Written by Lewis Montana on November 15, 2012
A 70-unit, eight-building condominium complex faced the issue of a board member's personal involvement in its decision-making process. The backdrop was cigarette smoke flowing from one unit into other units — including one owned by a condo-board member. You can probably see where this going.
Written by John J. LaGumina on November 13, 2012
A co-op board client had an issue regarding radiator leaks. Under the proprietary lease, the cooperative was responsible for maintaining and repairing all pipes and other utility conduits located inside the walls. Additionally, I noted that most cooperatives also take responsibility for the repair or replacement of any radiators located inside apartments since they are usually considered to be standard building equipment. Accordingly, I advised the co-op board that it has the responsibility to maintain and repair the radiator.
However, I pointed out that this responsibility does not automatically make the cooperative responsible for paying for repairs to apartment interiors and furnishings that may be damaged by a leaky radiator valve.
Written by Tom Soter and Bill Morris on September 20, 2012
Sept. 20, 2012 — Time to do the minutes. See? Bet you didn't know there were board-secretary jokes! What else do co-op / condo board members and residents not know about the position of board secretary? For one thing, he or she is responsible for a lot more than just the minutes. How much more? Hours' worth!
In the third and last part of this "Board 101" series that distills the cogent facts from legal and management experts, Tom Soter and Bill Morris explain the basics every board member and even co-op and condominium resident ought to know about their board secretary's responsibilities.
Written by Jennifer V. Hughes on March 08, 2012
It seemed routine. A prospective buyer wanted to know what sort of building he was considering buying into, and what better place to find that out than in the co-op board minutes? Consequently, he sent in an attorney to read them. At another building, he sent a paralegal; somewhere else, a broker.
It was a cloak-and-dagger operation that within the last eight months saw board minutes copied without authorization by a company purportedly representing a buyer. It call came to light when a major New York City property-management firm discovered this buyer's representative, without authorization, feeding full sets of minutes into a portable scanner.
Why? One theory is that it could have been to create a library of minutes from a group of buildings. That way a company could advertise itself to prospective buyers as being the only one with the "inside scoop."
Written by Matt Humphrey on December 31, 1969
May 14, 2010 — A shareholder or a unit-owner has requested a copy of your co-op / condo board's meeting minutes prior to the minutes' formal approval. Do co-op / condo owners have a right to these unapproved minutes?
The answer isn't as cut-and-dried as you may think, cautions Matt Humphrey, president of HOAleader.com, an organization devoted to what its tagline calls "practical advice for condominium and homeowners associations" and co-op boards. The question brings together several difficult issues, including who's entitled to see minutes when and what should — and definitely shouldn't — be in meeting minutes.
Written by Amelia J. Adair on November 09, 2012
Many articles talk about how to handle the tough stuff that may come up during co-op or condo board meetings. But sometimes it's the easy stuff that can trip you up. Here's a handy list of "rookie mistakes" — oversights that new or inexperienced condo / co-op board presidents or committee meeting chairs often make. Keep this with you and you’ll be more confident and professional while you preside over your first meetings.
Written by Eric M. Goidel on November 13, 2012
A large cooperative development with multiple buildings and a no-pet policy found itself with many shareholders who had acquired pets. Given the size of the development and the fact that it contained a significant number of rent-stabilized tenants who were entitled to harbor pets, the board and management had difficulty in determining, even when a resident was observed walking a pet, whether the pet was permitted.
Written by Geoffrey Mazel on November 06, 2012
We represented a co-op board for which illegal sublets were becoming an increasing problem. The proprietary lease for this cooperative corporation stated that all sublets must be made only with board approval. The cooperative was fairly large, and some shareholders were subletting without board approval and without even notifying the board. The board decided it was time to take some action.
Written by Joel E. Miller on November 08, 2012
Every once in a while, an apartment owner reports that he or she has heard that, because his or her apartment is in a building that is located within a registered historic district, the owners of apartments there have an opportunity to obtain a really big income-tax deduction without any appreciable cost. The thing to do, they say they were told, is to "donate" a "façade easement." What they want to know, of course, is whether it works. And, oh, yes, they also want to know just what is involved in making such a "donation."
Written by James W. Glatthaar on November 08, 2012
A board member wished to borrow a portion of the reserve fund for a personal business transaction. He agreed to (a) pay seven percent interest on the money, (b) repay the money within 30 days of a demand by the board, (c) execute an assignment of rental income from a rental property he owned, (d) execute a confession of judgment for the full amount of the loan, and (e) repay the loan in full and any accrued interest within 90 days. The board member’s transaction closed and the money was repaid to the association. Everything went off without a hitch — and then the firestorm ensued.
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