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Spectrum Bulk Billing / Fios Installation - jdny Jan 30, 2019

Perhaps it's a coincidence but Spectrum has just offered our co-op a bulk rate just has Verizon has notified our building that it's (finally) willing to install Fios. Currently, a majority of residents use Spectrum (internet and TV) and pay $100-$200+ per month. The bulk rate would be $50/month (for a service as good or better than what most people have now) that's even factoring covering the few people who don't use Spectrum.

The catch? Spectrum is requiring a 5 year contract to get the bulk rate.

Just wondering if we sign a long term deal with Spectrum, could Verizon find out and cancel Fios installation plans?

Does anyone have a rough idea how long it takes from the time a building gives Verizon the OK to install fiber to the time Fios service is actually working? If it's 1/2 a year or more, it might be more justifiable to sign with Spectrum now for the time being - who knows, maybe there will be a problem or delays with Fios installation.

Does Verizon ever offer a bulk rate as well and/or buy out a contract with a competing provider?

Any advice?

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

my building has had a bulk rate for years, long before i lived there. we had fios installed and it was up to owners to negotiate with them to buy them out. because rate is so good, no one has opted to do so.

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Should a Lot Line Window be operational? - Lot LIne Window Jan 22, 2019

A reader has asked if he should be able to open his lot line window and if the co-op is responsible for making his window operational if it is not.

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Windows can differ.. some LL windows are operational and some are fixed.
Check your Proprietary Lease and see who is responsible for window repairs and that party is responsible to remedy any defects.
~AR

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Improvements and Flip Tax - marym Jan 14, 2019

In calculating flip tax, do co-ops allow shareholders to first deduct any improvements they made to their apartment?

> Join the conversation Comments (4)

Yes you can deduct your home improvements when you sell your apt. and house. Also $250,000 per you and $250,000 for your spouse. Your question is just in time to do your 2018 taxes. Please bring your questions up with your accountant who will best advise you in this matter. Best of Luck.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thanks for your answer but I believe you misunderstood my question or I didn't phrase it properly. I'm not asking about one's personal taxes; rather, if co-op boards allow a shareholder to deduct improvements made to her/his apartment before calculating the flip tax. Thanks.

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If a down payment was not required to purchase a Co-op in the past and now the board requires a 20% down, can they implement this without shareholders approval?

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Your proprietary lease should address this. If it does not, the Board may change the requirement without a shareholder vote.

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A flip tax does not deduct any improvements. It is only concerned with the final sale price of the apartment (or whatever structure it may follow), unless expressed otherwise.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

deduction is a slippery slope. was discussed as an option and you can't do it that way - how would you allow for depreciation on improvements? total sale price is the only way to do it.

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It is up to the Proprietary Lease to determine the requisites and details of the transfer fee. Some are based on flat percentages, some not, some on profit, some on other factors... it is best to ask you Manager to decipher your particular flip tax for you.

~AR

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theft in apartment - Sue Jan 04, 2019

Plumbers and contractors have been working in every Unit making repairs and updating system. Shareholders have been notified when workers need entry into apartments and if residents cannot be present during work the
Super has entered with permission using management keys. The Super and managing agent have been present when workers are in the apartments.

Board was recently told an expensive heirloom is missing. Board instructed shareholder to make a police report, call their home owners insurance and submit in writing to management details of incident.

Can anyone tell me what the standard protocol is and who would be liable?

Thank you.

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

The homeowners insurance company should cover instances of theft. Homeowner should file a police report. The insurance company will take it from there.

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Building wide internet? - Richo Dec 15, 2018

Has anyone set up a building wide network for their building?

We are wired for spectrum, but I can't figure out if they would allow 8 units to share a business class account.

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I was thinking the exact same thing for my 4 unit building. We have spectrum but was thinking it might be best to get FIOS. The big advantage is with FIOS you get upload AND download speeds that are very fast. Uploads speed is important if you do any online backups or sharing and don't want a backup to take 2 weeks. Normally each subscriber has to find a place to put those big boxes that convert the fiber to copper. Instead of having 4 of those bulky things - 1 in each apt, we could have one and put it in the basement. We would ensure privacy by getting a static ip address for each unit and a separate router for each unit. You may as well get the TV and phone package and get ALL the premium channels cause we would split the cost 4 ways. Could provide building wide WiFi as well and integrate with cameras and such. I was thinking of just calling the business office and get an account under the HOA name. Only problem is two of the unit owners will flat out go against any idea I contribute, no matter how much benefit or savings it would provide them.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Spectrum will do bulk packages @ 50$ish per participating shareholder.

But there are so many advantages to a single building wide network that I still would favor it.

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Convince me not to install off-brand video intercom - Richo Dec 15, 2018

My 8 unit HDFC just got a quote for 11k to install a comelit video intercom w/ smartphone integration.

I am confident in my ability to install an off brand video intercom system for under 2k. However future hardware and software support is not as certain with an established (& expensive) brand.

Our maintenance is very low (40 cents a sqft) & that 9k can be put to much better use. However 2 of 8 shareholders are not team players & will absolutely make my life miserable any time in the next 20 years when there is a problem, and likely a few times when there isn't a problem.

I believe it's the right thing to do for the building, however my 2 terrible neighbors make me confident it would be bad for me personally. Please convince me not to spend the time & invite the trouble.

> Join the conversation Comments (2)

Hi Richo….just remember you get EXACTLY what you pay for! Going with an off-brand may/probably cost you in the long run. What happens if a component fails? Where do you get the parts? Overseas? How long can you do without the intercom? Who will install the aftermarket parts once they come in?

Careful my friend! Sorry I couldn't agree with you!

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

understand that you want to save money but why would you want the liability. the naysayers are correct. this is the time to spend money.
note: have you gotten three bids on this?

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What Brand is it?
Did you end up doing it?

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

No I did not. Still have the same old intercom.

There are a ton of inexpensive options on the internet though. I believe NYC code is you need a physical button to unlock. A lot of these video systems are two wire, so if you have an existing 4 wire you can keep your physical button & steal two wire for audio/video/unlock.

Ongoing support is always gonna be the problem with these kits, although at 1/10th the cost, you can afford to upgrade once 3D projection intercoms replace video.

https://smile.amazon.com/Jeatone-Intercom-Multi-unit-Apartment-Monitoring/dp/B0746CVVY3/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=intercom+multiunit&qid=1552962165&s=gateway&sr=8-2

https://smile.amazon.com/Apartment-Intercom-Visitor-Doorbell-Security/dp/B008B05C5O/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=intercom+multiunit&qid=1552962271&s=gateway&sr=8-5

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

I recommend you reach out to the rep in your area to discuss any concerns and get clarification. You can reach David Lee at 888-692-9739 xt 203 or at david@comelitusa.com.

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Vent shaft - MG Dec 12, 2018

I own a co-op unit in a 1960s building. During a recent renovation my neighbor upstairs removed the kitchen in his unit which is above me ( he combined two apartments) and now my kitchen vent duct opens directly into his living room. After the renovation, I now hear everything he says as clearly as if he was standing in my apartment. The super has looked at the vent shaft with a flashlight, and says the vent shaft is "completely open" and straight." There are no turns to in it. He says there's a turn in the kitchen shaft of his own unit in the building. So it appears that my unit is directly linked to the above unit via the shaft.

Is this legal? Is this a code violation in New York City?

> Join the conversation Comments (2)

I don't know about the legality of it, but the first thing I would do is find out if he can he hear every word that YOU say while he's in his apartment.

If he can, then I think a good argument can be made that your right to privacy is being violated solely by actions that your neighbor took - not you.

If he doesn't care that you hear everything he says, then that's fine. But, if he can hear everything you say and you don't want that, then he caused the problem and must fix it.

I would notify the Board if you have not already done so. The co-op's attorney may need to be consulted about this matter, too.

Good luck.

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Agree with Marty. The situation you are describing, having raw cooking fumes venting into a habitable space, is an unsafe condition and almost assuredly a violation of Dept of Building regulations and code. You don't have liability in this situation, but your board needs to get involved. They need to review the alteration agreement to see if this venting was called out in the plans and part of the alteration approval. If it was, it does not absolve your upstairs neighbor from responsibility for complying with code, but it will probably cause your board to be more involved in this issue.

It it wasn't part of the plan, and the contractor just built it this way because it was convenient, then your neighbor and his contractor have a big additional renovation ahead. The configuration you described cannot remain because of the health and safety issues. Fumes from a kitchen can contain Carbon Monoxide, which is deadly.

Bottom line, IMHO, is that you are ok (just don't agree to anything, like "are you ok with the configuration?"), and your upstairs neighbor and their contractor are in deep dodo.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

if two apartments are combined, DOB should have been onsite to check - you should be able to view that on the DOB site. and the plans should have been vetted by the co-op architect. this is a violation and needs to be fixed at the expense of other owner.

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Leaking from Neighbor Above - marym Dec 07, 2018

We are a small co-op and I am the President of the Board. Two years ago a shareholder ("Richard") moved in and since then he has let his water overflow eight times into the apartment below him (owned by "Tom"). Each time the water cascades down the walls of Tom's apartment and at times enters the light fixtures. Tom was very patient particularly because he liked Richard and they became friends. After about the 5th flooding, Tom asked that the matter be brought up at a Board meeting. He specifically said he didn't want anything done but wanted it on the record, which is what happened. Now Tom is furious after this latest episode and has asked the Board to advise him on what steps he needs to take to get his apartment tested for mold. What is the Board's responsibility here? Do we leave it for them to work out?

> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Has your managing agent and super inspected to make sure his over flow is open for water to drain out?If not he needs one. I would contact my insurance company and explain the problem they will bill the upstairs neighbors insurance company for all work that is needed. Example mold removal, plastering and painting. In the mean time the neighbor above needs to be aware of this problem and also have him contact his insurance company. You as a board member and president you need a managing agent (a good one) who can advise you on problems that is going on in your co-op. Let us know the results. Best of Luck and Happy Holidays.

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I had a water leak from my upstairs neighbor, who left his toilet overflowing due to dementia related problems. I contacted my insurance company who brought in equipment to dry out the
apartment, remove damaged wallpaper from bathroom, and replaster and paint,
. The insurance company paid for our hotel while the work was done, and the cost of damaged items and restaurant meals. Of course, we notified the Management company. They sent a building insurance agent to inspect.
The upstairs neighbor was a renter, unlike us. I don’t know what his liability was. He soon afterwards moved to a nursing home.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Thank you peoples choice #1 and H for your responses. We are a self-managed building. The Board had a meeting with the upstairs neighbor last night who is very contrite and accepts responsibility for any costs incurred by the downstairs neighbor. Both have insurance. The upstairs neighbor agreed to buy Flood Water and Overflow Alarms (and did so immediately after the meeting). We also encouraged him to turn his phone off before turning on any water, which he agreed to do. This we believe is a distraction. He is on medication and that may be affecting his behavior. We told the downstairs neighbor that we will be having a mold inspection of the entire building early in 2019. It's necessary because of this flooding and it is also now required by the City.

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Cell Tower Leasing - GS Nov 22, 2018

Hi,
I'm a board member in Brooklyn NY. We are a six story building. We are trying to increase our revenue stream. Some ideas are renting more storage units and cell tower leasing. I'm wondering about the current state of cell tower leasing given the changing technology. Any input on the upside/downside of this, numbers for potential income, as well as whether it's best to deal with phone companies directly or go through a third party would be greatly appreciated.
Happy Thanksgiving to all :)

> Join the conversation Comments (2)

I live on the top floor of a rental now where there are numerous cell phone towers. I didn't realize them going up at first but after a few months had difficulty in sleeping, nausea, muscle aches that I couldn't explain. I understood since then that these were due to the cell phone towers being directly above me on our paper thin pre war roof. They also have a low frequency hum that is audible. I am looking to move out asap now and I would suggest you discuss with your neighbors who live on the top floors and who these towers might affect.

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This is a great idea, your building will generate lots of money with great savings to you as a share holder and do a lot of upgrades around your building. Without having an assessment.

With Solar Panels you do need to strengthen your roof while your doing that have them put a barrier underneath your roof and panels. This will prevent any people complaining they hear weird noise coming from beyond. Best of Luck and let us know what you decide to do and how much your going to save in the long run. Happy New Year

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Domestic Partnership and HDFC Income Restrictions - AMS Nov 16, 2018

I live in an HDFC coop in NYC. A few years after purchasing my boyfriend moved in. He is also interested in purchasing his own apartment in the building in a few years. We both separately meet the income requirements for HDFCs, however if we were to apply jointly we would not. If we enter into a domestic partnership before he applies to purchase an apartment would he have to list both of our incomes?

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The answer is yes.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Hi Mary M - I'm not a lawyer, which is why I'm asking this question. It's been my understanding that a "Domestic Partnership" was a relationship device used by states that wanted to circumvent the federal ban on same-sex marriage. In these states, a Domestic Partnership granted all rights and privileges married individuals enjoyed to individuals in a same-sex relationship. I believe it required the filing of a formal declaration and/or document with the state courts.

Now that marriage is a right enjoyed by *all* couples, does a "Domestic Partnership" still have any legal or regulatory standing. Hasn't it been superseded by the right to marry?

I'm asking in the spirit of wondering if the HDFC can today look at a Domestic Partnership and decide that it has the same force and effect of a formal marriage in terms of combining the incomes of two individuals who are *not* legally married.

Thanks!
--- Steve

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This is a potential abuse of HDFCs. We would never consider allowing a partner (whether legal or otherwise) to purchase a separate apartment. Many times people try to buy an apartment in our building and only put down the name of one applicant so they can qualify income-wise, but it's easy to find out that this is bogus. HDFCs have strict income guidelines and they should be adhered to.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)

Hi MaryM - Thanks for your thoughts on what is included as "income" for the purpose of HDFC residency. I did a little research, and found an official NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development booklet from April, 2018, that provids a definition of "family" when calculating income limits.

On page 5-1, the definition of a family is, "A husband, wife, son, daughter, unborn child (pregnancy must be documented), stepson, stepdaughter, father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, brother, sister, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or any other family member or person for whom the head of household can prove legal guardianship or a relationship based on dependency, blood, marriage or domestic partnership."

So the answer to the OP's original question is as MaryM stated. The OP might want to download the booklet because it contains a lot of information about HDFC rules and regulations.

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