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.
Aug. 7 - After slogging through years of a quiet real estate market, many co-op coffers are once again being replenished by the flip tax, a dollar figure that is attached to the sale of an apartment and is unique to each corporation. But what if your co-op has one that seems out of sync with today’s apartment values? That is the case at one 139-unit building on Manhattan’s East Side, and they wonder if their flip could be updated with a simple board vote. Listen as Eric Goidel, partner at Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Nahins & Goidel, and Joel Miller, partner at Miller & Miller LLP, opine on flip fairness, flip legality, and flip do-overs.
July 24, 2013 - Suddenly the fire engines pull up in front of your building. Smoke permeates the hallways. The firemen are pulling their equipment in through the lobby, and now they are breaking down the door to Apt. 5. Water is gushing out of the hoses, and the fire has been doused. But so has Apt. 5, along with the destruction of its front door. With one emergency behind you, another event emerges: the co-op’s insurance deductible is half the cost of repair. How can the co-op recover the shortfall? Listen as Matthew Leeds, partner at Ganfer and Shore and Adam Leitman Bailey, owner of the eponymous firm, advise Ron Sinclair, property manager at a New Rochelle co-op, on how to proceed.
July 10, 2013 — You got elected to your co-op board as a reformer. Your platform was transparency for all, and no self-dealing for the board. Trouble is, the board wants you to sign a statement saying that you will not disclose confidential information to the shareholders. What should you do? Listen as Art Weinstein, principal of his own firm, and Steve Troup, partner at Tarter, Krinsky and Drogan, advise this budding whistle-blower on what’s right, what’s legal, and what’s at stake.
June 26, 2013 — So you’ve fallen in love with an apartment. It’s just the right size, it has nice light, the kitchen is in good shape, and when you look out the bedroom window you see the tops of some trees. You’re ready to put in an offer. Stop. Remember, you’re buying more than an apartment – you’re investing in a corporation. You need to see if it’s in good shape. To do that, you’ll want to read the minutes. Today’s episode of Legal Talk explores who can read the minutes and who can’t, with C. Jaye Berger, principal of the Law Offices of C. Jaye Berger, and Eric Frizzel, partner in the law firm of Buckalew Frizzell & Crevina, offering guidance.
June 12, 2013 — What follows is a question about washing machines in apartments. Well, not washing machines per se, but house rules that regulate whether an owner can have a washing machine in his or her apartment. And to complicate matters, the house rule has been in effect at this Queens co-op for years but never enforced – until now, that is. Today’s episode of Legal Talk, with Norman Himmelfarb, partner in Himmelfarb & Sher, and Marc Landis, chair of the Real Estate and Co-op Condo practice at Phillips Nizer, hangs the house rule question out to dry.
In 1997, a federal jury found that the board of the Beekman Hill House co-op had illegally discriminated against an interracial couple. The couple was awarded $640,000 in damages. Of this, board president Nick Biondi was personally liable for $125,000 in punitive damages. Every few years, that case, and others like it, sends fear throughout the community. Today’s episode of Legal Talk – with Dean Roberts, partner in Norris McLaughlin & Marcus and Stewart Wurtzel, partner in Tane, Waterman & Wurtzel – explores how board members can protect themselves from this kind of financial disaster.
May 15, 2013 – It can be found almost everywhere, and most of it won’t harm you. But when it’s found in an apartment, it means water has leaked into the building or is coming from somewhere inside. Who is responsible for the clean-up? On today's episode of Legal Talk, attorneys Marc Schneider, partner in Schneider Mitola, and Richard Klein, a solo practitioner in Manhattan, discuss the many issues that mold causes.
May 1, 2013 — If you sit on your condo board and think you aren’t required to take minutes of board meetings - you could be right. But right doesn’t equal smart, and there are many reasons why this isn’t a good practice. On today’s episode of Legal Talk, attorneys Steven Sladkus, partner at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, and Pierre Debbas, partner at Romer Debbas, explain what’s right - and smart.
April 17, 2013 — Anyone who claims Second Amendment rights will allow them to store guns or ammunition in their co-op or condo apartment has got it all wrong. Further, a co-op could turn down a potential buyer because he or she owns a gun. On this episode of Legal Talk, attorneys Peter Zlotnick, partner at Kagan Lubic Lepper Finkelstein & Gold, and Stuart Saft, partner at Holland & Knight, explain just what a board can, and can’t, do about guns in their buildings.
April 3, 2013 — If you live in a New York apartment, there’s a good chance you have been bothered by one of two things — noise or smell. Either one of these two can wreak havoc on your life. Out in Westchester, a board and its property manager have been dealing with this issue at their 350-unit building. And for them, it’s even more complicated because the noise is caused by a young child with serious developmental problems. On today’s episode of Legal Talk, attorneys Ken Jacobs of Smith, Buss & Jacobs,and John LaGumina of The LaGumina Law Firm join Habitat Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Carol J. Ott to help the board figure out what steps it should take.
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?