New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Here are seven easy steps to facilitate a transfusion of new blood.

Denis Leary was with me when we had an authentic New York moment across from the Hayden Planetarium. I was doing a short segment with him that was part of an online campaign we did. We had a permit.

So I have this camera guy and Denis is dressed as [his movie character] Police Captain George Stacy. And I'm asking him questions and he's talking about how he needs help, how the public has to help him to find Spider-Man.

A guy comes out of the building: sneakers, shorts, all sweaty, athletically obnoxious Wall Street type. Very New York. He's saying to me, "Why are you filming in front of my building? I'm the chairman of the board of this building!" It was a co-op on the Upper West Side.

Inspectors will visit 1,100 buildings looking for safety violations.

Co-ops and Condos Get Ready for an Electric Future

Written by Bill Morris on March 03, 2021

New York City

New study says electrification will cut energy costs and create jobs.

It’s possible for a handful of residents to take over control of the board.

Unpaid property taxes are soaring during the pandemic.

The Climate Mobilization Act has triggered a good, old-fashioned alley fight.

Paycheck Protection Loan Application Sparks Confusion

Written by Bill Morris on February 18, 2021

New York City

Some co-op boards are wary of possible fines and prison sentences.


You’re a pianist and a piano teacher. The co-op you’ve been living in for the past four years has a house rule that allows you to play – and teach – the piano until 10 p.m. Suddenly the board changes the cutoff time to 9 p.m. – and, for good measure, forbids shareholders from conducting business, including piano lessons, in their apartments after 5 p.m. Do you have to obey this new house rule?

Unfortunately, you do. When you buy into a co-op, you agree to abide by the proprietary lease and the house rules, and most boards have the power to amend house rules. All shareholders are bound by new rules, even if they’re more restrictive, real estate lawyer David L. Berkey tells The New York TimesAsk Real Estate column. So even though it affects your livelihood, you have to obey the new rules.

It gets worse. Commercial noise – including the sweet music of a novice piano student – is regulated by the noise code 24 hours a day. A neighbor could call 311 at any time and file a noise complaint. If an inspector issues a violation, the fine for  first offense from a commercial establishment is usually a staggering $3,200. 
Berkey suggests that you try to work out an agreement with the co-op board and the neighbor. You might consider soundproofing your apartment. It’s cheaper than breaking the house rules.

Co-op and Condo Boards Must Not Succumb to Pandemic Fatigue

Written by William D. McCracken on February 16, 2021

New York City

As weary residents push back against rules, boards need to hold the line.

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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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