HABITAT

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Illegal plumbing and electric work by coop boardMar 19, 2017

Hi - Our coop require licensed and insured plumbers to perform work on the premises. However, in order not to spend money, they also sometimes ge the Superintendent to perform in-the-wall plumbing in violation of NYC laws. This has resulted in several instances of sub-par work that created damages and additional costs. However they persist in this. Sometimes (depending on the shareholder - i.e. it it is a board member) they will hire legal plumbers. Can we refuse to allow or permit illegal work be conducted in our apartments - work that creates possible liability for neighbor's and may also not be covered by our own insurance or the coop's insurance? Can we require the coop to send a legal plumber as per city laws and coop rules when it is work that they must perform? Please only reply if you know 100%. Thanks!

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100% - Steven424 Mar 19, 2017

Please do not take this as sarcastic or flippant, but if you want a 100% guaranteed accurate answer, consult a practicing attorney.

Good luck

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Dysfunction - Steven424 Mar 26, 2017

MK - You are very quick to jump to (incorrect) conclusions.

I specifically did not say "hire" and attorney. I said "consult" with a practicing attorney. The original poster said at the end of their post that they only wanted a 100% guaranteed answer. To me, the only way to get a 100% guaranteed answer to a legal question is to consult with a 100% legal practitioner.

Most attorneys will initially meet with a perspective new client at no or very modest cost to determine if there is any basis for further legal action. If not, they will say so.

If they feel there is, they will discuss with the perspective client what courses of action may be available, the risks vs benefits of pursuing further action, and the estimated cost. At this point it is up to the perspective client to either "hire" the attorney to initiate the action, or simply walk away.

Keep in mind that any legal advice offered in forums like this is worth what you paid for it. Most general advice given here is accurate, insightful, on point, and very useful. But when someone asks a question of a legal nature, the only sure way of receiving a 100% accurate legal response is to speak with a legal professional.

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The dysfunction of co-ops - MK Mar 23, 2017

Hire an attorney? Why should a shareholder be put through this. Co-op boards and MAs have a responsibility to shareholders. Some boards are just poison. It is very expensive to hire an attorney. I have a similar problem in my building. My insurance agent suggested that I report them to the state. I have not yet decided. But yes it is a complete joke, our building is leaking like a sieve from shoddy work preformed by the previous super. He was doing next to nothing for the co-op but he was very busy with his renovation business. It will only cost around 50 grand to litigate. The real problem with many co-ops (not all) is you have foxes guarding the hen house and you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I am not going to tell you to elect a new board because sometimes it is not possible when there is major dysfunction. There are no easy answers, but I understand exactly how you feel. Best of luck to you.

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Illegal plumbing - Marty Mar 19, 2017

I agree with Steven's comment.

However, I might also suggest contacting the co-op's attorney and telling him/her that the co-op is trying to do work that requires licensed plumbers, and the co-op is not following that rule.

You might suggest to the attorney that they contact the Board and advise them that their actions are exposing the co-op to a multitude of potential legal and financial problems.

That might make the Board reconsider its positions and actions.

Good luck.

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Unqualified Superintendents - Deborah Mar 20, 2017

I am not an attorney, I am a shareholder that went through a similar situation with our superintendent, the board of directors and the managing agent.
There was a leak from my bathroom toilet to the bathroom below, which happens to be occupied by a board member. The managing agent wanted to send the super to remove my toilet and perhaps replace the wax seal or the pipe. I refused to have the super touch the project as he is total unqualified (I have asked to see his certificates in the past, but they refuse to show me) and I have photos of what he has repaired throughout the building and my apartment from the past, VERY UNPROFESSIONAL. I wrote a professional letter with photos to the managing agent, and the board member who's apartment was being effected by the leak below explaining why the super was unqualified and that I would not allow him in my apartment to do the repairs. I demanded that they hire a licensed plumber. Within a day, they had a licensed plumber to fix the broken pipe under the toilet.
If you can back up your request with justifiable reasoning, fight for what you believe is right and don't back down.

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Unqualified personal - MK Mar 23, 2017

Deborah you are lucky that you were able to reason with them. The board and MA here are not approachable or reasonable. When I complained to the board pres about the constant renovations by the super he told me "If you don't like it you can leave. I had only been here one year, moving is not free, and I thought that the board would handle things. Very happy with that after caring for a home for over 15 years on my own. Just recently the super tried to charge me a $20 lock out fee. I told him I had no cash would he take a check? No he replied slide it under the door when you get the cash. I became suspicious and called the MA. I asked her what the lock out policy was. Her response "why Mary were you locked out? I asked her to refrain from an investigation and just answer the question. Well she did not know, so I asked her to look it up and foward the document to me. Well it turns out there is no lock out fee. No apology that the super tried to scam me. Then I informed the president of what occurred, I told him of another shareholder who fell for it. He did not bother to ask who and will most likely say the conversation never happened. But if the super is scamming people it is the boards responsibility to notify them of this transgression. There has been no attempt on their part to do this and I doubt they will. Instead they like to make up stories that I am crazy. This is only a small piece of this horrific story.
I do not believe the board in my building is acting in good faith. They are self serving, dishonest, and hostile. I have to move, that is the only real answer. The shareholders are univolved and apathetic. As long as it is not happening to them, they see no reason to intervene.
If feel like Kitty Genovese only the co-op version. I keep calling for help but they don't want to be involved, they figure someone else will help. So far no takers. You wouldn't believe what I have been through. And it's because it is really just unbelievable, but unfortunately true. I have the documents and recording to prove every word I have said here. But no one cares about the facts.... Kinda like a lynch mob. The place is leaking like a sieve from the former supers repairs, yet it is business as usual. I had a nice elderly gentleman neighbor who just passed away. But not before they could flood him one more time in the last months of his life. They probably expodided his demise, yet they continue business as usual. This is one motley crew and no advise is going to change them. I don't mean to be rude but there is no civility here. I just need to get out before they put me in an early grave.

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How do you spell harassment? - MK Mar 24, 2017

I have a good example. I receive an email from the former MA.
Your AC has leaked into apartment 1D and destroyed the walls. You are responsible for damages.

Odd I live on the 3rd floor and the trickle from my AC bypassed the 2nd floor apartment and destroyed walls on the first floor. Since an adjuster was over in regard to the 3 floods to my newly renovated bathroom I asked him to look into this claim. He never heard anything like it in all his years and they would not entertain such a ludicrous claim. Nevertheless she came to my door trying to shake me down. She didn't want to go through insurance she just wanted me to give her cash. Oh yes the super who drills the holes in the wall above me is the one who figured out I was responsible for the destruction of her wall. The board said it had noting to do with them it was between myself and the shareholder on the first floor. I did get a laugh from one of them when I told them how she just wanted cash. Then I said what about the super making this completely absurd claim. Again they recused themselves saying it had nothing to do with them. There is so much more and my frustration level is maxed out. Feeling very helpless in this situation. I have stopped paying maintenance IDC. The product is garbage I am not getting what I am paying for I regard to this maintenance/rent. If you go to a restaurant and find a cockerroach in you meal what do you do? Do you pay for a meal that consisted of these little critters. Should the waiter argue with you because the soup was good and they want you to pay for that. Not only am I not getting what I have paid for, I am being tormented. They have no morals or values and I have only stated those things that I can prove. What I think my be going on I can't prove so I will remain silent on that. Sorry for the rant I am just at my ropes end and really need help. Thanks for listening, it was somewhat lethargic yet still disturbing that people can be so rotten.

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I just can't help myself - MK Mar 23, 2017

The former super drilled 2 holes in the wall of the bathroom above me for the specific purpose of flooding me. I have the photos so there is no disputing this fact. The president/treasurer uses my upstairs neighbor as a booty call. She calls it love but I see it for what it is. She refused to provide her insurance information and that was ok with him and the rest of the board. I told him that if he wanted to know the truth he should speak with the plumber. His reply was very nasty. Does not like facts..... Enjoys power. Oh and what about the time I found board meeting info in the paper garbage, it had all of my financial information in it, bank accounts, matching credit cards, and social security numbers. I never received any apology for that either. He did curse me out the other day though, many F bombs and if looks could kill. He was a completely out of control lunitic. Had it not been for an elevator door and a witness (the super, so that's no help when it comes to them acknowledging the truth) but it may have saved me from a severe beating. Call the police, yea don't bother with that advise because they are of no help. They will only intervene if I am beaten up or dead. So yea that's another dead end in my cry for help. I need real help, not lip service, and so far nothing.
I just hope you don't read about me in the papers. Actually I'm published in the Urban Dictionary. When I used the phrase in a sentence I mentioned my infamous board. I can't say what the phrase was because although it has no curse words it is rather down and dirty and I don't think that's allowed here. But yea they were soliciting for the meaning of a phrase. I typed it in forgot about, then about a month later I got the email. My definition of the phrase had been reviewed and published by the editors.

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