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windowless bathroomSep 23, 2007


prewar building. windowless bathroom with air vent shaft that runs up a few floors until it ends where the apt layouts change. used to be a big metal duct running to a window on the upper-most apt but they removed it (secretly) when renovation work was done a few years ago. we now have no actual air ventiation to the roof. the question is: how can we get the resident sof the apt that did the renovation to replace the vent that is supposed to be there. the coop board will turn a blind eye. should we get a bldgs inspector?

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Windowless bathroom - AdC Sep 24, 2007


A review of the building code is required to find out if the building is today in violation of the code. For bathrooms and kitchens without windows, an exhaust system with mechanical ventilation is usually in order.

The existence of a prior air exhaust system, i.e., metal duct ending up in a window opening, is probably a sign that a code existed then when the buidling went up in the 20s.

Therefore, prior alterations of the apartments show that there was no regard for the code and that the building is in violation.

Obviously, it's up to the board to address the issue with an engineering company and those residents who bought or live in apartments with reconfigured facilities without exhaust.

AdC

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thanks - no working vent/ renovation? - sally Sep 27, 2007


i believe the apt above removed the ducts inside the apt. how can e get them to replace them even if it was the owner before them? will draign be at teh buidings dept?

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Renovations & Alterations Package - AdC Sep 27, 2007


This is where board should know when to put its foot down in a major renovation, when to demand the review of an engineer, when to demand a building permit, etc. to ensure that there are no violations of any nature and all units comply with the "warranty of habitability".

In your specific case, the board as the representative of the corporation who owns the property and is considered by government as "the ultimate landlord" may have to deal with the best way to cure the problem caused by the lack of fiduciary duty of another board or owner.

Thus, as bitter and difficult the situation is, the current board needs to address the issue.

In a case like this, I will involve the attorney of the corporation from day #1 to ensure taht all parties understand the issues. I would also involve an engineer study other alternatives that you may not be able to know,i.e., building an outside shaft, etc.

Your duty is now to attend to the violation if there is any according to the engineer base on the existing building code as the interior of the building has been modified.

AdC

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calling 311 - sally Sep 27, 2007


very tricky with boRD. I am almost sure the work was done illegaly wihtout board approval. there was a staff member who may have been involved. anyhow i put up a tissue ot the vent and it is getting positive air flow which should nto be happening. am thinking of simply calling 311 and letteing the buildings dept take it from there.

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Are you a board member? - AdC Sep 27, 2007


If you are a board member or even a shareholder, then you should not turn your own building into the building department. You should discuss the issue with the board and take it as an opportunity to demonstrate your problem solving capabilities.

If you are only a shareholder, your position is to write a letter to the board state the facts and make them understand that it is for the good of the building and shareholders.

AdC

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you should see our board - sally Sep 27, 2007


they are genreally either in denial or illinformed by such parties as the MA. and, judging from previous experience, will not act on this effectively. especailly if it is not backed up from a more offical and knowing source like a city engineer. i believe it is a code violation. also it is problematic as the shareholders with the area of prior venitng will have to construct something in their apt to restore the previos ventiation. who pays for that?

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Calling 311 - JaneJane Sep 28, 2007


We had this problem in our building. Board members allowing illegal renovations:

Calling 311 will get thier attention, and unfortunately is often the only way to deal with boards who dont follow the rules. When you call you dont have to give your name, and you can track the action being taken on the Internet.

Make sure that you put everything in writing and save ALL Emails. Email EVERYONE, (other SH, MM, and board) everytime. The Email trail is a bad M.Agents and untrustworthy boards worst nightmare.

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