Being on your co-op or condo board carries a lot of responsibility, liability, and, let's face it, headaches.
On Legal Talk, you'll meet New York's leading co-op and condo attorneys, who will offer advice and guidance for some of the peskiest problems facing boards today.
April 22, 2014 - In the beginning, the corporation that we know as a co-op or condo was created by a sponsor. And the sponsor said, let there be community life. He saw all that he made, he saw that it was very good, and he decided - well, he decided that maybe he would stick around. At least he did at Rhona Magilowitz’s co-op in Forest Hills, Queens. Listen as Eric Goidel, partner at Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Nahins & Goidel, and Lewis Montana, partner at Levine & Montana, offer some advice on how to work the situation. Music by Les Petits Chanteurs de Montigny, Creative Commons license.
April 8, 2014 - There is a group of shareholders out in Queens that is fed up with its board. In fact, it is trying to organize a coup. But because the shareholders are basically law-abiding citizens, they’re not taking to the hallways - they’re calling their co-op’s attorney. They want to find out what they should do to get elected at the upcoming annual meeting. Listen as Theresa Racht, partner at Racht & Taffae, and Dale Degenshein, special counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, give them some unexpected advice.
Racht & Taffae
March 25, 2014 - You’ve got a lot of decisions to make as a board director, and any one of them could be your downfall. Out in Queens, a condo board president is trying to figure out his next step. He’s juggling years of leaks, an engineering report calling for half a million dollars’ worth of work, a reserve fund that is almost empty, a small group of thirty unit-owners to foot the bill, and a whole lot of dissension. Listen as Ron Gold, partner at Kagan Lubic Lepper Finkelstein & Gold, and Michael Manzi, partner at Balber Pickard Maldonado & Van Der Tuin, offer advice.
March 11, 2014 — Talk about trust gone awry. There’s a large co-op on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that woke up to a huge problem. Seems their full-time super, under the instruction of their property management company, was working at several other properties — but on their dime and time! The board is furious and ready to ... well, ready to what? Listen as attorneys Steven Sladkus, a partner at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, and Stewart Wurtzel, partner at Tane Waterman & Wurtzel, offer strategic next steps. Music is Cheatin’ feat. Soulmack, by Tommy Tornado.
February 25, 2014 - How do you get your board to tackle the issue of smoking? Persistence, with a dose of shareholder muscle, that’s how. Phil Konigsburg, a long-time board director in Queens, faces this problem. He’s surveyed the residents, brought the matter up with his board colleagues, but so far - nada. Listen as attorneys Steven Wagner, principal at Porzio, Bromberg and Newman, and Steve Lasser, partner at Barton LLP, advise Phil on how to effectively organize shareholders and move the board to action.
Feb. 11, 2014 - Chances are that your neighborhood will change, and new buildings will rise. So what else is knew? Well, if it takes place next door to your co-op or condo, there’s stuff you need to do - and quick. Listen as two attorneys, C. Jaye Berger and Richard Klein, both solo practitioners in their eponymous New York law firms, advise a Brooklyn board president on steps to take when the adjacent parking lot is no longer for parking, but is awaiting construction.
Jan. 28, 2014 - The economic life in most co-op buildings ticks along in a pretty ho-hum manner. That is, until the board of directors wants to do something out of the ordinary. Such is the case in Tom Bettridge’s Brooklyn co-op, where the board wants to morph its current administrative fee into a real flip tax. But can it muster enough votes to do so? Listen as Bruce Cholst, a partner in Rosen Livingston and Cholst, and Arthur Weinstein, a solo practitioner in New York, offer advice on ways to overcome shareholder apathy and how to come to terms with that fundamental democratic issue of whose ox is being gored.
Sept. 18, 2013 - What do you do when a roommate is making others uncomfortable? That is what’s going on at 75 West 238th Street in the Bronx, and Kennita Anderson, the property manager from Robert E. Hill who oversees the co-op, is asking for advice. Listen as Robert Braverman, a partner in Braverman Greenspun, and Dale Degenshein, special counsel in the real estate department of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, help Ms. Anderson figure out who the real culprit is and how to deal with the problem.
Norma Bellino’s board at a 420-unit Manhattan co-op is dealing with a crafty serial subletter. It has fined the shareholder, but it seems his subletting business is too good to be thwarted by a monetary slap. What should the board do next? Phyllis Weisberg, a partner in Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, and Seth Sahr, a partner in Novitt, Sahr & Snow, team up to offer some strategies to undercut the subletter’s mini-business, ending it once and for all.
Aug. 20, 2013 - Condo amenities are great – there are gyms, pools, tennis courts, playrooms, and roof decks, and they all add to the value of apartments. But there’s a dark underbelly to all this glitz: when owners fall behind on monthly common charges, they stand to lose access to these goodies. That is the case at a Long Island condo, and the board is wondering if it can cut off the delinquents at the amenity pass. Listen as Theresa Racht, partner at Racht & Taffae, and Steve Wagner, principal at Porzio, Bromberg and Newman, untangle the problem for the managers.
Racht & Taffae
Thinking of buying a co-op or condo? Already bought, and not sure how co-op/condo life and rules work? Learn all about purchasing a place and living in your new community. It's not like renting, and its not like owning a house. What's it like?