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J51 - marym Sep 09, 2019

We are about to complete a façade restoration on our small co-op (12 units) at a cost of $250,000. Is it advisable to file for J51? If so, does anybody have recommendations on professionals who do this?

Thank you very much.

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Superintendent - Best Sep 05, 2019

How many buildings or Supt responsible for

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I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you wrote. What information are you looking for?

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change of bi-law (condo) - rg Aug 24, 2019

We are in the midst of changing our one of our bi-laws and need 66 2/3 of the residents' votes. Do we have an obligation to protect the privacy of those residents who do not wish to vote?

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I think you absolutely have to respect their privacy. Those who don’t wish to vote means they are a no vote and you need 2/3 approval to amend the by law.

Are you trying to embarrass or identify them to other voters simply because they won’t support the by law amendment? That’s what it sounds like to me.

Hope I’m mistaken.

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what you are asking is can you shame/bully people into voting. Absolutely not.

Sounds like harassment to me and
In New York bullying is defined as threats, intimidation or abuse.

Have you considered sending detailed Information to all shareholders, which by-laws you want to change, the reasons and the benefits?

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Results only need be reported as:
Share preliminary information and voting requisite... then.

XXX Shares For said Amendment
XXX Shares Against said Amendment
XX Shares Abstained
Bylaw Amendment has Passed/Not Passed

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By laws and new LAW?? - Connie S Aug 15, 2019

We are a condo and a by-law states that we have the right to charge the unit owner our legal fees in regards to defending our by-laws if a law suit insues. OUR CEO said that as of june 1st , you can no longer charge a unit owner the lawyers fee in regards to defending the by-laws. We live in NYC.Has anyone ever heard of such a thing. Or that a City law can supersede the by-laws made by NYS?

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It IS possible for NYC/NYS law to supersede by laws. The horrible Roommate law is an example of this for co-ops.

I would ask your CEO to cite which law has changed that now prevents you from recovering legal fees as your by laws state.

If he’s telling the truth, he should be able to explain what has now changed.

If he can’t and/or won’t explain, then he’s probably full of it.

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Your CEO might have been referring to the new law “Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019” which places a limit on what monies can be collected by a landlord in a summary proceeding.

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Harassment in condo parking lot - Biba Md Aug 12, 2019

The man of a resident threatened to “shoot me with a gun” in the parking lot of my condo.
Who has jurisdiction over the parking lot? Which arm of the condo board?
Thank you for your help.
Bibamillion@aol.com

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The "man of a resident"? It's unclear who you think the person was...

call NYPD

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Sublets - peoples choice #1 Aug 08, 2019

I live in a coop that has no subletting allowed yet we have two that I know of. One is subletting for years and another has "guests" coming in and out all the time. We have tried to sell our apartment twice unsuccessfully. We lowered our price twice and management told us just keep dropping the price until it sells. Because of the precedent of subletting we requested to sublet our apartment so we can leave this place. Management has not responded to our request. So we are thinking about doing it without permission like others have. Also we are wondering what our chances are with taking our building to court for the right to sublet. Or if they take us to court what are our chances of winning? Has anyone run into something like this? If so your response would be appreciated.

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I’m not an attorney so remember what you paid for my advice.

If you try to sublet you will be sued and you will lose. That’s because it’s in your bylaws. 2 wrongs don’t make it right.

Even if you “know” that others are subletting, can you prove it? That’s what it comes down to. Not always easy to do.

Don’t listen to mgt when they tell you to lower the price. They are just trying to get rid of you. They have no idea why your applicants were rejected.

You need to be proactive in the selling process.

Find out from the Board what are the criteria for buyers (minimum income and other qualifications). Then talk to your broker.

Is your broker aware of all criteria? If there are additional monthly charges for air conditioners and parking, does your broker know them?

I’ve met many unprepared brokers who did not know these things. Your broker may know them and is just lazy and not doing their job. There are lazy brokers out there.

Also, is your apartment in good condition? Are there any undesirable factors involved with your co-op (ongoing assessments) that could be hindering your ability to sell?

If so, that could be a reason why mgt says to lower your price.

But remember that when a buyer is rejected, mgt is not told why. No one is told. We would just tell mgt that “the application is rejected. Please notify the buyer.”

My experience is that applicants are rejected for financial reasons only. Focus on that aspect.

I would ignore the other apartments that may or may not be subletting. Concentrate on your situation and make sure your broker is doing everything possible to sell your apartment.

Good luck.

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Marty please reread what I wrote. I understand you think you know everything. Sometimes your advise is OK But I do know for a fact they are subletting to someone. I also would like to hear from people who as had this experience. Thank you Marty

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I’m surprised that there is no mention of the stance of the Board on pursuing illegal sublets. I have served on Boards and my experience has been that the Board sets the tone on pursuing illegal sublets and directs the Managing Agent to investigate and
pursue them. When a shareholder complained to the Board IN WRITING about illegal sublets, the Board directed the Agent to investigate. And this led to verification and action. I agree that you won’t win in court. And you can’t force the Board to change its policy. But you can demand that the Board take action to enforce current policy. But if it was never bad I was more interested in selling, I wouldn’t want to antagonize the Board and be pragmatic and lower the price.

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I am surprised at how judgemental some people are becoming.

I thought this was a forum for people sharing information. if you don't agree with the responses/advice to your inquiries don't criticize see an attorney.

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An article on this site "Waivers and Selective Enforcement" addresses your situation..

https://www.habitatmag.com/Publication-Content/Board-Operations/2011/2011-May/Waiver-and-Selective-Enforcement

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Intercom system recs - AWBK Aug 06, 2019

Hi all,

Looking to purchase a new intercom system for our building. Needs to work via cell phone as we do not have hard wiring to all apartments (and do not wish to install any). Also, our residents have expressed privacy concerns about some of the features the latest "high tech" video intercom systems have with storing visitor photos, etc. So we are looking for something low/medium tech but reliable, as in an established company with a proven track record. Video is not required. Any advice is appreciated.

AW

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Look at Teman.com/GateGuard . It works with your cellphone and we never share your data. We're live across every boro in NYC, from walkups to luxury condos and office buildings. It can buzz an app on a smartphone or tablet or call a phone or land-line.

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Just a few words and saving you from enormous headaches. Invest. In. An. Independent. Security. Consultant. They can save you so much more than headaches. They can save you time and a HUGE amount of money.

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I was interested in this same topic. I saw the first comment there from Ari about this Teman GateGuard device. I googled it. Under the news tab I saw that this guy was arrested last month for allegedly counterfeiting checks from clients to the tune of $297,000. After that I googled him, too, and now I'm cautious of this device.

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What city are you in? Doorking is the most reliable system and is based in MN.

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Deducting Capital Improvements on Federal Tax Return - marym Aug 01, 2019

Can an individual shareholder deduct capital improvement costs from their federal taxes when they sell? This is not a building-wide capital improvement but done by the shareholder in her apartment. Our co-op does not give credit for this when determining profit.

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board and managing agent blocked sale AFTER interview - unhappy Jul 28, 2019

After the buyer passed the interview, as a seller, I was required to have an "exit inspection." The super flagged two things that had previously been approved in a post renovation inspection. One "violation" would require me to remove a middle kitchen cabinet because the fuse box is fully accessible but is behind a cabinet door. The other violation stated I was missing an emergency shut. After hiring a plumber, I discovered it was already there. After demonstrating that no other building on my street requires these inspections, 3 supers of other buildings said the cabinet "violation" was "stupid," the renovations had been approved, and that the "fix" would deem the apartment unsellable, I was given the option of informing the buyers that the cabinets were a code violation and they would need to assume the risks or the managing agent would not sign off on the sale. The buyers walked.

Although the information for sellers states the inspection is required, it says nothing about what is done with the information and how the results can stop a sale. Additionally, other information my managing agent provides related to apartment sales includes a page with IMPORTANT on top of the page and informs the buyers of the inspection. It then advises them to ask for a copy because they will assume responsibility for any violations that remain unfixed.

So even though it was the buyer's responsibility to inquire about the inspection, I was told by the board's lawyer that I had to provide the information, unasked. I have already bought a new home and moved. Can I hold the board and managing agent responsible for not following their own rules and costing me my sale? I will now need to relist the apartment (at a time when fewer people are shopping), stage the apartment (since it's vacant), and continue paying maintenance fees until it sells.

Please advise.

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I'm not an attorney so keep in mind the price to paid to hear this.

You say that you were told that inspection is required. The first thing I thought of is what did YOUR attorney have to say about all this? I assume he knew about these inspections after you found out about them.

If the Board's attorney said that you had to provide the information unasked, my first order of business would be to ask MY attorney if it's true and what happens next.

I think you need to speak to your attorney to find out if:
1) Everything you've been told is true
2) Do you have any legal grounds to hold the Board and managing agent responsible?

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

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Thanks. The buyers have returned to the table with the understanding that I have very little time to resolve the situation, so my attorney (who is not a litigator) is trying to negotiate with the building's attorney. She has never seen anything like this. Most knowledgeable people (supers, board members in and out of my building) with knowledge of, but no control over, the "violation" say it's a non issue and the board and agency should just approve the sale. In addition to submitting photos and history, I pulled up all codes related to the situation and it looks like I'm 100% in compliance. My lawyer has submitted this as further support. Unfortunately, even though the board president agrees it seems "silly" she defers to the building attorney. The building attorney wants to add additional protections for fear of a lawsuit from the buyer (despite the fact that they make clear the onus is on the buyer). It seems like they created rules without knowing the law and empowered a super who is power hungry and also ignorant of the codes. Instead of backing down, they are creating hoops I need to jump through. So, I'd appreciate any and all advice in the event that this deal does fall through.

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Personal Trainers at Coop Gyms? - BBCA Jul 24, 2019

Do most coops allow residents to bring in outside personal trainers to the coop's gym? If so, what does the coop do to address the risk? My understanding is that the coop insurance wont cover injuries caused by any non-resident, including an outside personal trainer. Do you insist that the trainer have a large insurance policy, naming the building, etc., as an insured (similar to a moving company/contractor)? How do you ensure that the trainer maintains the required insurance?

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