublet for over 30 day period permitted by policy, ostensibly because I don't "fix floor problem." They cause me fiduciary damage. Insistence that floor is problem will impact resale. Shareholder below wants to buy my place, could be tactic.

Do I have any recourse?

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I commend you for sticking up for your rights, now hire a lawyer to solve your sublet problems. I would also consider running for your board they all seem to be do as I say not as I do. Does your board have open shareholder meetings? if not ask for one. Talk to your fellow shareholders to vote for new board members and see if they have the same problems as you. Then pack up run don't walk and sell ASAP. Best of Luck

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super's phone bill - DP Jan 15, 2020

Are there any standards, laws, or regulations, etc., regarding who pays for the superintendent's cell phone in a coop building? Mine is a 55-unit, 6-story apt. coop (with rentals) building.

I ask b/c our super's phone frequently "goes out," making it impossible to reach him for days at a time. He doesn't receive vm or texts. This is not only annoying, but potentially dangerous in an emergency.

Knowledgeable advice or direction appreciated. Not so interested in opinions, thanks.

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I'm not aware of any laws or regulations covering this. I think it's up to the Board to decide if they're going to partially or fully pay for the super's phone bill.

We give our super a subsidy each month for his personal cell phone. He uses his own phone to call us and have us call him. Since he's like a doctor on call, we choose to give him a monthly subsidy.

You have a dangerous situation if he's not staying in contact with the co-op. That's a far more important subject than who pays for his phone bill. I would think that being on call is a basic job requirement for any super, especially a live-in one.

Good luck.

Good luck.

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> Join the conversation Comments (2)

Thanks Marty.


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We also give our super a $50 monthly stipend for his cellphone. In exchange we publish his cellphone number to all shareholders and it is expeced he will respond to all calls and text messages in a reasonable amount of time.

A few years ago we purchased five commercial-grade walkie talkies, for the super, three staff members, and a designated board member (me). You have no idea how useful they are and how much more efficient everyone is because of the dedicated communications link. I'd be happy to talk offline with anyone who is interested.

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Steven424 - Been a long time since I've seen your name. Good to see you dispensing your wisdom once again.

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Hi Marty - Thanks for the warm welcome back. My wife passed away in Sept, 2018 and I've been slowly re-engaging with the activities I was involved with before she required my full-time care.

I'm glad to be back.
--- Steve

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I don't know either of you gentlemen—Marty or Steve424—but since I began this thread, I'd like to offer my condolences to you Steve. I'm sorry for your loss and glad you're re-engaging. Best to you.

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Steven - I’m so sorry to hear about your wife. Please accept my condolences.

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Marty, DP -

Thank you both for your condolences. Her passing wasn't unexpected, and activities like my participation here help restore a sense of continuity with the past.

--- Steve

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Steve,
So sorry to hear of your wife's passing.

Queens

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Who gets Coop Abatement after sale of the unit, Part 2 - OG Jan 09, 2020

I can’t leave additional comments to my original post, so I created a new one.

First of all, thank you, queen & Marty for your support. I started the battle from April 2019 and it was frustrating because I could find very little information and there was no support.
You guys have been so great. I can’t thank you enough.

I just heard back from the DOF. This is better than I expected. Please see below.


As requested the tax benefit breakdown sent out 12/2019 is attached. Please note in the 19/20 report it states the new shareholders NEW OWNERS’ NAME as receiving the 19/20 abatement, but this is incorrect, this abatement should be distributed to the previous shareholder MY NAME since she didn't sell the coop until 1/23/2019 which was after the 1/5/2019 taxable status date and primary residency wasn't changed to No on the 19/20 change form submitted in February 2019. Please advise management of this. Additionally for the new owners of apt XXXX to receive the CCA beginning TY 2020/21, they must be on the change form as new owners, primary residency Yes by the 2/15/2020 deadline.

Thank you for contacting the NYC Dept. of Finance,

Candice Ficalora
Property Exemptions Administration Customer Service


The property manager really screwed up!
I probably shouldn’t let the management company know about the mistake he made until 2/15 deadline lol.
As a matter of fact, I wonder if they tried to lie about the status.
The coop I sold is a studio. They have a house in NJ. Their daughter is living there.

I’m going to talk to the management company with confidence!

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That s GREAT news! Tenacity pays off!!!

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Congratulations!

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OG here.
So, I contacted the management company and requested to return my 2 years abatements.
Sent an email to the Controller who was CC’d on the DOF’s response to my inquiry and the Property Manager of the unit. No response. Sent a follow up email. Nothing. Sent a separate email to the Property Manager alone who has been responsive, but no answer.
I guess they decided to ignore me.
The irony is that the very samevController is commenting in the Habitat February issue mentioned below about Property tax benefits.
My next stop seems to be Small Claims court.
I really thought this would be solved smoothly after I saw the response from DOF.
I will keep you posted.

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OG - Do you know the co-op's attorney? I wonder if a phone call to him might be beneficial. After all, he represents the interests of the shareholders (of which you're one), so he might be able to speak/call the mgt company and convince them to pay you the $$.

If that fails, you can always fall back on Small Claims Court.

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Marty-
Thanks again for your advice. I really appreciate your time. I do have the attorney’s contact but remember I’m no longer a shareholder? He is supposed to protect the purchaser who received and will receive our abatement.
I suspect both the Controller and the Property manager consulted the attorney and decided to remain quiet. I doubt it’s their own call.
I wish they would have replied to me if they believe they did the right thing or is my belief completely out of question and not worth paying attention to?

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I would still call the attorney because you have nothing to lose by doing so.

His job is to protect the shareholders of the corporation. You have a notice from the DOF that says you were legally entitled to receive those abatements as a shareholder.

His job is to limit the co-op's exposure to potential lawsuits and this is a potential lawsuit because that money is rightfully yours. It's the co-op's problem - not yours - if they erroneously paid it to the new purchaser.

Trust me, the attorney knows this. As an officer of the court he can't knowingly perpetuate a fraud, which would be the case if the purchaser gets to keep the abatements instead of you - the rightful recipient.

Everything's a negotiation. After you present the facts to him, you nicely tell him that all you want are your legally owed abatements.

You can also remind him that the co-op won't lose money because the purchaser has to repay the co-op all of the abatements they were not entitled to receive.

Tell him that the co-op just has to pay you and then recover that money from the purchaser.

See what he says and remember that 1) you have nothing to lose and 2) that money is legally yours.

Good luck.

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OG,
of course they are going to ignore you and hope you go away.

If the co-op's attorney won't work with you, forget small claims court. Contact your attorney. He/she can send a letter threatening legal action as well as reimbursement of your legal expenses, lost wages and emotional distress.

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Just a heads up that Habitat has published a story in the February 2020 issue explaining the different property tax benefits and how buildings and residents get them. Keeping track of who's entitled and how they get the benefit is a huge administrative task, and usually falls on management's shoulders.

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MyDoorView - Video Entry System - Jeff Jan 09, 2020

Hello All,
This is Jeff with MyDoorView. We have just released our new 7" panel, 10" inch is scheduled for release in June '20.
Please feel free to email me for a spec sheet. Jeff@mydoorview.com - I have included some features below.

Also: Our original product launched in 2014 is a software platform with the ability to add streaming video to any brand of legacy telephone entry, much less expensive than replacing a panel.

The VEU-7 By MyDoorView
VEU-7” Entry System is an exterior rated access call box for residential, multi-family and commercial applications. The system was developed by MyDoorView with open architecture software for third party integration.

Cloud-Based Portal
Our portal is used for resident and feature management and allows for network integrations with other service providers streamlining database management.

SIP/IP calling via POE
A single POE (power over ethernet) connection is used to provide both data and power to the VUE-7 panel up to 300 feet from head-end.

Video Calling to Phone, Tablet, and PC
The resident will view who is at the door and be able to release the door-lock from the app giving access to the visitors. With one-way video, two-way voice, visitors will not be able to see the resident, but the resident will see the visitor.

Video and Still Image - Date and Time Logging
The resident app and management portal display an image of all pin uses and a five-second video of all video calls with date, time and name of resident called. Data is stored for 90 days and can be exported via CSV.

Group Calling
One call from the panel will call all devices in the group. Family groups can be added by management in the portal (resident control of this feature is due Q2-2020).

Limited Use Pins
This allows residents to send an entry pin from the MyDoorView app via text to a guest that will auto-expire after a pre-determined time and/or a pre-determined number of uses from 1-99. All successful and failed pin uses will capture an image. More than five failed attempts in a row will notify management by SMS text and/or email with images.

Door and Gate Control
This helps management monitor the traffic and keep track of all vehicles and/or people entering the property, creating entry logs.

Anti-glare Tempered Touch Glass
Matte finish reduces glare, resists fingerprints, and supports gloved hands.

Multi-purpose Mounts
Flush Mount, Surface Mount and Surface Mount with Rain Hood.

1 Year Warranty
Operating temp: -4 to 140 degrees F
Weather rated: IP65

MyDoorView, LLC
5600 Oakbrook Parkway
Norcross, GA 30093
844-596-5801

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PropertyTax abatements - Connie S Jan 06, 2020

WE converted from Coop to Condo in 2007. We changed management and were unfamiliar if Condos get property tax abatements so we asked our new management . Our new managements said no Condos do not get them ( I was a President at the time as I recall). We stupidly believed them for why would they lie?. Well in 2016 I was speaking to a City employee for the DOB and they said Condos most certainly are entitled to Property tax abatements. They emailed me a form and I confronted our management with the form. They then said that it is only for new condos, another lie (fool us once , but not twice). I said where does it say that??. I made them fill out the forms but it took a year to get everyone's SS# (which they really should have had all along if you asked me) We still did not get anything only for them to say they put the wrong code in and we should get them retroactive for those two years that I made them apply for. We should get it in October--well October came and went no tax abatements.
Then the CEO said the tax abatements on a Board member's tax bill who had some credit of 3 dollars was the tax abatement( was not listed as a tax abatement, just a credit). Ridiculous!. I know we use to get $450 or there about as a coop. Is he kidding?? I called the DOB and they said we should get tax abatement approx. $1,000.00 per unit and we should be getting it.
WE lost out all those 10 years of having our taxes reduced by 28.1 percent due to managements lies to us that Condos do not get tax abatementst. Approximately $1,000 per unit. One Board member said it was just due to laziness on managements part and shrugged it off. No way should that much money be shrugged off. What can be done besides just contacting an attorney. Any suggestions?. How are condo tax abatements dispersed? I will also call the DOB to find out for I do not trust management.

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Start with contacting the attorney. You'll need to know your legal rights and the best way to approach the issue so you get the maximum $$ owed to everyone.

The attorney should also be able to help you determine if there's any statute of limitations involved, which might affect your approach to the situation.

The attorney may be able to determine if the management company committed fraud if they lied to you. If so, that could provide you with leverage in your discussions/negotiations with the management company.

Get all the info before you contact management so you know what your chances are.

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I do hope you fired and changed your managing agent, lawyer and most of all your accountant. This is one reason why managing agents must be changed every so often. They get too comfortable. The Habitat has great information on all managing agents, so do your research and interview them very carefully. I also would advise you to hire an independent auditor to go over your books. If by chance your managing agent has taken your Tax Abatement for 12 yrs. this is called Grand Larceny. Best of Luck

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I don't think they could take our money for I called the City and for Condos the abatement is automatically deducted from the tax bill...(we converted from coop to condo)They never get to touch it, as apposed to a coop it goes to the building and management is suppose to give you credit on your maintenance, That WAS done to us as a coop, The sponsor management put the money into the building to run it instead of giving it to us, The sponsor and that management are LONG gone! We now have no sponsor now..

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started this string about out management deceiving us all these years (over ten years ) that condos do not get property tax abatements. I am a Board member. I found it the Property tax abatements were about $1,000. a year in reduction of taxes. Seem the new Board thinks the management is just lazy and scoffed it off and does not want to do anything about it , cheating the unit owners of all this lost monies. I was thinking to go rouge and contact an attorney to see what can be done, than contact the unit owners and start a class action lawsuit ? This management has done not so ethical things in the past. This board seems not to care. What is your opinion??

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I remembered reading this article and although they were self managed, they were being embezzled by the co-op' s bookkeeper/office manager and a few others were profiting from the situation.

You might find the action they took to resolve their problem helpful.

https://www.habitatmag.com/Publication-Content/Legal-Financial/2016/2016-February/Self-Mis-Managed

https://www.habitatmag.com/Publication-Content/Board-Operations/2016/2016-August/Lindenwood-Followup

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