Written by James J. Veneruso on November 05, 2013
Cooperative and condominium boards of directors should ensure that appropriate corporate governance policies are in place and periodically reviewed by your attorneys. In particular, this means looking into policies for conflicts of interest, code of ethical conduct, document retention/destruction policies and risk management in your accounting procedures. Co-ops should have written policies regarding admissions, and both co-op and condo boards should do so with those regarding renovations, parking, pets and subletting. Finally, you should periodically review bylaws and house rules.
By doing so, many legal problems can be avoided. Here are some additional tips:
Written by Frank Lovece on October 17, 2013
A five-year capital plan is an important tool co-op boards and condominium associations need in order to move their building forward in a cohesive, strategic way that optimizes the resources at hand. Trouble is, once you put something in writing, your shareholders and unit-owners don't always understand that real life sometimes gets in the way: The economy plunges, and banks won't give you the loan you need; you want to install a gym, but heavy snow and unseen longtime damage makes your garage roof cave in. You know how it goes. So with residents ready to pounce, should you share the plan with the shareholders/unit-owners?
October 15, 2013
Maybe you're dealing with the ever-present danger of roof and terrace leaks, which will eventually infect the rest of the building's structure. Maybe it's about putting the brakes on plans for a roof deck with a barbecue grill until an engineering report says its OK and all the winterizing, upkeep, staff involvement and house rules are addressed. Either way, roof and terrace issues can pile up all the way to the sky. Three veteran property managers give cando and co-op boards some of their own real-life experiences, and how a board undergoing the same would do well to learn from these examples.
Written by Bill Morris on October 22, 2013
At a 26-unit co-op in Tribeca that he manages, Timothy C. Grogan, president of Grogan & Associates, reviews the construction contract when a buyer does a board-approved apartment alteration, makes sure the security deposit is paid, and checks that all insurance and Department of Buildings filings are in order and that periodic inspections by the building's engineer or architect are performed on time. For this, he's paid a $450 fee by the shareholder whose apartment was under renovation. Should he be?
Written by Robert Braverman on October 31, 2013
A reader asks: How do you deal with a bylaw provision that doesn’t include "life partners"?
The facts in this particular instance are that a co-op shareholder wants to give some of her shares to her life partner. The proprietary lease limits the occupancy of apartments to certain listed family members — not including life partners. The bylaws of the corporation provide that transfer of shares must be for the entire amount of shares — no partial transfers. Does the bylaw provision violate the shareholder's right of alienation of her shares and is the bylaw provision enforceable?
Written by Dennis H. Greenstein on October 31, 2013
Virtually all cooperative and condominium buildings in New York City at some point will be required to perform façade work to repair damages, and when such time arises, they must enter into agreements with contractors and other professionals. Here are essential provisions that should be included in agreements with contractors and architects.
Written by Jennifer V. Hughes on October 29, 2013
The concept has been used in New York City since the 1980s, but shared savings agreements have only recently begun gaining traction with co-op boards and condominium associations as a way to finance green projects. It involves finance companies, energy consultants or contractor / vendors financing your green project with the promise they'll be repaid annually, with interest, through the subsequent energy savings. So when and why would such an arrangement be appropriate for your own building?
Written by Jennifer V. Hughes on October 08, 2013
You want to do a lighting retrofit in your garage or convert your boiler from oil to gas. Where do you get the money? If your building is the right size, you may want to try a shared-savings agreement.
"For us, it was a no-brainer," says Herbert Freedman, the managing agent of Riverbay Corporation, which runs the 15,000-unit Co-op City complex in The Bronx.
Written by John D. Richards on October 25, 2013
It's a familiar scene: Something happens between board members causing distrust, scrutiny and even rebellion. Yet condominium and co-op board members have an obligation to each other and to their communities to set aside differences and stay focused on community business. Here are some tips for boards to review to make sure your relationships stay intact and your community's interests paramount.
Written by Frank Lovece on October 08, 2013
Co-op and condominium boards have many reasons to lay out a five-year capital-improvement plan. Among other things, it helps you budget, it helps eliminate or lessen assessments, and it makes lenders look more favorably upon your building and its residents' apartments when it comes to refinancing. And for condo associations, Fannie Mae — a.k.a. the Federal National Mortgage Association — requires you have a capital plan or put aside 10 percent of the monthly common charges.
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.