New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021



Paycheck Protection Loan Application Sparks Confusion

Written by Bill Morris on February 18, 2021

New York City

Some co-op boards are wary of possible fines and prison sentences.


You’re a pianist and a piano teacher. The co-op you’ve been living in for the past four years has a house rule that allows you to play – and teach – the piano until 10 p.m. Suddenly the board changes the cutoff time to 9 p.m. – and, for good measure, forbids shareholders from conducting business, including piano lessons, in their apartments after 5 p.m. Do you have to obey this new house rule?

Unfortunately, you do. When you buy into a co-op, you agree to abide by the proprietary lease and the house rules, and most boards have the power to amend house rules. All shareholders are bound by new rules, even if they’re more restrictive, real estate lawyer David L. Berkey tells The New York TimesAsk Real Estate column. So even though it affects your livelihood, you have to obey the new rules.

It gets worse. Commercial noise – including the sweet music of a novice piano student – is regulated by the noise code 24 hours a day. A neighbor could call 311 at any time and file a noise complaint. If an inspector issues a violation, the fine for  first offense from a commercial establishment is usually a staggering $3,200. 
Berkey suggests that you try to work out an agreement with the co-op board and the neighbor. You might consider soundproofing your apartment. It’s cheaper than breaking the house rules.

Co-op and Condo Boards Must Not Succumb to Pandemic Fatigue

Written by William D. McCracken on February 16, 2021

New York City

As weary residents push back against rules, boards need to hold the line.

Mandating staff vaccination is permitted, but boards’ powers may be limited.

Free session is designed to help co-op boards apply for forgivable loans.

How to Deliver Bad News in a Way That Builds Trust

Written by Mary Federico on February 03, 2021

New York City

Co-op and condo boards can turn a liability into an opportunity.

What Happens in the Boardroom Should Stay in the Boardroom

Written by Andrew P. Brucker on January 29, 2021

New York City

Breach of confidentiality leads to bad blood and soaring legal bills.

Tenant Protection Act, coupled with COVID-19, has changed apartment buying.

Latest relief bill makes co-ops eligible for forgivable loans for the first time

Co-ops that accept only all-cash buyers could be in financial trouble.

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