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Habitat Magazine Insider Guide




Do NOT Call 311


The Right Way
Aug. 10, 2016

In our July-August issue, Jackeline Monzon, president of Crystal Real Estate Management, told a story about a co-op where a disgruntled shareholder called 311 to complain about the progress of repairs on a deteriorated wall. The co-op got hit with a violation, which wound up adding to the cost of an already expensive repair. Monzon’s advice: “Don’t call the city for relief, because it hurts not only the building but the shareholders as well.”

Now, a shareholder in a co-op in the NoHo Historic District has a related question for the Ask Real Estate column in the New York Times. This shareholder is concerned that the contractor who’s painting the building’s facade is not following the plans approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). What’s a shareholder to do?

Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, suggests photographing the questionable work and then either notifying the LPC directly or calling 311. The Department of Buildings can issue a violation, a fine, possibly a stop-work order.

Or the shareholder could do as Monzon advised – and contact the managing and the co-op board. The architect involved in the project should be able to determine whether the contractor is working with the appropriate paints and following the LPC-approved plan, says the architect Howard Zimmerman. And the co-op will avoid a costly – and pointless – fine from the DOB.

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