New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine October 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

NEW YORK CITY

As the second storm of the week hit New York City and its environs, some managers say calcium chloride, or sidewalk salt, is in short supply. "We are running out," said Pamela DeLorme, president of Delkap Management, based in Howard Beach, Queens. "We bought a few thousand bags before the season began, but with the frequent storms, the substance is now in short supply." Delkap obtained about 2,000 bags of salt two weeks ago.

A co-op board I represent was confronted with the problem of bedbug infestation in several units in the building. A few individual apartments had become infested with bedbugs, but never notified the board, the managing agent or their neighbors. Because these unit-owners did not properly remedy the bedbug situation, it spread to other apartments.

An apartment in the 22-unit Manhattan co-op where I am board president recently reported the possible presence of bedbugs. Before the board members could schedule an inspection, the tenant-shareholder in the possibly infested apartment told us he was already taking action: At the same time that he notified the board, he also apparently had scheduled an exterminator to come in and deal with the bugs. No chemicals involved, either: He was going to put on the heat, literally. And faster than you can say, "Flame on" (or so it seemed to me), a big generator, with tubing coming into the second-floor windows, was sitting outside our building, with hot air being pumped into the apartment.

A recent appellate division decision held that the Business Judgment Rule does not protect individual condominium and cooperative board members from some personal tort liability. And New York's public policy of not permitting insurance coverage against the intentional acts of the insured should raise alarm, especially when combined with other recent actions such as the flood of frivolous claims of discrimination by rejected purchasers and the increase in shareholders and unit-owners demanding access to therapy pets for alleged depression.

Providing heat is one of the biggest expenses for your cooperative or condominium. In this second Teachable Moments column to look at condo and co-op boards' options for switching from fuel oil, three experienced property managers tell you much of what you need to think about when you're considering such a changeover. And some of it's not the conventional wisdom.

Local Law 84 of 2009 mandates that New York City buildings larger than 50,000 square feet must record and track their energy and water use, with the grades made public. This allow you to see how well your building is doing and how it compares with other buildings. But energy experts say there are still kinks to be worked out: The data is not always accurate and it's difficult to access.

No condominium or cooperative board wants to restrict its residents' ability to work with brokers they choose; indeed, some argue that this would be illegal restraint of trade. Yet some brokers are problematic, creating needless issues for boards to deal with, from selling apartments at cut-rate prices, lowering all residents' equity, to simply being a pest who bombards residents with unwanted e-mail. So what can a condo or co-op board do?

Defending your cooperative or condominium association in a lawsuit can be costly and time-consuming, and may hinder your board's ability to function effectively. Your condo or co-op board of directors is required to respond and defend the association in all lawsuits filed against it, regardless of the merits of the claims. Yet simply responding to a lawsuit and getting the court to dismiss it can cost the association thousands of dollars. For these reasons, all lawsuit should be taken seriously and avoided if possible. There a number of steps your board can take to reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit, or minimize the damage should a suit be filed.

Q. At my co-op, we have a shareholder who is wreaking havoc in the building, making nasty statements to staff and residents alike and loitering in the lobby. She is quite unkempt, and we suspected that her apartment was unclean and cluttered. Then we had to enter the apartment to repair a leak and discovered our worst fears were true. We don't believe that we can ever get her under control. Is there some way we can kick her out?

EXCLUSIVE: Saparn Realty Executive Charged with Grand Larceny

Written by Carol Ott, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief on January 24, 2014

New York City

Alan Gorelick, executive vice president of Saparn Realty, a property management firm located in Manhattan, was arrested and charged with grand larceny on Jan. 16, 2014. As previously reported by Habitatmag.com, sources said a large co-op was missing a significant portion of its reserve fund account. That co-op was managed by Saparn.

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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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