New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

Subscribe for Daily Updates!
Keeping the Election Process of a Mitchell Lama Honest - Gouverneur Gardens Dec 10, 2020

Is it legal per the Business Corporation law to use corporate websites, emails solicit proxies, legal advice from the corporate attorney at the cooperators expense for personal use when running for the Board of Directors?
Is also legal to remove an officer of the Board before the certified results are posted before the board is seated and new officers are elected?

> Join the conversation
Money in Escrow for Estate - marym Dec 08, 2020

My brother is the executor of his brother-in-law's estate in Pennsylvania and there is about $200,000 in the attorney's escrow account. The estate is almost wound up (estate taxes have been paid) but the attorney was just admitted to the hospital with COVID. He is in bad shape and is on a ventilator. The question is: is the money safe and if the guy dies, who takes care of the estate and the escrow money and any idea how long that would take?

Thank you very much for any assistance.

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Hi - I am not an attorney, but my late wife was a Trust & Estates attorney in NYS. I will try to answer your questions generically.

(1) If the $200k was in the attorney's escrow account it is most likely safe. There are very strict rules surrounding escrow accounts because the funds do not belong to the attorney and cannot be used to benefit the attorney in any way.

(2) Was the attorney a sole practitioner or a member of a law firm? If a sole practitioner I recommend you contact the Pennsylvania Bar Association for advice. They are probably aware of the attorney's condition and can answer your questions. Plus, they can probably provide you with a list of potential substitute attorneys.

If the attorney was a member of a law firm with other attorneys, the law firm will have all the documents and should assign all transition and escrow matters to another attorney.

(3) How long it will take depends on many factors so there is no best answer

Ultimately you can contact the PA Probate Court (called, I found out, the "Orphan's Court") and ask for guidance. They will probably direct you to the State Bar Association.

Good luck!
--- Steve

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you Steven424. My brother and I appreciate the advice.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
Energy Efficiency Grade "N" - Queens Dec 07, 2020

If my co-op received an “N” (exempt) energy efficiency grade, do they still have to post it?

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

I think you still have to post it because after all, it is still a grade. Besides, what harm can it do to post it regardless?

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
STAR abatement rules - DP Dec 03, 2020

It is my understanding that a shareholder in a coop building can only collect STAR abatement funds for an apartment s/he actually LIVES IN. If an apartment is an investment, but said shareholder lives elsewhere, s/he cannot legally collect for the unit in which s/he does not live (never lived).

Do I understand this correctly? Can someone knowledgeable about this chime in please?

Also, is there any way—without the Management or the Board’s assistance—that someone can find out whether or not an investor is inappropriately receiving STAR rebates in this fashion? (I've already checked with a friend who worked previously at the DOF, and she is no longer a source of info for me.)

Thank you so much.

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

I believe your understanding is correct. The apartment must be the primary residence of at least one owner. The STAR eligibility rules can be found here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/benefits/landlords-star.page

I'm not an attorney, but I don't think you as another shareholder can access someone else's STAR account due to privacy issues. I could be wrong about this.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you, Marty, for confirmation/verification on what I thought. I agree with you about the second point as well. Unfortunately, there are ways (sites, phone numbers, etc.) to REPORT malfeasance, but not to DISCOVER malfeasance. I'm not interested in reporting anyone, but I will continue to see if I can get an answer. If this guy is cheating on that, he has no business being on the Board, controlling aspects of my financial life. Plus, he's been brought up on sexual harassment charges (not in my building, but elsewhere). Ugh.

ANOTHER QUESTION: Do you know if there's a limit on the %age a coop can legally increase the maintenance?

Thanks again!

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

The Board (your treasurer at a minimum) should receive a copy (issued by Dept of Finance) of the abatements given to all shareholders. We receive this copy from our managing agent. The info would be listed there - if you can get a copy.

If he has no business being on the Board, then try to change that. Run against him or support a candidate who will. That's the only way to change things.

I don't know if there's a legal limit to a maintenance increase (I'm guessing no), but if there's a double digit increase being proposed by the Board, they should be explaining to the shareholders why it's needed.

A co-op is like any other corporation where the Board must answer to its shareholders. They'd better have good reasons for a very large maintenance increase and then be able to explain it to the s/h in plain English.

Why might there be a large increase? It's possible that there were some huge expenses during the year that depleted your reserve fund - such as a new boiler or roof repairs. Perhaps the Board decided that a maintenance increase was better than an assessment.

Good luck.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you Marty.

It's impossible to get information, which is why I keep turning to this forum for other ideas. In general, I'm seeking ideas around normal channels.

The Treasurer is in cahoots with this and another objectionable Board member. We ARE, of course, trying to get him & the other one gone. It's a hot mess and I cannot appeal this through any normal channel.

Yes, there were huge expenses this past year. We've had huge expenses in the past. But they're also talking nonsense about a vanity project that, to me, is ill-timed and disconnected from the reality we are now facing in this crisis, while not even mentioning paying off the violations we have.

Anyway... thanks!

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
Energy Rating - NYC Nov 24, 2020

My Co-Op received a D energy rating because there was a conflict between the D.O.F. and the D.O.B with the tax code.

Can this error have an adverse affected on the Co-Op's abatement or any of the Star benefits?

Who is the responsible agency/party to correct this error?

If the fault is on the part of either agency will our Co-Op have to wait 1 year for an updated rating?

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

To dispute your rating call your managing agent they will advise you of the effects this has on your building. Your board also needs to address this problem.
It sounds like your building needs to update your heating system/windows.
I know that as a buyer I wouldn't buy into a co-op/condo with a D rating.
Best of luck

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you.

We were never informed if the D rating. I looked it up from an article on this site"Energy Efficiency Letter Grades". D.O.B.portal

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

From what I know, your energy rating has no effect on your abatements or Star benefits.

You said you were never informed of your D rating. Did you know your D rating must be posted in a conspicuous place on your lobby entrance door?

I don’t think you’re being told the truth why you got a D rating. I don’t think it has anything to do with any tax code. It has to do with your co-op’s energy efficiency. Who told you this?

My understanding is that the DOB is the agency in charge.

I am told you will not be able to amend your rating at this time. You’ll have to wait until next year when you file your 2021 benchmark report.

An earlier Habitat magazine article said that 2/3 to 3/4 of all buildings are expected to get a C or D rating in the first year.

That’s because the energy efficiency program is allowing several years for buildings to make the necessary upgrades needed to make buildings more energy efficient.

I’m not too worried about a D rating in the first year. Everyone is just starting out at this time. Buildings should be able to improve to a B at the end of their second year. It’s the rating at end of the second year that will really affect buyers in my opinion.

I agree with pc1 that your building should look at their boiler and windows. You should review the lighting as well - maybe switch to LED lights to become more energy efficient.

Good luck.


Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you for your in-depth explanation.

Yes I am aware that the building has to display the energy rating and yes, we were never told about the D rating.

I went on to the D.O.B. open portal with B.B.L. and it showed the rating and the below message:

"Please Note: The Department of Finance's building classification information shows a building's tax status, which may not be the same as the legal use of the structure. To determine the legal use of a structure, research the records of the Department of Buildings".

I agree with you and PC#1 that it has to do with the boilers and windows.

I don't want the co-op receive a fine for not displaying the grade but I also do not want to be the troublesome shareholder.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
Fire Safety for small walk-up buildings - Elisa Nov 24, 2020

Hi, could someone share easy-to-read information on the basics of fire safety for small walk-up buildings? We can't afford a full-service management company, so the one we have doesn't provide much oversight. Through an informal conversation with someone familiar with fire safety, I've learned that we are not in compliance with regulations - for example, not every apartment has an address posted on its door, and we have mats in the hallway at each apartment's door (the person I spoke with said these are "tripping hazards" and should not be there). We also need to post routes for safe exit. Is there a straightforward, easy to read summary of fire safety requirements for small walk-up buildings? We don't have elevators so our needs are different from buildings that do. I've googled, but the documents I've found are quite dense and full of legalese. For example, I can't find one that says that every unit must have its address posted (e.g., 4C, 4D, 4E, etc.). Any suggestions welcome. Thanks.

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Only one idea comes to mind: Have you contacted your local FDNY firehouse?
Perhaps they could direct you as to where to start.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
WAIVE OF RIGHT - MARISA Nov 13, 2020

Can the Co Op administration waive my right of giving permission to other unit to park in my space, when I'm gone from the AZ state? I was told this because I'd been late for a few days with the HOA fees/ They said I don't have the right, and that they may force me to sell my unit.

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

First, are you in AZ or NY? I'm sure the underlying co-op regulations are very different in the two states.

If you're in NYC the first thing you should do is read the co-op's governing documents to see if they specifically address who has control over the parking spot. Owning a parking spot is very different than renting or simply being asigned a spot to use. You need to determin which applies to your situation.

Also, it's a huge leap from being a few days late with HOA fees and being forced to sell your unit. Something definitely does not smell right. I strongly suggest you consult an attorney to determin what is going on, because a forced sale is not to be taken lightly, and an attorney can most likely prevent or delay all such actions against you.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
Washer dryers - Robert Nov 06, 2020

Considering next steps for a possible upgrade in a Westchester condo building
pro's and con's of buy vs lease
any recommended vendors
suggestions on going rate for unit owner usage
other tips or ideas.
Thank you
Robert

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

We have been very happy with Automatic Industries https://automaticindustries.com/our-company.php. We've leased from them for almost 40 years and found them honest, reliable and quick to deal with a problem.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
Board - DP Nov 04, 2020

Hello,

After months of asking my coop's managing agent WHO made up our current Board, and her sending me the list which made no sense, she told me this: "The board has the right to appoint board members until the next annual meeting which has been postponed due to the pandemic."
1. Does anyone know if this is true (calling Steve247) or, where I can reference the law on this?
2. What about the fact that they did so without notifying any shareholders?
3. What about oversight?

So now, the Board is a too-tight group of buddies including two who previously served and were subsequently rejected.

• One had verbally threatened another shareholder in front of everyone (including one of the MAs) at a previous meeting. Her response to being questioned—on not doing her job as sec'y properly (e.g. never taking minutes, etc.)—was met with her saying: "I have friends. I can mess you up." The following year, the same woman was nominated by her friend but NO ONE seconded her, so she was not elected. Now, suddenly she's on the board again.

• And the other had to leave due to being in the press for sexual harassment against multiple women at his own company. HE is an investor and has never lived in the building—been renting his apartment for more than 11 years. When he was president of the board, he was so arrogantly sure of himself that he insisted he could negotiate a new mortgage/refi. Well, he wasn't able to deliver on his promise, so, in a financially compromised coop, we lost an additional $7,000 b/c that app. fee was non-refundable. Now, suddenly, he's on the board again.

To add to the issue is the following:
• At the last Shareholders' meeting, we couldn't elect a new board b/c we couldn't raise a quorum.

Please help. Informed answers, please. Many thanks!

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Wow. I'm sorry that your co-op is having so many issues. How many units are in your co-op and how many positions are there on the Board?

Let me review your items in order.

"List of Board members that makes no sense."
...Just curious since I've never heard that statement before. In what way doesn't it make sense?

"The Board has the right to appoint Board members."
...If you had a full Board and then one or more Board members subsequently resigned or were removed before the next Annual Meeting, then the Board definitely has the right to appoint or not appoint someone to fill some or all of those Board positions prior to the next Annual Meeting - pandemic or not. It's happened to us several times over the years.

However, we have never been in your position where we don't have a full Board to begin with, so I don't know if it's legal to appoint Board members to fill all vacant Board positions prior to the next Annual Meeting. That's an entirely different situation.

My guess is no. How can you fill a position that no one was elected to in the first place because you didn't have a quorum. But, since I'm not a lawyer, I could be wrong, so I'd suggest contacting the co-op's attorney (if you know who it is) to ask this important question.

"What about the fact that they did so without notifying any shareholders?"
...That is blatantly wrong. They definitely should have notified shareholders of positions being filled on the Board. But, what are the penalties for failing to do so? I don't know. That's another question to ask the attorney.

Unfortunately, I don't think it's illegal to fill Board positions with people that you or I find lacking moral values - even if they were convicted of crimes in a court of law. I'm sure that the prior secretary not taking minutes is a violation of any co-op's By-laws. Again, another question for the attorney.

I know it's a lot of work, but have you tried talking to your fellow shareholders in an effort to organize other people (perhaps yourself) to run for the Board? Seems like the only way to get rid of the current Board is to throw the bums out by electing different people. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.

That's all I have for you at this moment. I wish you the best of luck. Stay strong. I'm sure there are other shareholders who feel the same as you do. You need to find and organize them.

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation
electric car charging stations - Annie Oct 09, 2020

Our 5 building complex with 200 units is searching for a company that specializes in the installation and management of outdoor, electric car charging stations. We are looking for an arrangement similar to our laundry business with Hercules, where the company manages the equipment and pays the complex a percentage of the revenue collected.

Any and all suggestions appreciated.

thanks, annie

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Hi Anne,

Call to discuss electric car charging station project. I represent Green Energy Technology by JGM.
www get-ny.com

complete Electric car charging station solutions
email me your availability for a zoom call with President John Comack and partner Marc Horowitz
complete turn key solutiobs: design- build, installation, and financing "one stop shop" for car and truck charging stations
email me your availability and I'll coordinate with "GET" partners
Call with questions
Regards,
Brendan Leavy
C 718 541 0715
Brendancleavy@gmail.com

Thank you for rating!

You have already rated this page, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Register

Forgot your password? Click here

> Join the conversation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 200

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Log in below or register here.

Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Introduce yourself to other members of Board Talk! Login below or register here.
Board Talk members who registered prior to March 9th, 2016 will need to reset their password.

Ask the Experts

learn more

Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

Source Guide

see the guide

Looking for a vendor?