January 28, 2013
Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, FEMA extends the filing deadline for homeowners, including co-op shareholders and condo unit-owners, applying for grants, some nervous neighbors at a co-op jump to conclusions, and a condo-owner has an overhead problem in the form of a heavy cell-phone tower. Plus, for co-op and condo boards, the tax-abatement renewal bill has passed the New York State Senate. Now will it get through the Assembly?
Written by Frank Lovece on January 28, 2013
The New York State Assembly, in the wake of the Senate last week, has restored the expired tax abatement that was created with the intent of equalizing tax burdens between co-op / condo owners and standard homeowners. Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) and Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) announced today the passage of the legislation.
February 01, 2013
This year, resolve to cut your costs and properly fund your reserves. Oftentimes delinquent dues and bad debt will create cash-flow problems for your cooperative corporation or condominium association. Collections and liens can be costly and hard to retrieve as well, and as board members and property managers, you are expected to consistently look for ways to cut expenses. Here are a few areas in which condo and co-op boards can gain more control, resulting in cost savings.
Written by Stephen Varone & Peter Varsalona on January 31, 2013
New York City has four related laws designed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings larger than 50,000 square feet. Known collectively as the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, they cover benchmarking of energy usage, a new energy conservation code, energy audits and retro-commissioning, and lighting retrofits and submetering. We've previous discussed what a benchmarking audit entails. Now we look at the types of building improvements that are typically necessary for co-op boards and condo associations to make.
Written by Frank Lovece on January 31, 2013
An onsite gym has become standard in virtually all new developments, and many older buildings are retrofitting to include them. In two past articles we've looked at how real estate professionals value them, and at the standard steps co-op and condo boards take to make the decision and to make it a reality. Now we look at the final piece: security and insurance.
Written by Jordan Most on January 29, 2013
Space is the final frontier. And in New York, where every square foot is valuable, finding extra space that costs your co-op or condo little and earns income in the process is a worthy goal. An Upper East Side co-op, for instance, successfully added a second floor to an existing penthouse level. A Soho co-op added a penthouse level that turned the top-floor unit into a duplex. In both instances shareholders gained space and shares, and the co-ops now collect more in maintenance.
Written by Jennifer V. Hughes on January 10, 2013
Where there's work, there are accidents. And where there are accidents, there are lawsuits. In one case, a contractor had insurance to cover himself while working on buildings six stories and lower. The problem? The building he was working on was eight stories. Elsewhere, a contractor was doing façade work — a risky job that carries a high insurance premium — but told his insurer he was a low-risk and low-premium-paying carpenter. In yet another case, a contractor had insurance but the policy specifically excluded accidents that happened because of construction activity.
January 21, 2013
Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, we're still waiting for the New York State legislature to keep its commitment to renew the tax abatement that tries to equalize co-op / condo property taxes with those of single-family homes and townhouses. Plus, experts advise you on preparing your co-op admission package, on upping your credit score and on not rushing into a mortgage. For condo and co-op boards we've expert advise on the best and worst types of commercial tenants you can have in your building. And for Coen heads, we've word on Ethan's apartment
Written by Matthew J. Leeds on January 17, 2013
Over the past year, several co-op / condo board clients have joined an emerging trend of the many associations that are considering preemptive measures that would require across-the-board no smoking in the building, even inside homeowners' apartments. A total smoking ban requires examination of the building's governing documents, a search for the authority to act, and involvement of the shareholders to determine the extent of the ban.
Written by Adam Leitman Bailey, Leonard H. Ritz and Dov Treiman on January 15, 2013
In this second of two installments, leading real-estate attorneys answer more condo and co-op board members have been asking about what's expected of them and of shareholders / unit-owners in the terrible aftermath of superstorm Sandy.
Engage, enrage, ask questions and give answers with your community of board members. Submit your questions and comments here!
Co-op and condo board business broken down into bite-sized bits - 2 stories each week. Read now on all digital devices.
A free digital resource for co-op/condo board directors. Published twice a month. Read now on all digital devices.