Written by Tom Soter on March 14, 2013
Can condo and co-op boards and managers be too cost-conscious? This inquiry came to mind when Habitat received an e-mail from board member Regina Warren, who was questioning a financial arrangement her building had with an attorney. Was it an expense the board needed to incur? Specifically, were the fees paid to tax certiorari lawyers who annually challenge a building's tax assessment a necessary expense? And were they fair?
Written by Frank Lovece on March 08, 2013
In a major shift welcomed by co-ops and condos battered by superstorm Sandy, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will now allow residential cooperatives and condominium associations to use disaster-relief funds to repair buildings' physical plants. Previously, condo and co-op boards were ineligible for grants but could obtain low-interest repair loans from the Small Business Administration.
Written by Frank Lovece on February 01, 2013
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the first to announce this afternoon that Governor Andrew Cuomo had signed into law the co-op / condo tax-abatement legislation and J-51 updating that the State Senate passed Monday following House passage last week.
Written by Steven Hochberg on March 05, 2013
I served for 25 years as the president of my co-op board (and hope to serve on the board again, perhaps). We are a 20-story, 339-unit cooperative building located in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, with a diverse cross-section of people. In my quarter-decade of service I learned many things, but one of the most important was to be flexible. What do I mean by that? Rules are important. Generally speaking, they must be enforced. But wise condo and co-op boards can and should know when to make exceptions. Over the years as president, I learned when to do that.
Written by Stephane Dupont on February 22, 2013
As someone who actively litigates collections and lien foreclosures on behalf of community associations, I can offer some lessons that may be of benefit to condominium boards, which historically have a hard time colleting from homeowners in arrears on their monthly charges.
Written by Ronda Kaysen on January 24, 2013
For a building with more than one elevator, urge residents to stagger their commute schedule so the only operating elevator isn't overloaded at 8 A.M. Residents should also avoid renovations or work like carpet cleaning during the upgrade. Some boards go so far as to restrict renovations entirely during an elevator repair project.
Written by Ronda Kaysen on February 21, 2013
Every co-op and condo board dreads telling homeowners that elevator replacement or repair is upcoming. In buildings with just one elevator the weeks or even months of hard climbing and inconvenience is especially difficult, but it's hard even for co-ops and condos with multiple elevators, what with all the noise, clutter, workers and longer wait times. Earlier articles in this series have looked at how condo and co-op boards can help ease the burden, and how residents themselves can help. Our final suggestion: Smart scheduling of elevator use, spreading peak-time loads around. How is that even possible? Like this.
Written by Tom Soter on February 05, 2013
The co-op admissions process seems like it should be a straightforward affair: The seller gives the admission package to the buyer, the buyer completes it, management vets it, and the board reviews it and then says "yea" or "nay." Yet even the simplest procedure can become complicated where co-op boards are concerned. (Condo admissions are another story, since condo boards have little power to reject new buyers, short of buying the unit for the association.) That's why boards may want to follow a schedule.
Written by Tom Soter on February 14, 2013
Once a buyer's package has been greenlighted by the manager's transfer department, it is delivered to the co-op admissions committee and, absent that, the board itself. (In self-managed buildings, it is up to the seller to manage all the logistics, including hiring a lawyer as transfer agent.) A copy of each package is distributed to every board member, with confidential information, such as the social security number, redacted. Some distribute this data electronically. The admissions committee should spend a week to ten days before giving their recommendation to the co-op board.
Written by Frank Lovece on January 22, 2013
For E. Cooke Rand, a co-op board member at a 48-year-old white-brick building on East 84th Street, his board's initial decision to install a gym "was made conditionally, to explore the idea — what would be entailed, what all the equipment would be. We had a subcommittee of the board, three people, who did the bulk of the work and kept reporting to us — doing all this exploration to see what it could cost and whether the space was suitable. The process wasn't getting together one night, making a decision, and turning it over. We consulted through the managing agent and directly with knowledgeable architects."
Co-op and condo board business broken down into bite-sized bits - 2 stories each week. Read now on all digital devices.