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Shareholders and RoommatesDec 08, 2007


We have a small 14 unit building and the worst house rule and quality of life issues seem to be caused by boyfriends and girlfriends moving in with shareholders of records. Problems range from noise, improper garbage disposal, smoke emigrating between apts and into halls, slamming doors. Does anyone require "live-ins" to be registered with the Board/Management and if so what sort of ID info is needed--socail security, place of employment? At what point is someone considered needed to be identified and made known to the Board. I understand there is a thin line between a right to privacy for shareholders and their personal lives but at what point does it become the right of the Co-op to know who has keys to the building and who they are. Some of these live-ins are receiving public assistance (food stamps and welfare, holding onto rent controlled apartments (all found out through super)while diminishing the quality of life and possibly jeopordizing our security. Any advice out there?

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Roomies - Shareholder Dec 08, 2007


The answer depends on whose roommates they are.

If they're the roommates of shareholders, it's fairly easy because the shareholder is generally responsible for the conduct of his/her guests while on co-op property. So no matter who in Apt. 7-B is playing loud music/leaving trash out/loitering, the shareholder takes the blame. You can admonish or fine the shareholder for his/her guests' misbehavior.

If they're the roommates of the sponsor, it's much more difficult. Even assuming you have a cooperative sponsor, people in rent-regulated apartments are in a protected class. Talk to your sponsor's contact person and explain the situation. Suggest a letter from the sponsor (i.e. from the renter's landlord) that explains that there have been complaints about such & such behavior by a guest of the renter. The letter would explain that the renter is responsible for guests' behavior. Conclude by pointing out that the next time there's a verified complaint, the renter will be fined $XX. Then follow through.

You can draft this letter for the sponsor.

If the sponsor isn't cooperative, ask your lawyer. Also, talk to the lieutenant in charge of your precinct's community policing program. The police can work as a non-threatening deterrent. Ask them to send an officer over one day to explain security to all residents. That way you'll meet the the local police, and you'll be able to get them on your side. They can't solve everything, but their presence alone may cut back on some bad behavior.

Good luck.

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Shareholders and Roomates Clarified - NB Dec 08, 2007


I guess I wasn't clear enough- we are a co-op with NO sponsors, all owners. The reaseon I mentioned rent control at all was to just example the dishonesty that one "roommate" of a shareholder engages in - holding onto a rent controlled apartment elsewhere while living with a shareholder here.What right does our co-op have to know who is living with our shareholders in this building in terms of security/identification. SOme of these live-ins seem less than desirable types who would not pass co-op Board review but are in nevertheless.

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Read your PL - AdC Dec 08, 2007


Although there is such a thing as a Roommate law, the NYS Rent Laws as well as the PL states that after 30 days lessees or shareholders must inform the landlord or the co-oop about residents overstaying the 30 day period.

Your apartment may enact a "meet-and-greet" meeting with two board members or admissions committee members to go over the rules and meet the individual.

If the lessee or shareholder moves out the builidng, then the occupant may need to move out; otherwise, you may have a sublet that may be in violation or not with the co-op's policy.

AdC

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get real - s Dec 09, 2007


doors slamming? smoke? you have got to be kidding. if you dont like people and their everyday noises and smells - the move to a remote place. thses seem like very small problems. do you have anuy idea what a problem tenants is relaly like? and, yes, the roommate law fortunately superseeds any coop laws or rules (thank you god)...

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