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tara1234 - Queens May 05, 2018

We have two openings on our board and only two candidates that no one want to vote for.

If we don't meet the quorum at the annual meeting, is there a time limit before a meeting is called for the express purpose of voting in new board members.

We understand that without a quorum, the state of the co-op can be discussed but voting can not take place.

We would like a month or two in order to find viable candidates to run against the current ones.

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I think you would have to review your by-laws to see if instructions are provided for this type of situation.

I can appreciate that there are two candidates that "no one wants to vote for", but at least these 2 people volunteered to run. Why are there no other candidates?

Quite frankly, it sounds as if you mean that there are 2 candidates running that you and/or the rest of the current Board does not want to vote for. If so, then you should have been seeking out "acceptable" candidates long before the Annual Meeting was scheduled.

You talk as if a quorum will not be reached, but what if you do have a quorum and these are the only 2 people that are running? Seems like you'd be stuck with them.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but you need to be much more proactive in finding candidates that are acceptable to you instead of hoping that you don't get a quorum.

Don't blame these 2 people for running, and please don't hope that a quorum isn't reached. That's not a good way to run a proper Board in my opinion.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

People have become apathetic due to a self-serving board and a mgmt. company that caters to them and together retaliate against cooperatives who go against them. These Two people who would clearly be YES men we're picked by a board member not a director in an attempt to have more power on the board. From what I have read on this sight, we are not the first and certainly not the last co-op to have this problem

I suppose you are correct, buying time will not help. It will only cost the co-op more $$$ for another meeting and yes our by laws do provide for a new meeting if quorum is not met. Thanks for your input. I guess the board will have to duke it out amongst themselves and hopefully the co-op and cooperatives won't bleed out in the process.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Tara did you have an open candidates night? You can get to talk to your shareholders and try to recruit more people. Most people don't understand that serving for the board is really not that hard, like the board says or suggest. You can also post that if anyone would like to step up and run for the board this would be a great opportunity.
Best of Luck

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Great suggestion,
The problem is when names are given of interested parties, incidents start happening, such as their car get keyed, if they planted a tree or flower garden it gets destroyed. They call for repairs and they have to wait weeks for a response on why there was a delay. People get the message loud and clear and back off. This is the first time in many years that no one wants to run for the B.O.D. The only candidates that do not have any incidents are the ones that are promoted by existing board members.

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How many fobs to issue - RT-fob-issue May 04, 2018

Greetings all. We're in the process of finalizing our keyfob system and currently grappling with how to respond to requests for extra fobs for their emergency contact. We are a Mitchell Lama coop and only those listed on our annual income affidavits receive fobs. Some requesting fobs for emergency contact state it that simply... others have more detailed requests. We're agreed that management oversee the distribution decision, and management has suggested issuing temporary id passes after a formal request is submitted. There is concern around not wanting security to have access to specific personal information submitted on the request. We also have a suggestion that specific coded fobs be issued and access history reviewed to detect abuse. Has anyone addressed these issues, and if so, how did you handle it/them. Thanks for your replies.

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We have a FOB system and replace all of them from time to time to address security concerns. On systemic replacement, we provide six FOBs to the unit owner. Extra FOBs are at unit owners cost. Management maintains the list of FOBs with their identification numbers related to the owners, but nothing more.

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It's my understanding that most key fob and swipe card systems use a central computer that can control the dates, days, and times a fob or card can be active. Can you use that capability to control the accessibility of the extra fobs or keys?

I also believe that the same computer can generate activity reports for individual or groups of fobs/cards. If there's a question of a fob/card being used inappropriately, such a report will provide clear evidence.

Key fobs and swipe cards provide much better access control and verification than simply distributing extra keys for a mechanical lock.

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> Join the conversation Comments (2)

We recently bought the key fob system in house vs. utilizing a third-party vendor to manage the process. The Property Manager and Board Officers are responsible for issuing fobs to residents. Fobs are issues based on the number of residents in the unit. A extra fob is provided for emergency contact on a case-by-case basis. Naturally there is a security concern; however, the system allows us to deactivate any fobs that are lost or broken. We can generate activity reports as well to determine any suspicious activity by a resident.

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I have the systems in many of my buildings and love it.

The system (mine is a Kerri) can limit days, times, points, etc.. and we issue separate fob access keys for Shareholders, household help, contractors, even postal all by limiting the specific access on each group created.. you can create as many groups as you need. I have one building with a fob accessed roof deck and we will now be limiting the access to adult shareholders only!

In case of an incident, we can review the point of entry logs and print out whatever s needed.

The most important thing is to ensure the initial entry of distributed keys, and replacement keys are maintained. Remember to turn off lost or stolen keys and back up the system periodically.

~AR

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NEW Elevator Door Lock Monitoring Requirement - REAPLLC May 02, 2018

I just received this email from Otis, one of my elevator companies...

"As your elevator service provider, we are informing you that the NYC Department of Building has adopted a new mandated requirement for all existing automatic passenger and freight elevators – Door Lock Monitoring. All elevators under the NYC Department of Buildings jurisdiction must comply with this new requirement by January 1st, 2020. Our goal is to complete these upgrades quickly and efficiently so that you will be in compliance by the effective date.

Attached you will find the Door Lock Monitoring proposal for your specific building’s elevator(s). Please be aware that demand, labor and price for this task will be expected to increase closer to the compliance date, therefore, it is best to take action as soon as possible. "

The quote was for 23,000. ... wow, what a shocker!
So I did some research, especially since the elevator was a complete Mod done by Otis last year and found out the following:
All controllers built to meet the A17.1-2000 Code (which came out in 2000) should have the door lock monitoring provisions already built in... It was only prior to 2000/02 that NYC followed the A17.1-1996 Code so it’s safe to assume older controllers do not have provisions, but the newer ones should.

“As per ASME A17.3 of 2002, as modified by Chapter K3 of Appendix K Section 3.10.12 of the New York City Building Code, all automatic passenger and freight elevators must provide a system to monitor and prevent automatic operation with faulty door contact circuits by January 1, 2020.”

That said, be careful, know when your system was installed or upgraded and question your elevator company .... don't just sign the blanket proposal they probably send out to all their clients!

~AR

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AR - Thanks for the info about the new door lock requirement and corresponding DoB regulations. Very informative. I passed it on to my building's super and property manager.

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AR - I echo Steven's sentiments. Thank you for this information.

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If you need assistance financing this modernization project, please contact us. We established this company specifically to assist with this expensive work.

Structural System Services LLC
dj@structuralsystem.services
917-524-5700

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This is offering an interesting solution: arguselevator.com

Their device actually fits inside the existing elevator controller, so there is no need to install an external enclosure, which makes the installation cheaper and faster.

Also, the lead time is very short (48 hours) since there is no specific hardware customization required.

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This post details the cost. The information might help others identify if it's a blanket proposal from the elevator vendor.

https://www.elevatorlab.com/blog/cost-to-install-elevator-door-lock-monitoring-system

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Prior to ordering suggest to visit our web site to learn more about the types of devices in the market and irs cost. Visit www.FSSG.US

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Argus Elevator (https://arguselevator.com) is offering a very convenient solution.

Their device actually fits inside the existing elevator controller, so there is no need to install an external enclosure, which makes the installation cheaper and faster.

Also, the lead time is very short (48 hours) since there is no specific hardware customization required.

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For relatively newer buildings, the mechanical overlay solution can range anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, but those older buildings that require total modernization, the cost factor can be catastrophic.

Our firm is comprised of former elevator and finance professionals and can help finance these unplanned and expensive projects. We launched this specialized service to assist with this compliance regulation.

If you need assistance, please contact Structural System Services LLC:
dj@structuralsystem.services
917-524-5700
www.structuralsystem.services

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Restricting the use of public video surveillance data by third parties - REAPLLC Apr 25, 2018

Due to the litigant nature of society, we should Prohibit, to the extent possible, sharing of public video surveillance data with third parties, including private litigants, and restrict sharing with other governmental entities.

Communities should restrict use of public video surveillance data by third parties. Especially to the extent the data reveals identifiable individuals, sharing of data with private litigants or other governmental agencies without the consent of the affected individuals severely undermines confidence in official motives for collecting such information, further threatens constitutional rights and values, and could generate legal liability for law enforcement. While releasing footage may be beneficial in some cases, such as to enlist public aid in apprehending a suspect or to perform an audit, in general, disclosures to third parties creates increased risk of the information being used for improper and unaccountable purposes.

I want to come up with a set written policy and procedure for my buildings and an indemnification of some sort to be signed when I actually do provide access to video… Plus a reimbursement fee to pay for the superintendents time for the retrieval process….

That said: Does anyone have any existing written policies and procedures in place? Possibly an indemnification and hold harmless for those entrusted with information? What are your policies?

Anthony Reinglas

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Hi Anthony,

This issue has been discussed on here before, so you might look for previous threads on surveillance videos.

An article from The Cooperator (magazine of the Counsel of NYC Cooperatives and Condominiums) provides a decent basic overview of surveillance regulations and practices. You can read the article here: https://cooperator.com/article/the-state-of-surveillance/full#cut

--- Steve

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Neither the old tread or the article sheds much light on third party usage and protection against liability of sharing the video, E.g. what if I give the video to an attorney for a slip and fall case and he sees his wife cheating on him, or a drug deal, or it does not capture what was intended for some reason.. etc.. crazy extremes but just making a point., there's thousands of scenarios... . but now I'm at liability for putting that out there! I think buildings and owners of these systems should know the potential risks and mitigate them as best as possible before they become an issue.
~AR

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I am not an attorney, so please do not rely on this as legal advice.

As far as I know, anyone in a public space has no expectation of privacy. This includes the common areas of coops and condos. The same cheating wife, drug deal, etc could just as easily be captured on a tourist's smartphone or video camera with the same results. Think of all the videos posted on Youtube that capture unintended events.

I would assume that any building that asked to provide a copy of their surveillance camera video without any legal process like a subpoena would first prudently go to their attorney for advice. Even then the attorney should be consulted.

I do not think, though, that there is any immediate liability attached to providing a copy of a surveillance video tape, any more than providing a copy of a smartphone file.

If you learn anything more on this please share with the rest of us.

Thanks!
--- Steve

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Great job Steve.....right on the money.

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Thanks, Tim. :-)

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A problem with restricting access to CCTV recordings is similar to the distribution of purchase application packages. As some coops email PDFs
of applications to Board members, sometimes videos of common area incidents can be sent to Board mrmberd for review. It’s difficult to control access once the Send button is pressed.
A procedure needs to address how long to retain a recording of an incident if it is about to be automatically deleted, and who decides to retain it.

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Discriminatory Comments By Property Manager - MA Apr 11, 2018

I was recently subject to a discriminatory comment made by the Property Manager in my NYC Coop. I am aware that most discrimination lawsuits happen due to the denial of Board approval to become a shareholder.

I currently reside in this coop, and have for many years with a disability, which laws would apply to my situation and is there any recourse that I can take.

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In order to know what recourse you may have, it seems that you'd have to show how you were hurt/damaged by the PM's comments and/or actions.

For example, let's say your disability prevents you from climbing the front steps and you requested that the PM install a handicap access entrance to your building. If his response was "You don't look handicapped to me so we're not installing an access ramp", then you are being physically hurt/damaged by the PM's comments and you probably have a good chance of showing how his comments hurt your quality of life.

But, if he made a nasty remark that only hurt your feelings, there may not be much recourse for you.

I can tell you from experience that you will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his comment was discriminatory, and you will have to show how you were hurt/damaged as a result. Can you prove it? Were there witnesses? Was he stupid enough to put it in writing? For your sake I hope so.

Discrimination actions require as much supporting documentation, evidence, and proof as possible in order to win your case. They will often end up being adjudicated by the NYC Commission on Human Rights.

Here's some links that may help:
http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/1525/report-discrimination
http://www1.nyc.gov/site/fairhousing/contact-us/file-a-complaint.page
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/enforcement/complaint-process.page


I wish you good luck.

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"Smart" doorbells and how they could invade your neighbors privacy - DM Apr 01, 2018

Evidently, you can personally have a camera in an apartment hallway only so long as it shows your doorway only and no activity of the neighbors or in the hallway itself.

The new "smart" door bells - which have a direct line of sight out into a hallway - might reveal the neighbor , say, getting his newspaper in his/her jammies or people going to and from his / her apartment.

This seems illegal. And/ or these types of doorbells may invade your neighbors privacy. Has anyone dealt with this issue his in their coop or condo?

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Unfortunately, the hallway is a common area and not subject to privacy laws. It is perfectly legal to "tape" the common hallway. HOWEVER, it will be illegal to set up a camera where the device can peer into someone's private residence.

A slippery slope.

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This concerns an individual resident recording activity in the hallway - that is different than the management or coop doing it.

A resident cannot do this - they can only record their own doorway itself.

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I agree with DM and his interpretation. It's the same thing as what our attorney told us.

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We've had this issue come up from time to time. I use this article as a guide for what is and is not allowed.

https://cooperator.com/article/the-state-of-surveillance/full#cut

For a possible answer to the original question, start reading from the third paragraph above the section labeled "Do It Right, Or Not at All". You might also want to search for more information online.

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Unfortunately, the hallway is not considered a place where a person has "a reasonable expectation of privacy". You may be protected if this is a bylaw of the corporation.

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If you suspect the device has an AUDIO feature then this is ABSOLUTELY against the law.

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It's a pretty good bet that the smart doorbell with video will also have audio. How else to ask "who is it" remotely.

I bet that the audio recording prohibition applies only to video *recordings* that also record audio. A device like a smart doorbell does not record video or audio under normal circumstances, so it is within the privacy requirements. If it is modified to actually record what it sees and hears, then it runs afoul of the privacy regs.

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True story....however, if the device has a feature which lets you view the hallway and listen in on conversations without any active prompt from the outside it is an illegal "bug".

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I like that idea, I may get one. Why? We have a very controlling board president who thinks it's her building to do what she feels or likes. Can't count how many times I threw out my garbage to the compactor room and she's roaming the halls. One of the share holders opened up her door and the president was listening at her neighbors door. So why not?

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Manhattan maintenance fees survey - Steve Mar 26, 2018

For the fourth time in a dozen years, I’ve put together a chart of the average maintenance fees that co-ops charge in many Manhattan neighborhoods. It’s based on sales listings in 2017, and since it goes back to 2006, you can see the changes, which of course are generally up. You can download the pdf, along with the supporting data, here: https://www.thepinehurst.org/on-the-market/.
Keep in mind that the chart shows neighborhood averages per square foot. What it does _not_ show is the fee per share (which is how co-ops charge it, but sales listings rarely mention shares), whether there’s also an assessment in the building, or what the building’s amenities are like (24-hr doormen, porters and parking — or just one part-time super). So don’t use the chart to decide if you are paying too much (or too little!). Remember, it’s an average of buildings in a neighborhood, which means it’s based on the average amenities in a neighborhood, among dozens of other things.

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Primary Residence if Owning Multiple Apartments - H. Mar 24, 2018

If a shareholder owns more than one apartment in the same building, are all considered the primary residence? This impacts occupancy and sublet rules.

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Only one of those apartments is the primary residence.

Ask the shareholder for his drivers license. For me, that will show his primary residence.

He can’t show multiple apartment numbers on his drivers license...he can only show one - the one that is his primary residence.

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Who would be allowed to live in the apartments that are not the primary residence?

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In my opinion, if not the shareholder owner, and possibly family members (depending on the wording of the proprietary lease), no one else would be allowed to live there without the approval of the board. I think at best they could sublet the additional apartments, and that would require board approval. Otherwise they would have to remain empty.

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interested in who is living in the other co-op and how they have been justifying the other people's occupancy. The proprietary lease only speaks of the occupancy of 1 apartment.

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Besides the obvious non-primary occupancy like a legal sublet or holding on speculation, there are a few other allowable reasons. In my building there is one large family that owns two adjoining units. They have plans to eventually combine the units (we allow this). Until then, the parents live in one unit and the kids in the other.

Another allowable multiple ownership is the second unit serves as an "office" for someone who works from home. Lots of space and good tax benefits. As long as there is no client or customer traffic and no abnormal package deliveries or other building service disruptions or overburdenings, we would allow it. The just can only claim one of the two units for the real estate tax abatement.

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I agree with Marty. The managing agent would also have to know which is the primary residence and which is not because it affects the distribution of the annual Dept of Finance real estate tax abatement. The abatement is only available to apartments which are a primary residence.

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1. Shareholders holding 3 or less stock certificates in the same building can receive a real estate tax abatement - if they are using all 3 apartments (office, guest room, etc.) If they sublet any of the units than that unit is not primary. The units do not need to be combined or contiguous. see: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/benefits/landlords-coop-condo.page. If they are all being used by the shareholder and not sublet to others than they can all be considered the primary residence. Many people combine apartments and do not combine the stock.
2. Tax Return address determines where your primary apartment is. Not drivers license or voting registration.

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From Full-time to Pt. workers - peoples choice #1 Mar 23, 2018

I live in a coop that seems to have less & less work as an examples: Our boiler is automated, we have an automatic sprinkler system for all landscaping, we out source a number of tasked that use to be the suppers job, also board highers non union workers to work around the building.
Our live in supper hangs out in his apt. most of the day. Handyman covers for the supper by doing most of his work, the handyman with the porter picks up the garbage in the morning. We are a union building, most coops and condos are selling the suppers apt. and having a 24/7 on call companies that are doing the suppers job after 5PM. By doing so the building is saving money. Is it possible to put the full time workers on Pt. hours? How hard is it to replace supper on site.

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When Co-Op is in Estate who has right to vote - Queens Mar 22, 2018

A shareholder passed away. She was the sole owner and only her name was on the Stock Certificate and proprietary lease Her will leaves the co-op to her son's who are her beneficiaries.

Her family is in the process of selling the apartment but have not listed it to date.

The bylaw state you must be a shareholder (have your name on certificate) to vote at the annual meeting.

My question is, can the son vote or appoint another shareholder to vote at the annual shareholder meeting?

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The son absolutely cannot vote. Only the person whose name is on the stock certificate and proprietary lease can vote.

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Marym is correct that the son cannot vote. However the apartment still has a voice in the voting.

When a shareholder passes away and is the only individual named on the stock certificate, their estate, which "stands in the shoes of the deceased", has the right to vote the shares of the apartment. In NYS, if there was a will and it was probated, the executor named in the will is the individual who does the voting. If there was no will and no probate, the Surrogates Court will appoint an estate administrator, and that person does the voting.

Even though the sons are named in the deceased's will, they do not automatically become the owners of the stock. Most proprietary leases provide for a board approval process before there is a formal share transfer. If for some reason the sons are rejected (usually for financial reasons), the estate will be forced to sell the shares to an acceptable purchaser, or maybe try to sublet the apartment if allowed by the co-op.

I hope this helps.

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Thanks Steve very informative.

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