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Coop Questionnaire and Confidentiality - H. Mar 14, 2019

Sometimes questions on the Coop Questionnaire are queries about litigation. If the litigation is a civil suit that has been sealed by the judge, can details be omitted in the response?

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ELEVATORS'S LOG BOOKS NOT UPDATED - Sissi71 Mar 12, 2019

Hello, today we found out that the elevator company we hired in our condo did not fill out the log books on a monthly basis of our 2 elevators maintenance. The books are in the motor room and it seems that if the city come to inspect we might get fined. I appreciate your feedback on this matter. Thanks.

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Aces Laundry Reviews/References - Judy S Mar 07, 2019

We are considering new laundry service vendors. ACES looks very good. Does anyone have any experience with them?

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Thanks for mentioning Aces Laundry. We offer 21st Century technology combined with Mom and Pop service. I would like to speak with you and all Board members and can be reached 24/7 ( Just like our service)
@ (917) 416 - 3899

Please call me anytime to see just how Aces Laundry can turn your laundry experience from a "dreary job" to to a something to look forward to!

I'm Stan , please give me a call , and Thanks Again!!

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I forgot one thing - if it's easier to text , thats cool! If it's easier to
EMAIL - well then - stanleymarx@aceslaundry.com

Thanks Again
Stan

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Just to throw another one out there... I have removed CoinMach in all my buildings and replaced them with Hercules which everyone seems to love... The service is very prompt as well.

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We have Coinmach. They are terrible.

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They refused to come and get their machines so I left them on the curb and called them to now come get them!

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That's not good at all. Got another nice reference about ACES. Looking for a firsthand reference.

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For a first hand recommendation
Call Glen Oaks Village, management.
We service over 3000 happy units there. If you want to speak to a building with a smaller audience , call any of our other 250+ locations, better yet call me and I’ll give you a list of each and everyone of our locations, you choose ! They’re all GREAT !!
Stan - 917-416-3898

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Sorry. I posted my number incorrectly it’s
Stan. 917-416-3899
Thanks

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Pee in front of my door - Mohammad Mar 05, 2019

I live in an Apartment building not a condo nor a co-op, forgive me if this is not the proper channel to discuss my issue, truthfully I don't know where else to post this. With that being said, I am having issues where there are one or more non residents in my building peeing in the corner of a stairwell, my apartment door is less than 2 feet away from that very corner. My super knows this is an issue because his door for his cleaning tools is literally right in that corner. This has been going on for months now, and it is come to the point that the smell of the pee is coming into my apartment and is slowly but surely becoming a health hazard for my family. What can be done in this case, we are a long time renter on the property (20+ years)?

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Have you documented this—does your building have security cameras? If not, I would get them. This is a quality of life issue that if left untended can easily turn into something even more serious and dangerous. I would start there. If you have an idea who's doing it, call 911, call your local precinct. Also, go to your local community board meeting, and ask their advice. If your apt. is so close to where this is taking place, keep your ears open and when you hear someone out there, document it yourself. Take pictures. Engage your neighbors to be on the lookout and report it as well. Good luck.

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Tree and Tree Pit maintenance - Sue Mar 01, 2019

Hello,

Our building recently went through a lawsuit (slip and fall) resulting in a costly settlement. The Case took over 8 years. Building was put through the mill with numerous subpoenas and hours of testimony, releasing of records, etc.

The tree was planted by the City over 10 years ago to beautify the neighborhood. I have never seen the tree maintained by the City- in storms branches fall, pit erodes, etc.

The courts found our building solely liable. I find this unbelievable.

Our building just cant afford to maintain the tree. It's bankrupting the building. We cannot afford to be solely liable for a tree shared by many buildings and businesses on the block.

What can our building do? How do we release the building from this liability? We would like the tree removed and the sidewalk replaced.

Thank you.

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Explain your problem when you call 311 they will give you information or you can file a complaint. 311 will also upon your request will give you the right area to call or contact. Best of luck.

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Putting your unfortunate and understandably expensive lawsuit aside... If its a 10 year old tree and the building cannot afford to maintain it, which involves cleaning the pit, occasionally pruning it and sweeping he leaves in the fall; I don't mean to sound harsh, but the building may have more significant problems than the tree itself.
On the flip side.. If the tree were damaged by an accident or unintentional issue, or diseased, or dead from, say some kid driving a nail into it or something, you would be permitted to remove it. .. I wouldn't condone doing anything, but that's just something I heard...

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Local law 87 - NYC Feb 21, 2019

My co-op consists of different block numbers.

Some of the co-operatives were informed of an upcoming inspection of our apartments for the purpose of local law 87.

I thought the inspection was to check boilers, chillers, electrical and lighting systems, building thermal envelopes, and heating.

Why is management requesting inspection of some apartments?


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Look at your Occupancy Agreement. It usually gives management the right to inspect an apartment to make sure that shareholders are complying with all co-op rules. These rules can be for various reasons, such as no washing machines, dryers, and other unauthorized devices.

It's also possible that there have been complaints about a shareholder being a hoarder and/or dirty with possible insect infestation in other adjoining apartments as a result.

Management would need to inspect because a dirty shareholder is a threat to the health and safety of other shareholders.

There are many reasons for an inspection and in my experience they have been done for the good of all the shareholders.

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Inspection of apartments are in our house rules not the O.A.

While I agree with an annual inspection which has never happened in the 35 years that I have lived here, I question the reason some of the people were selected. The ones I know have beautiful well kept apartments and are not trouble makers.

Rather than fabricating the reason for the inspection, doesn't the shareholder have a right to know why they are requesting the inspection? It is still a house rule that would have to be adhered to and yes the shareholder can refuse to let them in but they can still refuse to let them in under the guise of L.L. 87, or am I just living in a co-op being managed by a company and B.O.D. that prefer to handle matters with deceit and deception?

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I can't tell you why your inspections took place. You would have to ask the Board and/or your management company that question.

Our inspections are done on an annual basis for all shareholders, meaning that everyone is treated equally. Not because we suspect anyone of anything, but just to make sure that all shareholders are abiding by the co-op's rules.

You should be asking the Board these questions. They should have no problem answering them if things are being done honestly.

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I agree with you again Marty. I asked the question because our management company led us to believe that the inspection of the selected apartments would be done by him and an auditor for the purpose of local law 87, and if not adhered to, there would be significant penalties by the D.O.B. I just wanted conformation that was not the case.

Clearly we don't know nor probably will we ever, what this was about, however, I understand shareholders are starting to realize this as well and have cancelled their appointment for their apartments to be inspected.

No one is objecting to a community wide inspection, it was the reason that we were given that didn't make sense. Thanks again

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Each radiator needs to be inspected to make sure the steam traps are still functioning. That's required in LL87.

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Does that mean each radiator in every room of the apartment needed to be checked?

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Capital Projects & Budgeting Info: - REAPLLC Feb 11, 2019

Someone recently asked about capital planning and budgeting, so I thought I’d post it as a topic in addition to the initial reply since I thought of more information afterward. There is no absolute method, but here's how I do it ...
When creating an annual operating budget, it is wise to create and update a separate capital budget with at least a 5-7 year outlook.

You can find this budget either though reserves if the finances permit, through an assessment (which looks better than raising maintenance), or through raising maintenance (Which is not recommended since it is capital funding), through refi/cash out, etc… .

Create two lists.. needs and wants.
You may need assistance with the needs list as it would contain the following:
1. Local Law Inspections & work (FSIP)
2. Mechanicals (cooling/HVAC/Water Towers)
3. Boiler & Machinery
4. Plumbing/electrical Systems
5. Elevator(s)
6. General building condition – roof, stairwells, etc..
7. Abatements (asbestos, lead, etc..)
8. More…

I have a company that does complete building inspections & budgets; an engineer and other professionals required for some portions.
Pricing and required timelines are next

Organize this list not by price, but by priority as it relates to liability.
Then create and merge your list of desired improvements or projects with priority order being the value add of each item… One may offset another, such as duel fuel conversion to a boiler with a bad burner may aid both categories.. this is what I mean by the value add…

With every item on the list now having a priority number and target date attached, you can back into the finances and how you will fund it.
There are many different ways to go about finding the monies and funding the projects, and in the beginning it may look intimidating, but it gets more and more rewarding as time progresses… It is great when your building gets to a point where you are working only on what improvements you would like to add that year!

Cheers!
~AR

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AR I'd love to hear about your services & rates.

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Operating Cost Saving Projects $$ - REAPLLC Feb 07, 2019

I have done many projects in buildings that have saved on operating expenses. I'm just curious as to what others have done and what kind of savings you've realized as a result?
Iv'e seen up to 35% fuel savings on going duel fuel and upgrading to a stealth energy control panel,
Balanced out the heating distribution system,
Changed all public lighting to LED and put low traffic areas on sensors (have not measured savings as yet),
Closely monitor water usage...
Any other ideas and input out there?

~AR

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Can you recommend a security camera company or individual cameras that can be used to provide security? Any estimates of the cost?

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

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Who implements procedures board members should follow especially for cost saving measures ? Should mortgage be paid in full before improvements are made or considered? Thank you for your time!

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When we create a budget for say 2019, re create a "wish list" as a Board and management... I then merge it with a list containing any mandatory projects (Local law, violations if any, liability mitigation, etc), then prioritize the list based on
1-emergency work
2-required work (with timelines)
3-needs
4-wants/desired work or improvements
Improvements get further categorized by which brings the most return not just financially, but overall value to the building community.
Then, based on either experience or bidding, I assign budget numbers to each line item and a timeline. This capital budget should always be run and executed in tandem with your operating budget and the mortgage balance or service should not effect the decisions to drive any project.
The payoff of the mortgage and weather that should be done or not would be another conversation.
I hope that helped!
~AR

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I have one company that I use that is less expensive and fast, but requires a little babysitting because they are sloppy if you don't watch them; then I have another company that is more expensive and a bit slower, but I do not need to watch them.. both have excellent after installation service.. which would you like?

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Thank you for your reponse and please forward both companies information.

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It depends on what you want out of your security system.

the absolute cheapest option is a WYZEcam ($30) & an sdcard. You can hold 2 years worth of recordings & check manually if needed.

You can trigger motion alerts if someone accesses a restricted area as well.

If wifi is available you can simply share the feed from the app. You can emulate a more professional system by installing an alternate firmware.

In my case it was a lot cheaper & easier to install than trying to salvage the professionally installed system & with better video quality, nightvision, mic & speaker & motion alerts.

You just need wifi & an outlet & power for usb, you can put a battery pack inline to record during a power outage too.

I'd recommend disabling cloud uploads/alternate firmware if privacy is a concern.

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Nuisance Renter in Florida condo - eyelovela Feb 04, 2019

I own a condo unit in Miami, FL.
Below me lives a renter who smokes incessantly on his balcony below mine. Consequently, my balcony and inside my condo unit reek of cigarette smoke and odors. I have complained to the renter himself, to the HOA board and to the owner if the unit below, ie, the renter’s landlord. No one has done a thing about it, even though I expressed that my health is deteriorating due to the second-hand smoke I am forced to inhale día in and day out.

Is a renter who lives in a condo unit legally allowed to disrupt condo unit owners and get away with it? It would seem to me that owners in a condo complex should have priority rights over renters. But my HOAs silent treatment towards my second hand smoke complaint is a clear indication that they are choosing to side with the asso’n.

Thanks in advance.

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If there is a provision in the Condo Rules for smoking, and there should be Smoking Rules" which outlines if, where, what, etc.. that smoking can be done, the renter needs to abide by the same set of rules as a unit owner. It would then be up to the Condo Board/Association to enforce them with the Unit Owner and him/her to enforce it with the renter.
Here in NYC, I have turned many of the buildings that I manage into nonsmoking buildings, and amended the rules in others to limit where smoking can occur in the buildings.
Speak with your manager and board members and see what can be done... Hint: find a non-smoking board member to appeal to!

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I suggest checking your state laws concerning this issue as well.

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this is illegal. in recent years, courts have found in favor of shareholders who were bothered by second-hand smoke.

https://www.fsresidential.com/new-york/news-and-events/articles/is-your-co-op-liable-for-secondhand-smoke-what-can

http://gothamist.com/2016/03/03/secondhand_smoke_nyc.php

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Construction and food smells coming through 'solid' wall - Coop board member 1 Feb 03, 2019

I'm a member of a co-op board in a 1960s building.

We have a resident (A) who is complaining about cooking smells and construction smells coming from a neighboring apartment (Z). The apartments share a wall that should be solid -- there are no vents between these two apartments.
The problem was brought to our attention almost a year ago when Apt A complained about strong cooking smells, but apt Z was about to do a renovation, and we thought that would address it. Instead, the smells have been ongoing and Apt A can smell the pipe soldering, plastering and painting and has photos showing plaster dust from the renovation piling up on her floor and on the plugs of lamps and appliances plugged into their party wall. There is a definite breeze coming through the baseboards/electrical outlets -- it's enough to blow a smoke test around.

Apt A says this is a violation of the warranty of habitability and the proprietary lease. Is the co-op responsible to address this, and if so, how do we fix it? The wall seems solid, except for the breeze/dust/smells, and Apt A even has a second layer of sheetrock on their side due to an earlier renovation.



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Sounds like apt A is correct. The co-op needs to do something. It's possible that Z's renovation was a sub-standard job since A can now smell other things that they did not smell prior to the renovation. The plaster dust piling up on A's floor is a health hazard at a minimum and needs to be addressed immediately.

I recommend that the co-op hire someone to check the integrity of that shared wall. If it needs to be repaired, then do it ASAP. and let the co-op pay for it.

It's possible that the co-op can try to collect the repair money from Z's contractor, but the co-op will need to show that it was a shoddy renovation that caused the extra smells and the piling of dust. Good luck.

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Unless there is an issue with the structural aspect of the wall prior to the renovation (which it does not seem to be the case), the coop is not responsible. Wall finishes are the responsibility of the Shareholders as per most any Proprietary Lease.
Some older buildings were frame built with wall cavities that do permit odors, sounds, etc to breath through.. not the most desirable construct, but perfectly legal and to code.

Some solutions in a couple similar buildings and situations we have had was to insulate the cavities with sound bat which does cut down the odors also. The walls should be fully insulated and sealed around all penetrations, switches and receptacles, etc. Additionally, insulation around the apartment door will cut down on the ambient odors in the halls.

Its important to realize also, that while some foods and cooking smells are offensive... everyone tolerance levels are different and there is no way to gauge the true levels of odor tolerances to each person who may complain.

Good Luck
~AR

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