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Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

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Sponsor RenovationOct 22, 2021

Hi. We have a few apartments in my building that are still owned by the sponsor/holder of unsold shares prior to the conversion to a coop. He states that he is not required to have a licensed contractor to do his renovations.

Some back story. He is selling apartments now when the tenants move out, and opening walls, knocking down partial walls, redoing tiling, replacing kitchen cabinets, installing dishwashers, sanding and refinishing floors, replacing moldings, etc. Large amounts of debris are being removed.

It is a very old building, and the other shareholders are required to have licensed contractors for such renovations. The sponsor states that it is not construction and does not require a licensed contractor.

The board has had multiple conversations with our managment company to clarify that the renovations are being done properly (according to NYC law, and we asked that proof of license/insurance/workman’s comp and applicable permits be obtained. The sponsor is still oy complying and becomes very verbally abusive and threatening when questioned. We are trying to ensure the safety of our building and tenants.

He is now threatening me because I asked the managment company to make sure the applicable paperwork is in order before work is done.
According to NYC.gov a licensed contractor is required for such work. The sponsor is insisting it is not.

Can someone help clarify the situation?

Thanks

Join the Conversation Comments (1)
Sponsor and Work - Mark Levine, RAM (mblevine@ebmg.com) Oct 27, 2021

It's my opinion, without knowing the ins-and-outs of your building and your rules, etc. that even if a sponsor doesn't "require board approval" for alterations, they should still be abiding by the House Rules as it pertains to work hours, utilizing insured and properly licensed contractors and obtaining any required permits from the city as may be needed.

With that being said, if you are not seeing this happen and illegal construction is taking place due to any of these factors, the due diligence that the incoming purchaser should do may point some of this out - especially if improper modifications to the apartment were made.

The Board could always go after the new Shareholder to obtain the correct permits and documentation from DOB, etc., where needed and since the issues run with the shares, and not the shareholder, they could require the new shareholders to file and modify the records / work to ensure full compliance.

Long story short, even if they don't need permission, they still need to follow all of the rules.

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> Join the conversation Comments (2)
bad sponsors - JoMamma Oct 29, 2021

Agree with Mr. Levine. Sponsorship has nothing to do with construction requirements. If shower bodies and light switches are moving, the fact that it is a sponsor apartment does not make illegal plumbing and wiring magically safe.

Call DOB / 311 and register a building complaint. They'll send someone over. Not sure how to STOP the work, though you could suggest that if the work doesn't have permits etc. then it may have to be redone. Last thing he needs is a finished apartment that is determined to be inhabitable. Have to be forceful with this type of person, push as hard as he is pushing.

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Sponsor -Renovations - HOLLY Dec 02, 2021

The Sponsor is absolutely required to have licensed and insured contractors and any sub-contractors must be licensed and insured. A sponsor just cannot do as he wishes he needs to abide by NYC housing codes. Email and Call the Housing department and provide the sponsor with a copy of the email. What action is the Board and the Management taking on this matter? Is the Sponsor the management company too? How many seats on the board does the Sponsor have? Where is the Board President and that is who should be objecting to this illegal work.

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