New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

CARROLL GARDENS

You can't fight City Hall, but you can laugh at its jokes. "We're telling landlords who are playing games, 'Hey the heat is on,'" says Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, referring to Heat Seek NYC — a pilot program that installs a digital thermometer in apartments and sends temperature readings to a central computer. Tenants and public advocates then can access that data to see if landlords aren't providing the legally required minimum of heat. The data can also let landlords knows if they're overheating apartments, wasting money and energy. Right now the program is confined to Brooklyn, with participants including the Carroll Gardens Association and Bedford-Stuyvesant's Bridge Street Development, reports Crain's New York Business.

Cooperatives fall under rental regulations regarding heat, so the device would be of benefit both in terms of shareholder comfort and board energy-management. It similarly would be of benefit to condominiums — although in one of those quirks of law, condo boards actually are not required to provide adequate heat. (See the second item here.)

The average price of an apartment in certain Brooklyn neighborhoods is now higher than that of Manhattan co-ops and condos, according to a StreetEasy study cited by Crain's New York Business. While the magazine notes the "obvious caveat" of comparing neighborhoods with an entire borough — where apartments in Inwood and other upper-Manhattan locales sell for far less than in such luxury area as Central Park South or Tribeca — at least two Brooklyn spots blow Manhattan's $890,000 median out of the water: DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Underpass), at $1.5 million, and the Columbia Street waterfront, running through Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, at $1.147 million. DUMBO, in fact, averaged less than just a half-dozen Manhattan nabes. On the bright side, Kensington is still very affordable.

Illegal hoteling is any building's bête noire. But, reports Ronda Kaysen in her her New York Times "Ask Real Estate" column, one Williamsburg, Brooklyn, condo board is doing what other beleaguered boards should and just slapping a fine on miscreant — who, if they want to play the "it's not an illegal rental, it's my friend / cousin" game can then damn well try to pull that crap with a judge in court. Perjury, anyone? Just make sure your bylaws allow you to levy that fine. And besides, when an apartment-owner rents to a short-term tenant in violation of New York State laws and most co-op / condo bylaws, that tenant can be hard for the owner to evict. The same column answers a Carroll Gardens condo-board question about short-term rentals. Who knew Brooklyn was such an epicenter of this?

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