New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Now it was time to talk to the dame's mouthpiece. Adam Leitman Bailey had made a name for himself writing books about real estate, like Finding the Uncommon Deal (2011). He had a pretty swell set-up, down on Broadway near the courthouses. He was the kind of guy that judges called, "Your honor."

We represent a condominium on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. One of its units was unoccupied, with no common charges paid for more than a year and a mortgage that was for more than its market value. 

The first mortgagee — the lender — has a first lien on the unit ahead of the condominium (unlike with co-ops, and something the condo community should strongly lobby to repeal). So, if we were to foreclose the condominium lien for the outstanding common charges, the result would be that after protracted and expensive legal proceedings the lender would receive all of the foreclosure proceeds. That would leave no reimbursement for the condominium of either its arrears or its legal fees.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week's riddle: In a no-dog building is a pet pig livestock? Plus, the federal Interstate Land Sales Full-Disclosure Act (ILSA) takes a homeowner-protection hit, we tell you where can you buy a co-op apartment for just $250 to $1,800, and The Rushmore condominium swears it meant to be finished by 2009 and that 2008 promise? Just a typo! And for co-op and condo boards, we have news about collecting monthly charges in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

Insurance Headaches Arise When Proprietary Lease Is Worded Certain Way

Written by Melanie Keenan, Secretary, 215 West 105th Street on December 20, 2012

215 W. 105th Street, Upper West Side, Manhattan

The downturn in the economy could be leading to a rise in legal disputes between co-op and condo owners — even over the payment of relatively low insurance deductibles caused by leaks, fire, shabby construction and other kinds of damages to a neighbor's apartment — especially when neither tenant is directly negligible or in violation of the house rules.

I'm close to this story, because it happened to me. I've lived in my co-op for some time, and have dutifully served on the board.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, a New York City co-op board that refuses to recognize Hanukkah? That'd be mashugana if it weren't so disturbing. Plus, another high-rise hooker, recovering from superstorm Sandy, a co-op flood wall in Yonkers and city inspectors have become unglued in Co-op City. And for co-op and condo boards that want good lobby art but can't afford it, two boards have creative solutions.

In February 2011, the Carlton Regency, a 210-unit co-op in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan, signed a fixed-rate, one-year contract with Hess Corporation for electricity. It didn't have to negotiate with Hess, nor did it have to shop the market to get this rate. What it did have to do, however, is join a bulk-buying group and pay $.002 per kilowatt hour for the privilege.

A Manhattan lingerie model on Wednesday sued her condominium over what she claims is mold from a nearly two-year-old water leak that neither the condo board nor the management company has satisfactorily addressed, and that has forced her to move out of her luxury apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood.


Household mold is the stuff of high-dollar lawsuits, contentious insurance claims and an upcoming appellate court ruling. But one co-op shareholder in Greenwich Village has come up with an effective solution to the problem of what to do when an apartment gets invaded by mold: Talk with her neighbor, and contact the insurance company before sic'ing lawyers after anyone.

As a board member, I think a call should go out to New York City co-op and condo boards for great ideas that buildings left without power came up with to help cope with their situation. Superstorm Sandy hammered home the point that every board ought to have an emergency preparedness plan. Your ideas will inform such plans and enable us all to be better prepared.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, we pick up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy, with timely advice from insurers, property mangers and others, along with a sneak peek at an e-mail exchange among some condo owners in Lower Manhattan. Plus, a former doorman tells how incredibly cheap the billionaires are at 740 Park Avenue, and a free-speech case goes to court.

Ask the Experts

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Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

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