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Empty apt - what to do?Aug 07, 2007


A Sh in my coop (lives in NYC) used to sublet her apt but the last tenant left in 1995 and the apt's been vacant ever since. I know her and we talk a few times a year. She's a nice woman and she's asked me many times how the market is and if she should sell or sublet. I give her my opinion and say anything's better than paying maintenance on an empty apt - sell and get a nice chunk of money, or sublet, offset her maintenance and get some income. (She has no mortgage.)

She always says she has a demanding job, an elderly parent lives with her, a lot going on, can't deal with this apt until things settle down. Things never settle down. There's always something we have to deal with. Our prop mgr sends her a cordial letter every 1-2 years to ask what her plans are for the apt, and she always says she isn't sure yet.

Besides the fact that she's losing money, we could have a Sh in there who'd potentially be a coop asset (or at least a sublet tenant) instead of an apt that's been empty for 12 years. Shs in adjoining apts offered her a good price to buy it but she said their prices weren't high enough. I think she was just putting them off. She can't seem to put her attention on this and make any decision.

Our bldg is nice and we're in a great midtown location. She wouldn't have any trouble finding someone for her apt. We can't force her to occupy, sell or rent it. Any ideas on how we can convince her to do something with it?

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tell her that.. - sally Aug 07, 2007


you will find her a fabulously nice realator who will find a totally reliable subletter and she will make a nice profit and it wont be a headache and you will hold her hand the entire time. be super nice and reassuring and tell her the board will make sure it is all very easy for her to deal with. Tell her to just try it for two years.

otherwise an empty apt is not such a bad thing- no water usage, wear and tear etc. less $ for the coop.

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> Join the conversation Comments (2)
Empty apartments - Batch Aug 08, 2007


An empty apartment can be a very bad thing. No one is there to notice if a water leak is beginning or getting worse; no one is there to inform management if a window is cracked or broken; and no one is there to check for rodent droppings or evidence of other pest infestations.

Apartments that are known to be empty can also attract two-legged nonresidents.

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Empty Apartment. - AliceT Aug 08, 2007


Its not the Board or SH business if this woman chooses to leave her apartment empty. And, as noted she is not causing problems and is not adding to the water etc bills.

As for the leaks, you could ask that the Super be allowed to check the apartment on a monthly basis to make certain everything is OK.

If there are offers from her neighbors, they should get in touch with her -- or if YOU have a problem with it, YOU should let her know.

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Alice T hit it on the nail! - sally Aug 08, 2007


Alice - great suggestions. Makes complete sense. thanks!

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To AliceT re: empty apt - BP Aug 09, 2007


AliceT, I guess you're right that it's not coop business if a Sh wants to leave her apt empty. But as I said, I talk to her a few times a year. I've known her since she bought her apt in 1988. She's very nice and we like to keep in touch (occasionally meet for dinner). But every time she asks if she should sell or sublet, and every time I tell her either is better than paying monthly charges for an empty apt.

Some time ago, she asked us to check her apt now and then to make sure it's OK. The super does it once/twice a year. In 1999, she had damage after heavy rains (her apt's on the top floor). The Shs on both sides of her had asked our prop mgr how to reach her. He called her and she said it was OK to give them her phone #. They both made good offers (she told me what they were) but she told them their offers weren't high enough.

When we talk, SHE brings up the subject of her apt. I tell her the same thing every time and I've said nicely there's nothing else I can suggest. I don't want to alienate her. But she still does nothing. If she won't sell or sublet it, we can't force the issue.

I thought maybe some posters here might have a suggestion.

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Non-issue, empty apartment - AliceT Aug 09, 2007


This sounds like a non-issue, and personal -- no offence BP, but there are really a lot more important issues facing SH. Again, have the Board ask the owner for permission to check out the apt on a monthly basis. Otherwise, this is a person issue -- which we have exhausted, and if the woman gets on your nerves with her questions.... stop having lunch with her and listing to her problems....Please dont answer this Emial...

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To Sally re: empty apt - BP Aug 08, 2007


Sally, I assume you're kidding when you say we should find our Sh a "fabulously nice realtor who will find a totally reliable subletter" for her empty apt, "hold her hand the entire time" and "the board should make sure this is all very easy for her to deal with." If you're not kidding, your idea is, first of all, unrealistic but more than that it's inappropriate. It's not the board's job to help Shs sell/sublet their apts or to coddle them and make the whole process of selling/subleting as easy as pie for them.

If you're kidding, I fail to see the humor in it. If you're not kidding, I'm very surprised you'd suggest such a thing. Anyone have any better advice? Thanks.

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was totally serious. she needs reassurance - sally Aug 08, 2007


why not? if you wan to get it rented. it does seem she needs reassurance it will be an easy process. OK I guess your dont. I meant well and was completely serious BP.

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To Sally - meant well - BP Aug 08, 2007


Thanks, Sally, for explaining that you meant well, etc. I appreciate it. But to my mind, having a board help a Sh to sell/sublet his apt isn't part of their job, aside from the fact that it isn't an easy process and it's time-consuming. The board runs/manages coop affairs. They're not realtors or real estate consultants for Shs. Also, if the board did that for one Sh, others would expect it. And if anything goes wrong or a Sh thinks he got bad advice from the board on selling/subleting, the board takes the heat. No thanks!

But thanks anyway, Sally, for trying to help.

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