Written by Bill Morris on March 22, 2012
"Noise complaints are the bane of our existence," says Maryann Caputo, president of Tribor Management, which manages some three dozen co-ops and condos, mostly in Queens. "I'd rather have any problem other than a noise complaint."
They may be intractable, but noise complaints between neighbors are not insoluble — provided condo and co-op boards understand the nature of the quagmire they're getting into. And how to get out of it.
Written by Christopher Eri on February 24, 2012
1. Standardize your collection process
One of the easiest problems to avoid in collecting payments is the issue of selective enforcement. Condo and co-op boards sometimes give greater deference to owners they like or for whom they feel sympathy, and eagerly pursue owners they see as troublemakers.
Unfortunately, this approach creates two problems. First, it sets up a legal defense that the co-op / condo rules are not being applied uniformly. Second, it promotes the idea that if you have a good enough excuse and stay out of trouble, the board will let you slide on paying.
Written by Joseph W. West on March 16, 2012
Condo and co-op boards are taking a variety of steps to address budgetary shortfalls. A survey by the Community Associations Institute finds that about half nationwide have increased common charges or monthly maintenance, and reduced contributions to reserve accounts. Many have deferred maintenance of common areas and postponed capital-improvement projects. And about a quarter or less have reduced professional costs or management fees, borrowed from their reserves or levied special assessments.
Given all that, here are some pro-active steps every co-op / condo board should consider.
Written by Tom Soter on March 15, 2012
In the bizarre world of the Department of Buildings bureaucracy, a phantom stop-work order can continue to exist even after it has been resolved. And woe to the co-op or condo board member who tries to get it removed.
Written by Patrick Niland on January 19, 2012
A reader asks: For about a year, our co-op board has discussed refinancing our underlying mortgage. We almost did it about nine months ago when rates were pretty low, but one member of the board convinced everyone that rates would fall further. Our current loan comes due in about six months, and we need money for façade work in the spring, but this same board member still wants us to wait for lower rates. Do you think that rates will fall even more?
Written by Steven M. Thomas on March 02, 2012
Depending upon the composition of a co-op or condominium's roof and its type of supporting deck type, there can be multiple reasons why a bad roof in need of repair does not leak. While there are numerous potential reasons, the most common are:
Written by Bobby Sher, President, Bell Park Manor Terrace, Queens. One in an occasional series of real-life stories by board members about serving on co-op and condo boards. on March 01, 2012
I took the criticisms to heart — and not just because I was president. I have lived in this cooperative for much of my life: After World War II, my father settled here in what was then known as the United Veterans Mutual Housing Company, run by New York State; it went private in 1990. Although I moved out when I was 17, I returned to live here some years later. After a successful career running a music / entertainment business, owning a video-production company and serving as a board member elsewhere, at the Floral Park co-op North Shore Towers, I think I know how to work with people and get things done.
Written by Lindsay S. Smith on January 06, 2012
Bullying is huge in the headlines lately. Lady Gaga is starting a foundation to fight the problem, the government's involved with StopBullying.gov and there are hundreds of recent news articles on the subject. Bullying is pervasive and infects every area of life. But what can co-op / condo residents and board members do about it?
Written by Robert D. Tierman on December 27, 2011
You must first and foremost consider the shareholder's precise circumstances and thus the true motivation for making that proposal. If he has a loan secured by the apartment, he also probably cannot afford to pay that, and already might have attempted and failed to secure that lender's approval for a short sale. If that is the case, then in all likelihood the apartment cannot be sold under current market conditions for even close to the amount of the loan, let alone for any additional amount that the shareholder might want the co-op to pay.
Written by Robert D. Tierman on December 22, 2011
On one level, the stock that you own in your co-op is no different from the stock that you might or could own in Google or Apple. Your co-op is a corporation probably governed under New York State Business Corporation Law (BCL), the very same law that governs most New York business corporations.
Also, the co-op stock that you own is, in some sense, publicly traded. The brokers in either case would broadcast the availability and terms of sale of such stock to the public at large (although they do so, of course, by very different means, with real estate brokers using property-listing sites and stock brokers using stock exchanges and the over-the-counter market).
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