New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community
August 05, 2013
Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, long faces on Long Island, as a the FBI arrests two men they allege ran a Ponzi scheme at their Montauk resort containing over 100 co-op apartments. Another kind of white-collar criminal may be robbing you when you apply for a mortgage. And is it criminal to pay $80,000 for parking space at a car condominium? Plus, the co-op board of The Cambridge House sued the City to get Citi Bike racks in front of its building removed — and now the City says it's above the law and the courts have to stay out!
Written by Bill Morris on August 06, 2013
Promoting staff based on how popular someone is with the residents, rather than on strictly professional criteria and experience, is an invitation to problems — and there could be no greater example than the experience of one co-op board in Freeport, Long Island, when a staffer's popularity allowed him to buy two apartments and eventually win election to the five-member board, where he and two cronies gained control of the building.
Written by Frank Lovece on August 02, 2013
A bill introduced in Congress Wednesday by New York Rep. Steve Israel (D - 3rd District) would make housing cooperatives and condominium associations eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency grants.
Co-op shareholders and condo unit-owners themselves already are eligible for such funds, with many such homeowners after superstorm Sandy having received up to $31,900 each for emergency housing not covered by insurance. Homeowner associations, however, cannot apply for FEMA grants, which co-op and condo boards say are needed to repair common areas as well as such physical-plant necessities as boilers.
Written by Jennifer V. Hughes on July 11, 2013
New York City and State legislators have introduced bills that would institute timelines for when co-op boards have to reach an admissions decision, with one bill that would mandate boards either give a reason why they rejected a potential buyer or swear that the reasons for rejection were not based on discrimination.
Are these reasonable? For a real-world example, we can look to Suffolk County, Long Island, which in 2009 enacted a co-op admissions law with both time clocks and required reasons for rejection.
Written by Ronda Kaysen on July 09, 2013
Hoarding is a mental illness, and condo and co-op boards need to treat hoarders with the same care and understanding as they would anyone with a mental-health issue. But that doesn't mean you ignore the safety, hygiene and vermin problems that hoarders bring about. Here are some tips.
Written by Sheryl Nance-Nash on May 16, 2013
The Beachwalk Landing Condominium in Long Beach, on Long Island, was having its share of problems. The oceanfront property — two buildings nearly 30 years old with a total of 72 units — was suffering from wear and needed all sorts of work, ranging from replacing terrace doors and air-conditioning sleeves to repairing the balconies and terraces. While there was little argument that things needed to be done, paying the price tag of $3.75 million for all that capital work was an issue. Some residents simply couldn't afford it to pay their share of the needed assessment. Or could they?
Written by Frank Lovece on March 22, 2013
Many co-op and condo boards require its shareholders or unit-owners to carry homeowner insurance. It makes for a smoother-running building by, for instance, not having to have the building pay for repairs when an uninsured resident damages a common area, and then having sue the resident to recoup the outlay. Or if a contractor hired by an uninsured resident hurts himself due to the resident's negligence, leading the contractor to sue the building. So, yeah, lots of scenarios you could think of make it good to have your homeowners be insured. But enforcing that requirement? Good luck. Fortunately, there are ways to help you do that.
March 25, 2013
Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, they do love their cigarettes in Queens, a Long Islander may face eviction for burning the wrong kind of firewood and Petey the Pig's "parents" are trying to sell their co-op apartment and fine a more swine-friendly place. There's a Harlem co-op / condo expo April 6-7. And where the wild things aren't is in the late Maurice Sendak's co-op, now up for sale. Plus, for condo and condo and co-op boards, we've advice on mediation.
Written by Frank Lovece on March 12, 2013
True story: Shareholders at one Manhattan co-op voted down a referendum that would have required them to buy homeowner insurance. Then one day some water pipes burst, the building's insurance didn't cover all the damage, and the board had to issue an assessment to make up the difference. Shareholders who had homeowners insurance got reimbursed by their insurance companies for the assessment amount. Those without had to pay out of pocket. And the next time the board tried to require homeowner insurance — the shareholders voted it down again!
Guess you can't insure against shortsightedness. That notwithstanding, condo and co-op boards still may want to mandate that unit-owners and shareholders carry insurance, as many buildings already require. But how?
Written by Frank Lovece on March 08, 2013
In a major shift welcomed by co-ops and condos battered by superstorm Sandy, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will now allow residential cooperatives and condominium associations to use disaster-relief funds to repair buildings' physical plants. Previously, condo and co-op boards were ineligible for grants but could obtain low-interest repair loans from the Small Business Administration.
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