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Objectionable ConductSep 18, 2007


How does a co-op rid itself of a shareholder exhibiting what many many shareholders feel is objectionable conduct and presents a safety amd security issue as well as quality of life issue for its residents?

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it has to be really bad conduct - sally Sep 18, 2007


is this your personal dislike of the person or what are they doing that is so bad?

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Re: it has to be really bad conduct - Erick Sep 18, 2007


No personal agenda here. Some shareholders are suggesting the board to do something as this person is exhibiting frightening behaviors.

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specifics needed - sally Sep 18, 2007


you would have to be more dpecific for anyone to answer the question.

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Re: specifics needed - erick Sep 18, 2007


Late night parties and noise...fights....alleged drug use and possible sales...undesirable (neighbors words...not mine) visitors at all hours....common area damage....fires....smoke...floods....locusts (that one is a joke...but all others are real).

But, on the bright side, the maintenance is always paid.

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gotta have proof - sally Sep 18, 2007


if there are supected or alleged sales, then you have no case there. the neighbor might just be pissed more than anyone else. as a coop board, you simply have to write a letter to the owner of the apt about late night noise and hallway misuse with some specific dates of the incidents - and demand they remedy the situation permanently. if they dont then you have more of a case but you must give them a chance to "cure".

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Attorney letter asap - Steve Sep 19, 2007


Start the paper trail now. Get your co-op attorney to write the letter on behalf of the board and send to the shareholder detailing the bad conduct.

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and.. - sally Sep 18, 2007


also you can call the cops re: the late night noise when it is in progress. this plus the letter should nip it in the bud.

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Reply to Erick - BP Sep 19, 2007


Erick - A few things you should do:

1) If you can prove your SH is responsible for any damage to the bldg's common areas, have the repairs made, bill the SH for them, and send him a letter outlining the damage and telling him he's being billed for it.

2) Send the SH letters saying, for ex, "We have received complaints of excessive noise emanating from your apt at very late hours. Please be more considerate of your neighbors and be guided accordingly. Thank you..." Make letters more firm if you have to send them repeatedly about the same things, note that the noise/whatever constitutes a breach of the Prop Lease, etc. You may get to a point where a letter has to come from your coop attorney.

3) Tell your SHs to put their complaints to you IN WRITING. It's very important to keep a paper trail. Contact the fire dept or police when necessary so there are reports on file with them about this SH.

4) It wouldn't be out of line to do this. I know a few bldgs that have. If you strongly suspect drug use/possible sales, speak to someone at your local precinct, tell them of your SHs' suspicions, the "undesirable" visitors at all hours, etc. and ask the police if they can keep an eye on your bldg or at least have officers on your beat make more frequent checks or passes on your block.

5) Tell your super to keep a log of incidents, when he sees strange visitors go in/out of the SH's apt, when other SHs complain to him about that SH, etc. And tell him to tell SHs who complain to him verbally to put their complaint in writing to the property mgr.

It's not easy to evict a SH for objectionable conduct or anything - but you must establish a paper trail if things ever go so far that you need to take the SH to court. Without solid evidence and a paper trail, courts wouldn't even want to hear your case.

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Habitat Article Archives - Observer Sep 19, 2007


Check out this article:

Booted Out

DESCRIPTION Objectionable conduct leads to eviction
TOPIC Evictions

AUTHOR Geoffrey Mazel
MAGAZINE ISSUE February 2005 - Number 209
ARTICLE TYPE Feature
PAGE # 16-19

ABSTRACT An examination of the decision that allows cooperatives to terminate the tenancy of shareholders based on their objectionable conduct, with guidelines that every co-op must follow when terminating a proprietary lease.

ARTICLE TEXT It has been nearly two years since the New York State Court of Appeals decided the matter of 40 West 67th Street Corp. v. Pullman. Board members and professionals are still trying to determine its effects and whether it is as profound as first thought. What are the effects on cooperative boards and management today?

In Pullman, the cooperative board of directors brought an action against a shareholder seeking to eject the shareholder and recover possession based upon his “objectionable” conduct. In 1998, David Pullman bought a cooperative unit at 40 West 67th Street. Immediately after moving in, he engaged in a course of conduct that was viewed by the board and many shareholders as disruptive and intolerable.

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Pullman decision - Board treas Oct 21, 2007


Erick,

I'm no lawyer, so check with yours about what I say. First, read the Habitat article referred to here (you don't have to check with your lawyer for that), and check the NYT archives about co-op evictions. Look for the Pullman decision in 2003, or start with this link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/27/realestate/27home.html?fta=y

An eviction is possible. It takes a majority vote of shares (not individuals) to do so, although your Proprietary Lease may require a super-majority, so check with your lawyer. The vote typically must come at a special shareholders' meeting called for this purpose.

Naturally, you want a paper trail first, as other posters suggest. If you go the route of eviction, as a practical move you will want to have counted votes before calling the meeting lest the vote fail -- and the guy starts behaving worse as retaliation.

Bottom line, don't feel hopeless, and don't let this stuff go unnoticed. And call your lawyer!

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