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Mitchell Lama conversion - jerry hackman Jan 15, 2022

I am in the process of trying to convert my Mitchell Lama complex. I have been working on the project for approxim ately 3 years. I have had Town Hall Meetings, notices, direct mailings, and many conversations. Does the new legislation raising the bar to 80% final approval apply to me. I am still working on getting the 50% required in the process? Would I be grandfathered in?

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Language Regarding Minor Children in a Will - marym Jan 13, 2022

I am helping my son and his wife write their Wills. They have minor children and already have a relative who will act as guardian if the parents die. Does anybody have language I can use in the Will for this? Thank you.

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I *strongly* advise you to have a Trust & Estates attorney draft your childrens' Will. I know there are costs involved, but once they are gone, whatever is in their Wills is almost impossible to undo.

My wife was a Trust and Estates partner in a mid-sized law firm. I know how complex and costly some wills can be, but when you're dealing with critical issues like the guardianship of minor children, the language needs to be precise and all the rules and laws followed to the letter. One misstatement, one incorrect condition added or word misused, could turn your childrens' intentions upside-down.

When she would discuss her interesting matters with me she would often muse that she billed the most hours unwinding or recharacterizing wills and other estate documents created by non-T&E attorneys.

If you are a T&E attorney, my apologies for stating the obvious.

--- Steve

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you Steven 424. You always give sound advice.

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You're welcome, Mary

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It is not pertinent to housing.

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e-bikes and the law - DP Jan 10, 2022

Does anyone know the legal status regarding people storing e-bikes (with those flammable batteries!) in their apartment or coop building? I will guess that the law hasn't caught up with this craze, but I'd love any information or direction. Thank you.

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Stock Certificate - Karen Sherlock Jan 08, 2022

My husband passed away. I would like to add my daughter's name to the stock certificate. My daughter lives in our apt and if anything happens to me I would like her to be able to keep the apt. I've been told she has to go before the Co-op Board for approval. She has 2 part time jobs and does not work full-time, but has money in the savings account. Is there a way to get her name on the stock certificate? I don't want her thrown out! I've lived her for 53 years! Thank you.

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Sorry that your husband passed away what you want to do is not uncommon.
If you know the President of the board ask what you're Coop or Condo requires, I can tell you what my Coop does but each one has different procedures.
You can also check your By-Laws to see if they have what you need to know and what to do.
Your daughter might not have to appear before the board, they most likely all know her.
Since it's Sunday you can call your managing agent they may have a copy of the application or it maybe on their website.
Best of luck


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Hello
Can you put that in a will that your apt goes to your daughter and she would be the executive your your will. Also can you gift it to her beforehand?

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You should be able to find the answers to most of your questions in your Proprietary Lease. In the PL for my co-op, paragraph 16(b) states

"16(b) If the Lessee shall die, consent shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed to an assignment of the lease and shares to a financially responsible member of the Lessee’s family (other than the Lessee’s spouse as to whom no consent is required)."

The key here w/r/t your daughter is the term "unreasonably withheld". Under most circumstances when a person dies, the family member inheriting the co-op is an adult with a sufficient and stable source of income and/or assets. The reason your daughter will probably need to submit a financial package is to make sure she will be able to afford the co-op's maintenance and mortgage payments if there are any. The board wants to avoid the complicated and expensive eviction process if your daughter is chronically delinquent with her maintenance payments.

As PC#1 stated, the best way to make sure there are no succession issues and to get your daughter's name on the stock certificate is an informal conversation with the board president. He'll most likely tell you what could interfere with adding your daughter. If there are any issues, resolving them will make it a quick and simple process.

In a situation like this where the person you want to add is not your spouse (and I am very sorry for your loss) a consult with an attorney who specializes in co-op law will be money well spent.

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Beware. If you give ownership now, and not when you pass away, then she will have to pay a possibly large capital gains when she sells. For an individual 250 k is exempt but over and above that = beware.
maybe you can just add her name to the lease now.
find a smart lawyer.

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Condolences to you regarding your husband. If she has been living there for years I'm sure the neighbors know her as one person here posted and she most likely would not have an issue staying there. That next to her income and being able to pay the taxes,maintenance fees per month would be the boards only concern. Most co-ops don't want a person who would be a problem to them. I named my daughter as beneficiary on my paperwork with the co-op, but ever co-op works differently with that scenario. You may look into that and see if its doable? Best of luck!

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By-Laws - Andre Jan 08, 2022

If the By-laws requires that any notice of resignation of a director must be given in person or by registered or certified mail can a notice of resignation sent by email be valid or not?

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Sponsor apt question - DM Jan 07, 2022

In our case, it is not pre-existing in teh specific apt where a rent-controlled tenant just passed away. The current sponsor/owner (an investor who bought it from the original sponsor) hopes to install a WD before the sale of the apt.Our building prohibits new ones: Can they do this?

I also cannot make sense of the below from a recent article on sponsor apts...?

"No grandfather clause. Sponsors do not need board approval for renovations, so a sponsor-owned apartment might have a washer/dryer in a building that forbids shareholders from installing them. In such cases, says Karen Sonn, a closing attorney with Sonn Associates, “the board will not grandfather that washer/dryer to the next buyer.” Sonn adds that the building’s alteration package or sales package may require the incoming buyer to do upgrades to the electric panel, windows or radiators.

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I doubt I am wrong, but while the sponsor may not have to get Board approval for renovations but they do/should have to abide by the renovation rules and policies.

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Real Estate Property law - legal fees coop - DM Jan 07, 2022

§ 234-a. Unauthorized legal fees. An owner, lessor or agent thereof
shall be prohibited from assessing a lessee any fee, surcharge or other
charges for legal services in connection with the operation or rental of
a residential unit unless the owner, lessor or agent has the legal
authority to do so pursuant to a court order. Legal services include,
but are not limited to, court fees, legal representation, attorney fees,
notary public charges, and administrative fees incurred by the owner,
lessor or agent in connection with the management of the building, including
actions and proceedings in a court of law. Any agreement or assessment
to the contrary shall be void as contrary to public policy.

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How to get impoper legal fees removed from your coop maintenance statement - DM Jan 04, 2022

I am told one way to do it is to write "in protest" on your check and then take the coop to small claims court
when they have cashed it.
Has anyone tried this or what have you heard?

(Of course, you should protest it in writing to teh coop first.'They can not put legal fees on your bill
unless there is a court order/ they prevailed in court. Such charges are unenforcable.)

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I'm not trying to sound snarky, but are you sure the fees are *legally* not allowed? The Business Judgment Rule gives co-op boards a lot of leeway in imposing fees.

Unless an attorney actually told you to write "in protest" on your check, legally you might be doing yourself more harm than good. It doesn't sound as if writing "in protest" by itself will get the fees removed. If you withhold any part of your maintenance, at some point you could find yourself a party to an eviction suit.

I am not an attorney, but I have a lot of respect for the intricacies of the law and the administrative codes.

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Steve - To clarify, many leases do not allow for the imposition of legal fees unless there is an actual default and a court determination.
This is to protect shareholders. If you have a bad or spiteful board they could otherwise abuse the situation.

Does anyone out there know the answer to the small claims option? - and, yes , writing 'in protest' on a check is a real thing.

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Steve,
1) You write in protest" on the check.
2) They cash it.
3) You then take them to small claims court to get the money back.
Yes, this was originally advised by an attorney.

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Coop renovation - dan Nov 19, 2021

Hi all, looking for a bit of direction here. I am planning to do some renovations to my recently purchased coop. My architect indicates that the DOB provided a form that building management should complete and return, however building management says it is not the correct form. Just from looking at the form, (DHCR, relating to rent controlled units), it appears to be something that the building would complete if they were doing the renovations. However I’m a single shareholder, so I’m not sure that it should apply to me. I’ve tried DOB but not having much success there, so I’m hoping that someone on this forum might be able to provide some direction.

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Hi, I believe the NYC DOB form you need is the PW1. Section 26A of that form is for co-op signature, where the co-op attests that they have reviewed and approved the proposed project. In order for the co-op to evaluate the project, you should be prepared to submit plans, references, licenses, budgets, tenant protection plans, covid safety plans, etc. -- whatever materials the co-op needs to feel comfortable with your proposed alteration in order to sign the PW1. That said, based on what you wrote, you may wish to reconsider your architect. Co-op renovations are unique given that shareholders do not own their walls or inside them (check your lease), and technically do not even own their units (instead, own shares in the co-op). An architect who does not understand this (apparently yours does not, based on the forms given to date) may not be sufficiently knowledgeable about co-op alterations to successfully complete the project.

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I would back up "Christine E Nov 22, 2021" point that if the architect cannot provide you with the correct form seek another architect. Heed the Warning. The second concern and question is why wasn't your building management company able to tell you what the form is or provide you with the form? That is your second warning that this may not go as smoothly as you hope. The architect should know all about NYC and the Coop requirements. At this point sounds to me as though you are chasing after the architect and management and you should not be. Take a look at your contract with the architect, it should say that the Architect is responsible for submitting all the required paperwork to NYC and the management company. Talk to other Architects, doesn't seem like the one you have is alert.

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Board president wants all owners to vote on building issues - Elisa Nov 16, 2021

I live in a small condo. Several years ago there was a large assessment and many owners were upset at the cost. The Board President now wants all financial decisions to be voted on and approved by all owners. However, our By Laws state that financial decisions are the responsibility of the Board. How can I convince the Board President that we must restrict these decisions to Board members? Otherwise, we will never have another maintenance increase or assessment approved and the building will decay. As it is, it's been several years since we had a maintenance increase and we have been financing repairs through our reserve fund and of course the reserves are now much lower than before.

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How do the other board members feel about the president's odd position? Assuming the president is in the minority, that's the end of the matter. If a majority of the board has voted to raise maintenance or impose an assessment, the president has no override power.

If a majority of the board feels the same way, then it's trickier. At least in our Proprietary Lease (we're a coop), maintenance is "as determined by the Board of Directors." This grants power to the board to make the decision on its own, as is customary. However, I don't read this as a *prohibition* of using a shareholder vote to make the determination. I do agree it's a bad idea that abrogates one of the primary responsibilities of being a board member.

On the other hand, I'm not a lawyer, so you may want to consult one.

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Have your co-op attorney, accountant, and/or managing agent talk to the board president to explain the need for a maintenance increase each year, and why not raising maintenance is a really *bad* idea. Maybe the president will listen to professionals.

If your president is intransient and still wants a shareholder vote, have your professionals attend the next shareholder meeting to give the same presentation. This may sway enough votes to get an increase passed.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Why do you feel Steven424 that the maintenance has to be raised every year.
Money can be raised by raising all amenities and sales of the apartments. Also the building can also have a yearly assessment, raising the maintenance is not the answer. Finding a way of lowering cost and cut building expenses would help.
The problem is the condo owners, they complain about the high assessment, why do you think they will except a yearly raise in maintenance. Everyone is moaning about the decision that the President wants everyone to have a say in running the building since they know best.
Let the owners write to the board about their concerns, no one I repeat no one should contact the building lawyer or accountant that is the Executive Boards job. Have a Happy and safe Thanksgiving

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