New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, New York City cracks down on people illegally turning their apartments into hotel rooms. On the other hand, state legislators want to soften ILSA, the federal Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act that helps protect condominium buyers from bad developers — allegedly like the one the condo board at On Prospect Park is suing. Plus: What's an ongoing assessment, and how did the co-op board shut up that rooster? And Cynthia Nixon may no longer be your co-op neighbor, but David Duchovny might be your new one. The truth is out there — or it will be at the admissions interview.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, an Afghan War vet says his Shih Tzu helps his PTSD; co-op wonders otherwise; a condo board loses over phantom cigarette smoke; and while one co-op hopes a new commercial tenant finally takes, another backs down on tacky chains. Plus, Chloë Sevigny has no big love for her co-op anymore. And for condo / co-op boards, we've the latest on green roofs and on e-mailing notices.

Lawyer and author Adam Leitman Bailey, the principal at his eponymous firm, believes that buildings should have physicals — especially newly constructed condominiums. Otherwise, people buying into such a building and those new condo boards running it may not know how healthy or unhealthy the condo is. He has handled hundreds of such cases.

"A balanced budget" is the key phrase all condo and co-op boards must embrace when putting their fiscal house in order. "You should always have a balanced budget," notes David Goodman, director of management at Tudor Realty, "and if that means setting up extra storage lockers, charging for bike storage, or increasing maintenance, you have to do it."

As a native Californian, Scott Miller says recycling is in his blood. So, it made his blood boil whenever he would see plastic laundry detergent jugs tossed into the trash bins in the laundry room at his Lower East Side co-op.

"The recycling area was just around the corner, but without signage and without an opportunity to make it easy to recycle in that area, it was all just going into a landfill," says Miller, who lives at the 1,728-unit Seward Park Cooperative.

It was one of the things that led him to volunteer last summer to take part in the Apartment Building Recycling Initiative, a two-hour program offered monthly by the city's Department of Sanitation (DSNY). There he learned about quick and often free fixes that can increase the amount of recycling and ensure that the proper things are going into recycling bins.

... how door staff can help or hinder your co-op / condo sale, a new condo with amenities aimed at Orthodox Jews, and Seward Park becomes "Sewer Park," according to a lawsuit. For condo and co-op boards, we've news on rising water bills and advice on co-op subtenants and condo arrears.

... a new condo-hotel might go up in Brooklyn Bridge Park. And are you living next to the guy who wrote Ocean's Twelve and The Bourne Ultimatum?

... tips on how to buy your child a co-op or condo. Say, George and Ira Gershwin's old place is for sale!

... co-op maintenance fees and condo common charges may soon spike, a co-op to avoid in the hot Harlem market and, of particular interest for board, the latest in kid-friendly amenities and what are multi-condominiums and can their funds be mingled?

... they're buying Brooklyn, some co-ops dig dogs, a building thinks a name will bring cachet, and 2 East 67th Street says, "Name? Who needs a name when our co-ops sell for $30 million?!"

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