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Flip Tax/Assessment - peoples choice #1 Sep 22, 2018

Needing your input.
Looking to see if co op share holders have a Flip Tax and how much when you decide to sell or buy. Also does anyone have a yearly assessment and a yearly maintenance raise. If so how much?
Thanking you all in advance.

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Every Co-op is different and has different financial needs. Some have Transfer Fees ("flip tax") and some don't. Some base the amount on a constant, per-share basis, and some base the amount on the gross or net unit sales price. The dollar or percentage amount will vary between co-ops.

The same goes for maintenance increases and assessments. Co-ops with good fiscal management may or may not impose a maintenance increase depending on what their budget projections are for the coming year. Most increases will track at least increases in operating expenses due to inflation. There may be a larger increase if their real estate tax assessment spikes. They may also be proactive and are raising money gradually because they know they have a major capital expense coming up, like a new elevator or a new roof.

Assessments should be used for specific purposes, and not imposed on a regular basis. They are useful if the building is hit with a sudden large expense that may deplete their reserve and/or operating accounts. A building with little in reserve is a building destined for real pain.

The amounts are unique to the needs of the building. There is no rule-of-thumb for how much or how often.

Can you provide any background to your questions? It would help others provide you with a more definitive response.

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I'll make this easier for you,
I'm Looking to see if co op share holders have a Flip Tax... and how much when you sell or buy. What %
Also does your board give you a yearly assessment and a yearly maintenance raise? How much a year?
Thank you in advance.

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And I can make it much easier for you. Pose all your questions to a member of your co-op board or your managing agent. Since every co-op is unique in it's fiscal requirements, your board or MA will be able to provide you with answers that are specific to *your* co-op.

Now, if your are interested in the specifics of *my* co-op, I'll be happy to oblige.

We have a flip tax, and it is $8/share

We almost always have an annual maintenance increase that covers price increase due to inflation, staff salary increases, and other business factors. For the past few years we needed to have two maintenance increases because our building's assessed valuation increased by such a large amount (even with a tax certiorari reduction), that we would have had a negative cash flow by the end of the year. The rate of r/e tax increase has slowed, so we anticipate only one maintenance increase in CY'19

The only annual assessment we impose is to recover operating funds lost due to the annual Dept of Finance tax abatement. We calculate the assessment so it is as close to the abatement as possible, so the net to our shareholders is minimal. In the past we've imposed assessments for a lobby renovation, but we recently refinanced our underlying mortgage and took out enough cash so we don't anticipate any further assessments for capital improvements.

Please remember that this information is specific to my co-op. Your co-op's financial requirements are probably vastly different.

I hope this answers your questions,
--- Steve

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more than 70% of nyc co-ops now have a transfer fee... it is supported by the lion's share of managing agents and real estate attorneys. i support it in my building which is trying to pass one. according to a seminar i went to, 2% of the gross sale price is the 'right amount.' assessments and maintenance increases are based upon multiple factors - assessments typically are needed for capital improvements while maintenance increases are related to building expenses and real estate taxes.

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I should also note that the imposition of a share transfer fee (flip tax) must be authorized in one of the co-op governing documents like the Proprietary Lease. It was not included in the PL template used during most co-op conversions from the early 1980's. Failure to have the enabling language in the PL before the fee is voted on by the board can cause major headaches if an astute purchaser or attorney questions the fee. Check the Habitat Magazine archives for articles about this, or better, ask your co-op's attorney.

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Couple questions about student loans and credit. - jessca georger Sep 18, 2018

"Hello, my name is Jessica, I am 25 now and will be finishing school now..

Couple questions about student loans and credit.

So, do they affect the credit score?

I don't have any job right now, and I am constantly looking, how much time will I have to start paying them off?

I will have around $40,000 total of debt and just want to see how it will affect my credit because I plan on buying a home in the next 3 years.

Do student loans will hurt my credit?

Will I need to hire a a <a href="https://raiseupcreditrepair.com/credit-repair-san-antonio.html">credit repair company</a> so I have a score of 700 at least?

Lets say I find a job at 80k, how much should I pay them off?

Not sure what the interest is.

Anyway, thanks! and I hope I am in the right category!"

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The first thing you need to do is educate yourself about debt and credit. Check out this link: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/do-student-loans-affect-credit/

1) Find out what the interest rate(s) is(are) for your student loans. You MUST know what it is in order to make better choices about repaying your debt.

2) Loans can hurt OR help your credit score. Any kind of loan (debt) affects your credit report. If you don't pay the required minimum monthly payment on your loan(s), your credit score will be hurt. If you do pay the required minimum monthly payment on your loan(s), your credit score will be helped.

3) In my opinion (take it for what you paid for it, as Steven424 would say), forget about the house until you pay down a large chunk of your student loan(s). I doubt if you can even get a mortgage if you have a sizeable outstanding student loan.

4) Use your future income to repay as much of your loan(s) as possible as soon as possible. By doing this, you'll reduce your debt, improve your credit score, build positive financial habits, and reach your goal of buying a home as fast as possible.

This won't be easy. As Dave Ramsey likes to say, you may not be able to see the inside of a restaurant for 2 years. But, you have lots of debt and have to make the needed sacrifices. That's life.

One thing that might help if you find that you can't afford the agreed upon monthly loan repayment amount is to renegotiate with the lender. Remember that all the lender wants is to be repaid.

For example, if you're supposed to repay a loan at $400/month, but you find that's too much to afford, call the lender, explain the situation, and tell them how much you can afford to repay each month ($100, 150, 200, etc).

Believe me, the lender will appreciate that you didn't renege, and that you were honest and are making an effort to repay. Of course, you'll have to repay the loan for a longer period of time than the original agreement since you're now paying less than the original agreed amount, but this may be a better fit for your life.

Good luck to you and educate yourself as much as possible. Your financial life depends on it.

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Mold and co-ops responsibility - Janet Sep 17, 2018

Hello,
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My apartment that I own had 3 leaks last year that were fixed with just plaster and paint. I developed joint paint and it has been getting worse so I saw a doctor that tested me for mold biotixion illness and it seems positive. I had an ERMI test done that showed that I have 2 strains of mold related to water damage. I now have a ceiling that has bubbles again and asked the building to bring in an expert in mold and pay for it to take care of the issue. I was told by buidling management company to have my attorney contact them. Can someone suggest what i can do without spending money on an attorney as I have pictures of the ceiling now and results from the ERMI home test plus a note from my doctor.

I called 311 but was told that if I own the apartment, they won't get involved.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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Thank you

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I don't know why 311 said that they won't get involved since you own your apartment. HPD treats co-ops the same as rentals when it comes to violations. We had a number of violations, including mold, called in by a shareholder who wouldn't let us in to remedy the situation. The City eventually sent their own contractor and billed us for the cost.

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I find it very sad that many problems within co ops and condos are ignored this important issue. I would call 311 again tell them you want to report a mold problem in your apt. and your managing agent refuses to act on it. Document your health issues and give it to your lawyer, he/she will advise you on how to proceed. Your lawyer won't charge you for a consultation, most likely the lawyer will proceed further. Best of Luck

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I also own a co-op on Westchester and have a problem with mold and leaking into my ceiling. The management company told me that if the toilet in apartment above me is leaking it is my problem to work it out with that shareholder even though they are fully aware he refuses to repair the leak. Now my ceiling is bubbled, and growing mold. I know that NYC has 311 to complain but I can't find an answer as to who can help in Westchester and whether a co-op has responsibility to repair the leak. I know I can get my insurance to cover my ceiling repairs but the leak the shareholder above refuses to repair is the real problem.

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emkharts , it soundalike you have a problem & no one wants to help. You need to contact your insurance co. who will send someone to look at your problem. They will repair and sue your neighbor and his/her insurance co. to pay for your deductible & damage. The insurance co. will also determined if you need to go to a hotel and pay for your stay. So call ASAP this will damage your lungs if not taken care of. It happened to my cousin, Good Luck.

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Thank you people's choice. I am calling my insurance.

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call 311 and see if a supervisor can help you . do you have coop insurance? i am not sure if mold is excluded , or an extra rider on these policies. Check your policy and if covered get relocation until it is fixed.

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I find that some boards are not addressing these areas seriously. This is where shareholders have to do their due diligence so they can work together. Board members along with management companies need to educate their employees about these areas. Preventive measures and ongoing communication to shareholders about safety is warranted.

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Thank you.

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Accessible building entry and exit denied. - Marianna Sep 14, 2018

I live in a 4 building cooperative that allows for wheelchair access through the basement only. The lobby of the building has 2 steps leading to the front door, and then 5 additional steps leading to the elevators. The lobby is fundamentally inaccessible to anyone with any type of physical handicap or limitation. For years, the management company has locked the basement and hence restricted accessible building entry and exit between the hours of 9:00 PM and 8:00 AM. The management company insists that the elevator is locked from entering the basement between these hours for the safety of the residents. A number of tenants, however, require building exit and entrance between the hours of 9:00 PM and 8:00 AM, but are currently trapped in their apartments during these hours.

I have requested that this policy be revisited and revised or outright eliminated, but the management company has been uncooperative. I contacted the NYC Commission on Human Rights, and they have confirmed that disabled tenants and shareholders do have a means of recourse here and that they are willing to allocate their legal services to this cause. My understanding is that the Commission generally requires extensive costly building upgrades in response to these types of complaints.

As a shareholder, I am reluctant to pursue this route because I do not want to be responsible for the cooperative needlessly incurring this cost.

Are there any other means of requiring the management company to make the basement/ramp accessible at all times? Is this an issue of building common space use guaranteed in our proprietary lease?

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You should be talking to your board members, not the management company. I would put the issue in writing and mail it to the board members. If they dont respond contact the disability rights people , they may put pressure on the board members. I doubt they are indemnified for discrimination

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Predating proxyies - NYC Sep 01, 2018

If a person signs their proxy week prior to the meeting but predates the proxy to the day of the meeting, is the proxy still legal?

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My understanding is that the proxy is akin to an absentee ballot. It may be collected and dated at any time before the meeting.

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buying ex husband out of jointly owned NYC coop apartment - deb Sep 01, 2018

If I buy my ex husband’s share of our jointly owned coop (nyc) are all the flip taxes and state and city taxes applied as if I’m a new buyer, with no ownership of the apartment?

thanks

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Since you are no longer married, I would assume the sale will be treated as if it were between unrelated parties.

You should not rely on my opinion but consult with the attorney who handled your divorce or an attorney who specializes in real estate law. If the divorce decree was not worded properly there could be all sorts of tax consequences.

Remember that fees imposed by the co-op corporation like the share transfer fee (i.e. flip tax) are in no way related to any applicable state and city taxes and fees. These would also depend on how the shares were titled before the divorce.

Something like this can grow very complex very quickly. It's best to spend the modest $$$ on an attorney today to save the big $$$ if the matter is not handled properly.

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Master Shareholders List - Unosay Aug 26, 2018

I requested a copy of the shareholders list recently and noticed a lot of the names were missing. As a former board member I thought it was odd that it was altered and not up to date. I was told by my property manager shareholders requested their names to be omitted. I know that not to be true as I was the only one to request it. I was thinking to run again for the board to try to protect our investments. Unfortunately shareholders here do not know their rights or what they are entitled to. Our board members never seen a master list or the parking list to understand the proper running of a corporation. While on the board we only received a financial report when it was time to do the budget. Please advise and thank you for your time.

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One possibility is to find other shareholders interested in running for the Board, as a slate. Flyers could be circulated stating the issues and candidate backgrounds.

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Section 624 of the New York Business Corporatiin Law states

“Any person who shall have been a shareholder of record of a corporation upon at least five days written demand shall have the right to examine in person or by agent or attorney, during usual business hours, its minutes of the proceedings of its shareholders and record of shareholders and to make extracts therefrom for any purpose reasonably related to such persons interest as a shareholder.”

You can inform your Management company and Board President that they are violating the law.

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I followed the BCL procedure with a written affidavit for the master list. I got a altered copy with blank spaces because I suspected certain board members, our property manager and family members purchased apartments whole gainfully employed by the corporation . They have lowered our property rates for sales to meet the needs of their buyers. What is the best solution to my situation which has gotten out of hand? I read and subscribe to your magazine which has educated me along with attending the cooperative and condo expo for years. Most sharerholders haven't a clue of what they bought or the resources out there to inform them. Thank you!

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If you've already submitted an affidavit and got an altered copy as your response, then you may have no other choice other than to hire an attorney to force them to give you the complete master list.

Good luck!

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Thank you kindly for your advice and it pains me to have to go that route. But it is time for complete transparency and honesty .

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Provision in Will - marym Aug 09, 2018

Does anybody know what this means? Thank you.

Section 4 : Executors
...I direct my executor to take all actions legally permissable to have the probate of my will done as simply and as free of court supervision as possible under the laws of the state having jurisdiction over this will, including filing a petition in the appropriate court for the independent administration of my estate

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I asked my wife who is a retired Trusts & Estate attorney what it might mean. She said that generally it is meant to instruct the court probating the will to not get overly involved in the estate administration. The testator (person whose will is being probated) is saying to the court that they have complete confidence in the named executor, and the court should not try to second-guess the executor's actions or decisions.

The Usual Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. This should not be construed in any manner to be a legal opinion or advice. If you are a party to an estate where the will contains such a paragraph, you need to consult with a T&E attorney to get a formal legal opinion.

Good luck!

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Legality of Ethics or Non Disclosure Agreements - H. Jul 31, 2018

Can Board members be compelled to sign such Agreements?

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You need to contact your board's attorney to have him/her review the NDA and advise whether or not to sign it. NDA's are fraught with complexities that you do not want to blindly commit to without any sort of legal review. Even if it is one board member trying to get another board member to sign, your co-op attorney is working for your co-op corporation and not individual board members. In all circumstances she/he should be giving advice that is beneficial to the corporation.

Remember also that any legal advise you receive in these forums is worth exactly what you paid for it.

Good luck!

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So NDA’s are not intrinsically illegal? Depending on content, they may be legal?

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Unless someone has had direct experience with an NDA, I doubt anyone besides a co-op/condo attorney has the background and knowledge to properly advise. I worked for a very large IT corporation and we were not allowed to sign *any* NDA without in-house counsel review. Much better to err on the side of paranoia... :-)

But to answer your question, I don't think they are intrinsically illegal. For example, suppose a solar energy company wants to use your building as a test-bed for a new type of solar panel. They may ask you to sign an NDA preventing you from revealing facts about efficiency, problems, cost, anything like that. In my opinion, that sort of NDA should be ok.

On the other hand, suppose one of your shareholders has some adverse knowledge about another shareholder that they won't divulge to you without a form of an NDA. The first person you should go to is your attorney. Otherwise, you may end up liable for things (and financial penalties!) you never dreamed of. Ignorance of the law is not a defense.

Once again, this is just my very non-legal opinion and you should not rely on it as any sort of legal advise. If someone is asking you to sign an NDA, speak to your lawyer.

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I agree with Steven's advice.

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Elevator replacement - GS Jul 17, 2018

Our pre-war building is moving forward with complete replacement of elevators (cabs, rails, motors etc.) It's a 6 story building. The project is expected to take 8-10 weeks. We have many tenants who have mobility issues (wheelchairs etc.)
We do not have a service elevator. The building has two wings with one elevator servicing each wing. We are considering constructing a covered rooftop walkway so that residents can take the elevator on one side, cross the roof and then take the stairs down to floors 6, 5, 4, 3. We've looked into motorized chair lifts on the stairways but were told this involves increased liability for potential falls. We are very concerned about people being stuck in their apartments or having to leave their apartments for the duration of the project. Any and all suggestions for how to address this problem are greatly appreciated!

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Our co-op (6 stories, 2 unconnected buildings) replaced both of our elevators last year and this year. We also had no service elevator and also had many seniors and people with mobility issues. It took 8 weeks from start to finish.

The good news is that the elevator company finished work on the 56th day, with the mandatory NYC inspection taking place the next day. Make sure your managing agent contacts the NYC agency who does the inspections before the work starts, so the inspection can be done ASAP after the work is finished.

There is no painless way to do this, so we felt that our #1 priority was to ease the pain as much as possible, even if that cost substantial $$.

Your covered walkway sounds like a possibility. We didn't have that option, so here's what we did...

1) Give as much lead in time as possible to the residents and constantly communicate to them exactly what the process will entail.

The less surprises there are, the easier the process will be for the residents and the Board. We gave our s/h 4-5 months notice before the work began.

2) Suggest that s/h arrange, if possible, to stay with friends/family for all or part of the time during the replacement process.

3) We placed 2 folding chairs on each floor landing in both stairwells so that s/h could rest if needed going up/down the stairs.

4) We provided water to s/h who requested it. Make sure the staff hands it out instead of having all the water in one public location because the water will grow legs and disappear if the staff doesn't control its distribution.

5) Try to do the replacement from March - May or Sept - Nov to avoid the hottest times of the year.

6) Inform the s/h of food delivery services such as Peapod or Fresh Direct as a substitute for going to the supermarket.

7) Advise your s/h to stock up on heavy shopping items (canned goods, bottled water, etc) in the months prior to the replacement so their shopping is limited to lighter weight items being brought up the stairs.

8) Our biggest decision was to spend money to hire extra staff (our managing agent took care of this) to be available solely for the purpose of helping s/h carry food up and down the stairs, in addition to helping residents schlep their laundry up and down.

We bought a burn phone and gave that phone number to our residents, and told them to call ONLY that number if they needed help (as opposed to calling the personal cell numbers of our maintenance staff)

We had our extra workers available 7 days a week with staggered hours, recognizing that not all s/h keep the same hours. Our extra worker schedule was:
Mon/Wed/Fri…8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday/Thursday…10:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday/Sunday: 10 AM - 4 PM

We felt that this would reduce the stress of our residents as much as possible.

Of course, we informed s/h that there may be times where 2 or more s/h call the burn phone at the same time, so we need everyone's patience and cooperation to make this work.

We kind of made this up as we went along since we never had such a massively inconvenient project take place before, but we erred on the side of caution to make sure we minimized the pain as much as possible.

Overall, we had very few complaints because we really tried to provide as much information and services to our residents as possible.

No one complained about the extra money because everyone felt it was money well spent.

I wish you the best of luck. You're going to need it.

Communicate often and provide as many details to the residents months in advance so everyone can plan ahead.

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Thank you so much for responding and for the details of your action plan.

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Marty - Excellent, excellent write-up and procedure guide for doing an elevator replacement where there are no backup elevators. We replaced our elevator in 2005 and followed pretty much the same process you did.

Communications is absolutely the key to reducing shareholder angst and aggravation. Emails and lobby fliers together are a potent communications tool.

Habitat should publish this as a HOW-TO for future elevator replacements.

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Marty,
It sounds like you were happy with the elevator company. Which one did you use?
Thanks,
GS

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We used Genco. One thing you'll discover is that the company you select to do the replacement must be your servicing company for the next 5 years after the replacement is completed. Apparently that is an industry wide standard.

We've learned that some co-ops are having trouble finding companies to do the replacement because the demand is very high at this time. That's because all elevators must meet new NYC code standards by 2020.

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