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Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

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Caling board members: Property tax benefit letter question - DM Feb 05, 2021

This letter comes every December to managing agents. It lists the breakdown of the abatements and expansions amounts per eligible unit. - BUT does anyone know what the dates are for - EX the letter sent in Dec. 2019 - was it for the benefits to be given qualified apartments in the fiscal year 2019/2020? Or for the upcoming fiscal year 2020-2021?
Pls only answer if you know. Thanks./

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The letter we received in Dec 2019 was for 2019/2020. On top it says 2019/2020 CO-OP TAX BENEFITS.

Within the text of the letter itself, it states, "Enclosed is your Cooperative Abatement Report, which list each unit's exemptions and abatement benefits for tax year 2019/2020."

Hope this helps.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thanks very much. So then those amounts - on that letter, would have been credited to eligible shareholders in the spring of 2020/ or by end of June 2020?

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Yes.

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Recs for Co-op Management Co - #2 Jan 31, 2021

Hello,

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good management company that can handle a small co-op in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn?

Thanks

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Evaluating condominium property managers - Robert Jan 19, 2021

Seeking a checklist. Thank you Robert

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Board Election Proxies Verification of Signatures to those of Shareholder's of Record . By-lawa specific to do so - Gouverneur Gardens Jan 16, 2021

Has any Mitchell Lama Coop or Development experienced that Board Election Proxies signatures were not compared to those shareholder's of record even when the BY-laws specifically reads to do so?

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Does your coop building president ask board members to sign fiduciary agreement which is written by property management? The agreement basically requests board members to abide by president's decision/majority votes. For example like below:

"I understand only the managing agent, the president, or someone appointed by the president has the power to conduct day to day business of the corporation".

When building president or majority board members pass a wrong decision, what shall a board member with disagreement do?

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Coop Tax abatement to be eliminated - DM Jan 15, 2021

I need a concrete answer if anyone really knows this but our coop is saying the coop/condo tax abatement will NOT be renewed in July 2021 because of lack of support in Albany. Has anyone else heard this or who can we verify it with?

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Have you asked whoever told you the abatement was being eliminated where they got their inside information from? If you find out, please share it with the rest of us.

In the meantime, try searching on "Is the NYC co-op tax abatement being eliminated in 2021?". That way you'll have your pick of concrete answers and can choose whichever is most suitable for your purposes.

Good luck.

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This is the first that I'm hearing about this. Like Steven says, please find out the source of this information and share it with us.

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It is from the coop's financial advisors who have "contacts in Albany" - that is the best I can find out. I can't imagine it is fully accurate as there would, no doubt, be an uproar. I have tried Google etc.
Has anyone heard hints of this? It may be that it is partially true but I cannot imagine they will not renew the abatement. Help.
Our coop raised the maintenance almost 7% in case it is true.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

DM -There are many different tax abatement programs that are loosely called "Real Estate Tax Abatement'

There's the actual individual tax abatement which is distributed each year to co-op owners in the form of a maintenance credit. This is usually offset by the board approving an annual assessment that is approximately the amount of the abatement credit. This is the traditional Real Estate Tax Abatement. Another abatement intended for seniors is STAR.

There are other tax abatement programs intended for developers and co-op corporations. These include the 421-a tax exemption and the J-51 abatement program.

The reason why these latter programs may be disappearing is the need for them no longer exists. One program encouraged new development in underprivileged areas. Another was to prod landlords into upgrading core building services and structures.

Please ask your financial-advisor-with-benefits exactly which tax abatement is not being renewed in 2021. As you noted, there would be a huge uproar if the seminal Real Estate Tax Abatement were actually allowed to die.

Please let us know what you find out. Thanks!

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Thanks for the info but my question was very specific. It concerns only the cooperative/condo annual abatement.

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Financial adviser heard it from his contacts in Albany. Sounds like the horse told me to bet on #7 in 3rd race. All kidding aside, I just filled out my abatement for the next 2 years. I would call 311 they will put you in contact with people who handle this question. You can also check the internet. It sounds like something is fishy, the reason I say this is your managing agent distributes the money to all share holders who has claimed the abatements. Best of Luck

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Real estate tax rebates for coops are not abatements, which are limited in time and phase out. It sounds more likely that abatement programs will end for new developments.

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Hi DP,
I requested a copy of a breakdown list from the D.O.F. via email. It shows the exemptions I will be receiving and the co-op abatement. Hope this eases your concerns

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Excuse typo DM

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From attorney Stuart Saft on 3 June 2021: "I am pleased to report that the Legislature just passed bills extending the Co-Op/Condo Tax Abatement without any changes. Now it just needs the Governor’s signature. "

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Flooring damage by Radiator Leak - LC Jan 11, 2021

Over the xmas break, our heating radiator pipe busted from the basement and started spraying water into the unit. I was not home at the time, and it left alot of water on the floor and steam condensation on the ceiling. The hardwood floor is now damaged and cupping. Who is responsible to pay for the damage? if coop is responsible, how long is a reasonable expectation for it being fixed?

Thanks

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If it's a pipe that supplies steam and water to your coop it is the coops problem to fix and repair all damages.
I would also contact your insurance company to come and inspect the damage as the coop insurance company should also be contacted via the managing agent/board. Best of Luck

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Who is ultimately responsible should be spelled out in your Proprietary Lease. There is no law or regulation governing damages, so you will be guided by your PL.

The first thing I would do is take photos of all the areas with damage. Get a lot of pictures ranging from long distance views to establish the relationship of the damaged area(s), to close-ups of each damaged area. Take lots of pictures from all distances and angles. Film is cheap, and you never know when one angle and lighting condition shows something that other pictures don't.

Take pictures of all appliances, clothing, decorations, artifacts, electronics, etc that were damaged by the burst pipe. You will want to submit them as part of your claim. If any had value as collectibles you'll want to get the receipts or appraisals to verify their value.

Next, contact *your* insurance carrier who has your individual co-op/condo owners' insurance policy, and open a file with them about your loss. Schedule an appointment with the adjuster they specify for as soon as possible.

If any part of your apartment is unusable or uninhabitable, discuss with your insurance company what you should do. You shouldn't have to live with, say, a bathroom ceiling that is about to fall down.

*Do Not* discuss the loss with anyone connected with your board, their insurance carrier, and adjuster, etc. You have an obligation to allow your board's adjuster access to your apartment and all damaged area, but you are under no obligation to give a statement or answer any question no matter how innocuous. In those instances, simply refer them to your insurance agent or representative.

Make a copy of your Proprietary Lease. Your insurance agent will most likely ask for one so they know how to apportion responsibility.

This could become a slog, so be prepared to wait and deal with the frustrations. Good luck!
--- Steve

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The coop management called in a contractor to estimate the damage and have started repairs ~30days after the incident. I did not have to go through my own insurance.

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> Join the conversation Comments (2)

Glad to hear that the co-op did the right thing.

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Congratulations on getting this resolved with a minimum of aggravation. You have a very good board.

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Mold remediation company recommendation - Steven424 Jan 09, 2021

Recently we discovered a bad case of mold on the hidden side of drywall. This is the first time we've had to remove mold, and I'm looking for a recommendation for a company that deals with mold remediation and reconstruction. If you've had a good experience with such a company please list their contact info here.

Thanks!
--- Steve

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We haven't had mold removed but got a very thorough report when we thought we might have a problem. We also got recommendations for avoiding getting mold. I don't know if this company does remediation but, if not, Gary will probably have a name for you.
Mr. Gary Jacobs
MOLD XPERTS NY
210 East 68th St., Professional Ste .1H
New York, NY 10065 USA
(917) 886-8135
(800) 282-9102
(garyjacobs@optonline.net)

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Thanks, marym

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Can the Board pre-approve by-law amendments prior to reaching HPD ? - Gouverneur Gardens Jan 04, 2021


ARTICLE IX AMENDMENTS



These By-Laws may be amended, repealed or altered, in whole or in part, by a vote of a majority of the stockholders of the Corporation attending in person or by proxy any duly called Annual or Special Meeting of the stockholders at which a Quorum is present. A description of any proposed amendment is to be voted upon. The Board of Directors shall not alter or repeal By-Laws adopted by the stockholders of the Corporation.

To further the democratic process and give the stockholders an instrument toward the governing of the Corporation the Board of Directors shall not have the authority to prevent any proposed By Law amendments to go before the stockholders at an Annual or Special Meeting to be voted on by the stockholders. All proposed By-Law amendments by the stockholders will be forward to Housing Preservation and Development for approval or rejection as to be put forth before the stockholders for a vote.



To further ensure the democratic process toward governing the Corporation, all proposed By-Law Amendments submitted by Stockholders will be forwarded to Housing Preservation and Development (hereto referred as ‘HPD’).

The Board of Directors must adhere to Housing Preservation and Development’s Rules and Regulations of Article XIII, Corporate Action, Section 1 By-Laws.

The Board of Directors will not have the authority to alter, prohibit interfere/prevent, by motion and/or otherwise, proposed By-Law Amendments to be submitted to Housing Preservation and Development for their approval / rejection.

HPD will notify Gouverneur Gardens Housing Corporation to put forth the approved proposed By-Law Amendment for a vote by the Stockholders at the Stockholders Annual or Special Meeting at which a Quorum is present. Stockholders who submit any proposed By-Law Amendments rejected by HPD will receive written documentation by HPD explaining the reason for the rejection.

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Searching for new management company - GS Jan 03, 2021

Hi,
We've had our management company for 20 years and service is ok. We are searching for a company that will want to impress us with their responsiveness and up to date knowledge re CMA compliance and technology application to building management. We are pre-war building with 400 apartments in Brooklyn. We have good financials but outdated everything. We're used to having an onsite dedicated manager.
We are very interested in recommendations from Habitat readers. If you strongly to somewhat strongly recommend your management company, please be in touch.
Thank you!

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Hi, I know that you're not looking for self-appointed recommendations, but my firm, EBMG, is exactly as how you'd describe what you are looking for.

We're heavily involved in tech, customer service, compliance, building plant oversight, etc.

You can check out my regular podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/nyc-real-estate/id1316217394

We've been in business since 1996 and manage roughly 100 coops / condos in the five boroughs, with 25+ in Brooklyn.

Please shoot me an email if you'd like to connect - mblevine@ebmg.com

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I would shy away from EBMG (Mark Levine) I know a couple of friends who this company manage there Coops. They start off as hands on then they slack off with poor managing and caring about shareholders needs. They can't even handle my friends 2 buildings. Both have over 125 families.
With a building of 400 families you need a company with diversity and man power that can handle all your needs. That will not tax on fees for every little thing that is needed, raise maintenance fees, assessments every year.
I would do research on Managing agents, interviewing and meeting people that the company manage. Check fees, performance, employees they have. etc. This is not an easy task and needs a lot of investigating before you choose someone who can do the best for your building. It is extremely important because you are trusting them in handling all your important needs. I would turn to the Habitat to see all the managing companies, rating, employees and performance. I do suggest you start a committee of board members to do all this research. You'll thank me at the end. Best of Luck.

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house rules / violations - Ellen Jan 02, 2021

I own a unit in a small coop building. The Board recently redid the old house rules and added a rule stating that people are not allowed to write in chalk on the sidewalk in front of the building and adding that anyone in violation will be fined. Can a coop board create and enforce a rule when it pertains to property that is not actually part of the coop? My understanding of this is that the sidewalk located off the property is not within the coop's jurisdiction and that any writing (as long as it is not libelous) is simply freedom of expression. Can anyone clarify whether such a house rule can be enforced?

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Firstly, the right to impose fines must be in the proprietary lease. If it is not, then they are unenforcable.

Secondly, I believe that sidewalks are public. What you should go out and write in chalk is that this is a dumb rule.

But what is the reason to impose such a rule? Was someone writing something offensive on the sidewalk?

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