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Who is allowed to live in the super's apartment?Aug 01, 2007


I know the super and his immediate family (spouse and children) are allowed to live in his apartment paid for by us shareholders. But is anyone else allowed to live in his apartment, parents, siblings, cousins, etc? Does the super need to ask the board for permission to do this?

I don't have proof yet but our super might be allowing his brother to live with him.

Don't know what to do now.

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Re: Who is allowed to live in the super's apartment? - GK Aug 02, 2007


Is the brother's presence causing problems? Does it impact the lives of residents?

Is the brother the only person living with the super? If no one else is living there, I would think that the "roommate law" would at least be applicable here. In other words, he has the right to have one person live with him regardless of whether or not that person is related to him.


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roomate law not applicable when ther e is no lease - sally Aug 05, 2007


it is not a coop, it is not a rental lease. ther eis no lease . the roomate law is unapplicable. furthermore, the understanding is tha tteh super andhis actual fmaily are the only resdints of the apt. you cant allow it - to protect the iduciary interests of the coop, you just cannot allow. it. many legal and insurance reasons etc etc.

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Re: roomate law not applicable when ther e is no lease - GK Aug 05, 2007


"the roomate law is unapplicable."

What are you basing that on? The law refers to "a lease _or rental agreement_" and a precedent has also been set for the law's application to co-ops. The law appears to be quite generous/broad here. I do think that the roommate law would apply.

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no it does not - - sally Aug 06, 2007


it is a FREE apartment. supplied to the Super only - not his sisters and brothers. If he is fired or breaches his employment agreement then he can be kicked out with 30 days notice. along wiht his immedaite family. the roomate law applies in lease situations only. Please get yout facts 100% straight before posting. The brother should not be allowed to styain the apt over 30 days and the coop board has a fiducuairy obligation to remove him.

roomate law does nto apply to superintendent apartment - can you imagine the can of worms that would open up?

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Supts. Apartment - Mike Mac Aug 09, 2007


Sally, You should get your facts 100%, the apartment the building supply's to the superintendent is not free, it is a requirement and is part of his/hers salary.

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no it does not - - sally Aug 06, 2007


it is a FREE apartment. supplied to the Super only - not his sisters and brothers. If he is fired or breaches his employment agreement then he can be kicked out with 30 days notice. along wiht his immedaite family. the roomate law applies in lease situations only. Please get yout facts 100% straight before posting. The brother should not be allowed to styain the apt over 30 days and the coop board has a fiducuairy obligation to remove him.

roomate law does nto apply to superintendent apartment - can you imagine the can of worms that would open up?

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to Sally - Batch Aug 07, 2007


So... if a super's father died and his 80-year-old mother came to live with him, you'd kick him out?

Or is it the able-bodied (as far as YOU know) brother who's the problem?

What about a sister with cerebral palsy?

Where do you draw the line? You pay the guy to do a job; if he does the job, what do you care who lives with him?

And if he doesn't do the job, why are you still paying him?

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Re: to Sally - GK Aug 07, 2007


I agree with Batch here. Using the brother angle to get rid of the super strikes me as rather tortuous.

If you don't like the super because you feel he's not performing well, then document his shortcomings, notify him of this and give him a chance to improve the situation; if he doesn't, fire him for poor performance.

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The super - V Aug 08, 2007


He was frightened fairly recently. He was afraid at one point of losing his job but certain board members keep giving him whatever he wants at our expense or turn the other cheek when he is doing something wrong. He is not the only problem at the co-op. I am sure the managing agent cares even less about what the super does.

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Re: The super - GK Aug 08, 2007


The situation at your co-op reminds me a bit of the one at our co-op in the sense that things are too vague. I'm a big proponent of contracts, of documentation, of clarity.

Our super currently runs to whatever supply place and gets whatever he needs or wants and we pay for it. It seems like a no-brainer to me not to allow that to happen. It all adds up and I know we're losing money that we shouldn't be losing--not because I think he's deliberately taking advantage of us but because it's simply too easy to spend money that isn't yours. I pushed to put an end to this and was told that his feelings would be hurt. But to me it just seems like good business sense to impose limits and protocols. The way it is now, it's like telling your office manager to order whatever supplies he or she wants, and not paying any attention to what is actually coming in the door and how much money is going out. On the one hand I completely understand the reluctance to alienate the super. But on the other hand: what universe is the super living in where no limits are ever imposed and there's no oversight?

Our super also has no formal job description. Does yours? Does anyone's? That's another thing I pushed for: clarity and boundaries would be as helpful for him as for us.

It seems to me that if your super had a formal job description, and more limits were imposed--not (and this is important) as a sort of punishment for him but so that everything is clear and above-board--you wouldn't be in such a difficult bind. What if you set about developing a formal job description with regular reviews and also formalized/put limits on his spending?

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Re: The super - George W Aug 08, 2007


Then give him a fat raise.After you are done mico managing him

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The Super (to GK) - V Aug 09, 2007


Thanks for your imput. You hit the nail on the head.

The managing agent (whom we did not choose) defines the duties of the super. When I asked the agent what those were, he could not give me a straight answer. Also I feel he isn't concerned about any complaints about the super from the shareholders. He thinks whatever the super does is fine. Which is bad. Very bad.

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the super (to Sally, V and others) - FN Aug 09, 2007


Its is time to stop blameing the super. The responsibility lies with The Board and the management company/agent. Why, 1. Because you did not make it clear to the super when hireing who could reside in the apartment.

2. You do not have some form of job description for you super and you blame the agent. You are paying a fee to a management company to manage and this is not happening. Change them.

FN.


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Re: The Super (to GK) - GK Aug 10, 2007


Fire the managing agent.

The managing agent works for you. He is accountable to you. The super also works for you, ultimately. You have a lot of say – in fact you should determine – what his job description is, what his responsibilities are. You can ask your managing agent for input (i.e., what sorts of duties, in the managing agent's opinion, is it reasonable to expect from a super), but the definition of the super's role needs to begin with the board, in my opinion. Also ask the super for his input. Have him write his own job description. Then pool the results and hash it out. It will need to be negotiated.

You say that you didn't choose the managing agent. Are you on the board? The board has a right to hire a new managing agent (although much will depend on what sort of contract you have with your management company); indeed you must do so if you feel that the building as a whole is not being well served by the current MA.

Don't be passive; don't let yourself get jerked around. These folks work for you. Be firm. But the brother angle is not the right route to take imho. Take a direct, no-nonsense, matter-of-fact approach.

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to GK - Batch Aug 11, 2007


Hear! Hear!

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The Super (to GK) - V Aug 11, 2007


We are a new building. Our managing agent was selected by our sponsor; we had no say. We held a vote to fire the managing agent last year: it was voted no. I want to revisit this issue this year and get the managing agent out as soon as possible. The super and the porter tipped off our managing agent last year when another managing agent came for a meeting with the board. Our managing agent pleaded for another chance to change but I don't see any change. Most people on the board like the current managing agent despite numerous complaints from shareholders.

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Re: The Super (to GK) - GK Aug 11, 2007


Tough situation.

"Most people on the board like the current managing agent despite numerous complaints from shareholders."

Why?

***

Keep good records and document any instances demonstrating that the MA is not acting in the best interests of the shareholders.

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FIRE the Managing agent- sponsor MA's always stink - sally Aug 12, 2007


you got a messy coop bud.

double check all the billing adn especially the heating oil bills. you will find flaws form management. fire him for incompetence. we did this with alexander wolf and now are a bit better.

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MA agents - AliceT Aug 13, 2007


Although MA's are trying to put the breakes on Email, Email has changed the way Agents Manange a building. They no longer have free-reign. The EmailTrail is bad-news for
Bad manangers. Good, honest manangers, have noting to hide.

Our MA has been caught in so many outright lies, incompentence, no follow up --that they are trying to stop Emails.. Claiming too many Emails. A few incomps (and easy to manipulate) on our board are actually falling for their (MA) line. But that train has already left the station.

BOTTOM LINE: Who did you hire... AliceT

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Email (to Alice T) - V Aug 14, 2007


Yes, our board is complaining about too many emails as well. Definitely a sign of mismanagement when they complain. I say keep the emails coming.

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Emails/Board/MA - AliceT Aug 14, 2007


Very few shareholders send Emails unless its important. One of our board members (who is good friends with the MA) wanted all the emails to go through him, and he would let the rest of the board in on the "important" ones.

This lead to the Pres and MA tossing a request from a SH for an item to be put on the agenda for the SH meeting, and therefore when the SH brought it up at the SH meeting, he was silenced BECAUSE, his issue had not been presented to the Board, and was NOT on the agenda.

If you have a problem send a note to MA and CC or drop notes to the rest of the Board. I can assure you that this is the ONLY way you are going to get a lazy or incompetent MA to act... As for the Board, they can no longer say that they did not know, or claim to be innocent.

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bottom line - sally Aug 07, 2007


niether of this are the situation. ther eis no ill 80 year old mother. it is a freeloading brother and the super is trying to hide it and not being honest with his employers. - this is about the fiduciary interests of the coop. bottom line.

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To Sally (Bottom Line) - Batch Aug 08, 2007


Which fiduciary interests are those?

Please be more specific, since I can't figure out exactly what your objection is to a freeloading brother who isn't bothering anyone in the building, doing anything illegal (that we know about), or breaking House Rules (that we know of).

Bottom line to ME seems to be that your board is unhappy with the super's performance, and this is "icing on the cake." So instead of being honest about your dissatisfaction with his work, perhaps telling him face-to-face, you're using the fact that his brother is living there as an excuse.

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Who lives in supers apt (to V) - FN Aug 02, 2007


Usually you discuss this issue when you are interviewing potential candidates for a supers position. I guess the questions here is, how big a deal is it? Is his brother causing trouble and effection the quality of life for shareholders and guests? Is he a good super or are you looking for an excuse to fire him? Personally I would not care who lived with my super (male/female) once it did not have a negative effect on my building.

FN

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The Super - V Aug 03, 2007


Some shareholders in the building are not pleased by the added expense caused by the brother and some think the super isn't very good either.

I was just wondering what can be done, if anything? We are struggling financially and we are being treated by the super as if we have Donald Trump's money, which we don't.

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The super (to V) - FN Aug 03, 2007


V, if you find out how much money Mr. Trump has let me know. (I work for him)

FN

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Trump (to FN) - V Aug 04, 2007


Congrats! Not all of us are that fortunate!

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Kin - Steve Aug 02, 2007


I'd have a hard time kicking out the super's brother. They're family, after all, and just because the super doesn't have a wife (or she doesn't live with him) doesn't mean the super can't have a family member live there.

And as a previous poster said, the roommate rules allow one person regardless of propinquity.

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Super's family - V Aug 03, 2007


The super has a significant other and a child. So that's four people living in a two-bedroom.

The brother had lived there for over a year. No he doesn't cause trouble. I think because he's not supposed to be there, he keeps a very low profile.

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Tough situation - Steve Aug 03, 2007


That's a situation more nuanced than I'm familiar with.

Before asking someone to move out, definitely check with your attorney. As you probably know, landlord-tenant laws in NYC heavily favor the tenants, so you may be stuck.

Also, of the super is a union super, be sure to check the contract. I have no idea if living arrangements are covered, but you don't want to run afoul of the union.

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Tough situation (to Steve) - V Aug 04, 2007


I am afraid you are right since he has lived in the building for a year and the super is not in any union, so we don't have that to worry about. I guess we on the board can do nothing.
Thanks.

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The super's family - V Aug 05, 2007


But if he brings more family members then we have a case. So far there are four people living there.

I guess since it would be hard to evict someone after they have lived there for a year. Our next option would be to fire the super and get them all out! He is not union.

He isn't the greatest super. This action does put him on thin ice with some of the residents. It was a risky more to say the least.

The brother does keep a low profile, much to his credit.

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super's family - batch Aug 04, 2007


Is this a tremendous issue for your co-op? That the super's brother is getting free food and a lumpy couch?

If he's a moocher, the wife will have him out of there sooner than the board can.

If he truly needs the family's support, and they're happy to help him, why do you care?

Is your co-op so parsimonious they'd begrudge the extra pennies in water and electrical use, rather than keep their super happy and stress-free on the family front?

Or are you just looking for an excuse to get rid of him?

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Supers apt (to Batch) - FN Aug 04, 2007


Batch free food? I think the Coop is not giving the supers brother free food. I guess if he is not buying his own food, his brother is covering the cost.

FN

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to FN - Batch Aug 05, 2007


Free food and a lumpy couch from his brother.

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supers apt (to batch) - FN Aug 05, 2007


Yes, but the Coop is not paying for the food so it is irrelevant? It is not a liability on the Coop.

FN

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to FN again - Batch Aug 06, 2007


That was exactly my point.

Why should the co-op care if the brother lives with the super? It's no skin off their nose.

As the saying goes.

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supers apt (to Batch) - FN Aug 06, 2007


I am glad at least two of us are on the same page on this one. They sound like a very unhappy bunch.

FN.

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The super's family - V Aug 05, 2007


Not to mention free a/c and water to shower with.

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Re: The super's family - GK Aug 05, 2007


"free A/C"

But surely the A/C would be on anyway, no? regardless of whether or not the brother was there?

Our super runs his A/C all day, every single day, regardless of the season and regardless of how many people happen to be in his apartment.

:-\

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The super's family (to GK) - V Aug 07, 2007


I consider a/c use during the winter months "ABUSIVE". With perks like that I should become a resident manager.

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Re: The super's family (to GK) - GK Aug 07, 2007


"I consider a/c use during the winter months 'ABUSIVE'."

I consider it unnecessary and environmentally irresponsible. But I'm no longer in much of a position to do or say anything about it. The current board president seems to tolerate a low level of "abuse," to use your word: he seems to be engaging in some improprieties himself (or at least there are some red flags, such as no-bid contracts and proxy tampering, that point to something like that). And the three other board members are somewhat weak.

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you gotta kick him out asap - sally Aug 05, 2007


super and immediate family onl.y. otherwise you open a can of worms. put your foot down - in writing to the Super - that, just to clarify who may reside (without stating you know or suspect the brother is there) that any other resdient other than immediate family (spouse & kids) is not allowed and allowance of such "visitors" for over 30 days is a breach of employment contract and grounds for termination.

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you gotta kick him out asap - sally Aug 05, 2007


super and immediate family onl.y. otherwise you open a can of worms. put your foot down - in writing to the Super - that, just to clarify who may reside (without stating you know or suspect the brother is there) that any other resdient other than immediate family (spouse & kids) is not allowed and allowance of such "visitors" for over 30 days is a breach of employment contract and grounds for termination.

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Re: you gotta kick him out asap - GK Aug 05, 2007


Note: there is some ambiguity in the law as to what constitutes "immediate family." In some cases that definition can include siblings.

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supers apt (to Sally) Batch - FN Aug 07, 2007


Sally where do you get the nerve " you gotta kick him out asap" do you know what your rights are here? Why not have him humanely put to sleep. Will that help you.

FN

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Re: supers apt (to Sally) Batch - Mike Mac Aug 08, 2007


Everybody should just a take a step or two back and talk to the Superintendent and see what the oterside of the story is. Terminating him is just alittle steep. Let him/her explain.

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What is immediate family? - BP Aug 10, 2007


As GK said, there's some ambiguity in the law as to what constitutes "immediate family". The Prop Lease defines it but only with respect to SHs.

V - A friend of mine on a Queens coop board went to court over a super's sister who lived with him (16 months after she moved in.) The court said the super had a wife/two kids living with him and the sister wasn't "immediate family" and had to leave. The super's attorney appealed on the basis that the coop knew about her for 16 months and had no issues with her. The super's lawyer also questioned the court on whether the sister WOULD be considerd "immediate family" if the super was single and had no wife/kids. The ruling was overturned and the sister was allowed to stay.

Coops should have a written agreement with supers to spell out job responsibilities, benefits, etc. and all terms of employment - including who can live with him. It will save a lot of time, trouble, aggravation and money down the road if you outline everything clearly up front and in writing.

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