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Double standard and icensed plumbers in a coopMay 05, 2017

I am going to revisit this : Our coop requires residents to retain plumbers for work inside the walls as per NYC law. However, sometimes, when there is an in-the-wall pipe issue, such as a toilet lead bend, they try to get the Super to do it. He is not licensed and often does a faulty job. Can we refuse him access to our apts for this kind of work on the basis it is violation of NY laws, coop alteration rules and presents a hazard and demand a qualified plumber? The coop can deny access to unlicensed workers so why can't we?

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When is a licensed plumber needed - Steven424 May 06, 2017

I found this link which sort of explains when a licensed plumber is needed and when she isn't. http://www.borismechanical.com/ask-a-nyc-plumber-do-you-need-a-permit-to-upgrade-your-plumbing. The kinds of jobs you describe, in-the-wall pipe issue and toilet lead bend probably fall under the category of "simple repair".

But this does not answer the question about the quality of your super's work. And a plumbing license is no guarantee of high quality. If you are a shareholder, unless an emergency situation exists, I think you can refuse to let the super perform the work. It will then become your sole responsibility to hire and pay someone who you feel is qualified.

Have you asked your neighbors if they've had the same experiences? Have you and your neighbors provided your board with examples of the super's shoddy workmanship and any expenses you incurred as a result of the work? If you and enough other shareholders can document multiple instances of inferior workmanship and collateral damages and expenses, hopefully the board will listen.

When you try to find a definite answer about when a licensed plumber is required, there are only a few specific instances; sprinkler system, gas lines, jobs that require permits, etc. It becomes a judgment call as to when the super can make the repair and when an outside plumber is required. You always have the option of running for the board and helping to change its judgment.

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Steven 424 - MK May 06, 2017

Steven you spend so much time answering questions here and I would like to know if you serve on a board. I find your answers to posts rather queer. Like the time you told me I should have invited the super over for a beer after he had pulled a fast on. This makes no sense to me at all. You don't bother to ask what I have done to salvage the situation, and I can assure you it is a one way street. Invite him over for a brew? Very bizarre response as far as I am concerned. Your reply re pluming in the walls to another poster was also rather odd. The envelope, come again. If it is in the wall it is a coop responsibility PERIOD. I am going to ask you to refrain from answering any other posts of mine because I just find your responses rather odd. The only thing I would like to know from you is, do you serve on a board or are you a managing agent?

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MK - peoples choice #1 May 06, 2017

Thank you, MK you took the words right out of my mouth.

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To clarify - this is not about a plumbing permits - DM May 06, 2017

It is about inside the wall plumbing - (not larger jobs that might require permits.) Anything you have to open the wall up for - requires a licensed plumber in NYC. That is the law. If it is a washer change for a dripping faucet replacing a sink or etc. - outside the wall - then the Super can legally do it. But alteration agreements in cooperatives as well as the Law require licensed plumbers for pipes and parts , etc inside walls.

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Peoples choice # 1 - MK May 07, 2017

You are very welcome I am tired of the gibberish, I get enough of it from the BMs and MA. Also you may notice that there is another person who often likes to concour to all of his posts. In one response he told me that the MA is not a fiduciary, I don't like arguing the facts so I left it along. I have been living a nightmare here that is book worthy and should be required reading before purchasing.
But I do appreciate your response because it lets me know that you are an intelligent person who has their eyes wide open. Absolutely refreshing, so I want to thank you also
Sincerely Mary

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MK & PC1 - Steven424 May 07, 2017

I've served on my board for the last nine years, eight as treasurer. I'm not a managing agent.

@MK: When I suggested you "invite your super in for a beer", I really thought you would take it figuratively, as in kindness begets kindness. You took it literally, as in handing the super a Bud Light. My mistake.

As for walls and "envelope", this next quote is taken verbatim from our proprietary lease, "18. (a) The Lessee shall take possession of the the Lessee apartment and its appurtenances and fixtures "as is" as of the commencement of the term hereof. Subject to the provisions of Paragraph 4 hereof, the Lessee shall keep the interior of the apartment (including interior walls, floors and ceilings, but excluding windows, window panes, window frames, sashes, sills, entrance and terrace doors, frames and saddles) in good repair...". This is why I differentiated between the envelope (exterior) walls and the interior walls, because that's how our PL defines things.

If your PL or your board has a different interpretation, great! I was simply offering my co-op's practices as a point of reference. Because there is a lot riding on Co-op vs shareholder responsibility and where one ends and the other begins, the term "envelope" neatly sums up the lines of demarcation.

One of the main benefits of a forum like this is to share best practices. Readers are free to decide what best fits their particular situation and apply what they want. I don't dictate to anyone what they should or should not do, I suggest based on what's worked for me and my building. I also do not tell other forum participants what they can and cannot respond to. Your mileage may vary.

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Steven424 - MK May 07, 2017

I only wanted to know your position and don't appreciate the back peddling. You should have a non bias person read your response. It was more of an admonishment which should have been directed at the super and the management who approved the arrangement. I would never have let him step one foot into my apartment if I knew management was not willing to stand behind his work. But they approved it and encouraged it. If a super is not vetted then he should not be performing this type of work in our beautiful prewar building. The building is springing leaks like a seive because of damage caused by the previous super. I have been a victim of 5 of these. The woman above me is pulling her usually routine, creative sounds effects on her hardwood floors. But the rules don't apply to her because of her romantic involvement with the board president/slash treasurer. The scratching scraping banging has just begun and may continue for hours. I may go up there and knock on her door to determine what exactly she is doing. If the answer is in satisfactory I will be calling the police. I had them here yesterday and they are fully aware of the situation and want me to call the minute they start in. So I must go now in a attempt to salvage my quality of life. Good bye

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