New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine July/August 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

PARK SLOPE

The single biggest complaint among co-op and condo residents? Probably the neighbors' noise. And at one condominium in Park Slope, Brooklyn, that noisy neighbor is nothing less than a DJ who produces music — in a studio in his apartment. After months of fruitless negotiation between neighbors, the condo board told the DJ that a music-production studio violates zoning laws and to either soundproof the place or wear headphones while playing music. The DJ refused to do either — and, incredibly, the condo board backed down! What recourse do the DJ's neighbors have? The New York TimesRonda Kaysen examines options in her "Ask Real Estate" column. She also helps an East Williamsburg reader wanting to know about rent-to-own apartments, and discusses an East Village co-op board whose members are paid for their service.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, it's all about balance: When co-op maintenance or condo common charges are too high, the middle class leaves. Too low, and you may not be able buy a boiler. We've another analysis of the new tax-abatement law, eco-friendly floors in Brooklyn, superstorm Sandy debris in Staten Island, and a newly landmarked co-op in Queens. And for boards there's got The Dakota lawsuit — as told by Vanity Fair! Welcome to the big time!

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, Airbnb brings financial support to the case of Nigel Warren, fined $2,400 for illegal hoteling. Read the company's justification for why landlords, co-ops and condos should allows streams of strangers to turn residential buildings into hotels. The best part? Airbnb writes this on the company's "public policy" blog — never once mentioning that overturning New York's illegal-hoteling restrictions would give its business explosive growth. Yep, they're just looking out for the little guy, that's all.

Plus, is a co-op board backing bullies in Park Slope? Sure seems that way from the photographs of a Yuppie's obscene hand gestures toward an 88-year-old woman, her 53-year-old daughter and the grandkids at 808 8th Avenue in Brooklyn. Plus, Judge Judy sells her co-op, and the condominium board of a landmarked building sues to keep a Denny's restaurant out of it.

... tiptoeing on tipping, fulminating on flooring and trying out Tribeca. And see why a broker says not to pay brokers ... directly.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, schools rent space in a co-op and a condo, easing those buildings' upkeep costs, and a lawsuit at a Midtown East co-op says a family has turned a hallway into their personal playroom. Plus, advice on co-op admissions interviews, how to increase your apartment's value, and Nets star Deron Williams bounces into a new condo.

With interest rates at record lows, many apartment owners and shareholders are looking to refinance their loans. That means copious amounts of paperwork, along with e-mails, phone calls, and faxes. But what does it mean for the board?

Some buildings take the position that if the bank is willing to lend the money, the board is willing to sign off on it without looking at the financials. Considering the shaky state of banking in recent years, some professionals suggest that a prudent board should take steps to protect the property's financial health.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents.

This week, the Obama Administration looks to make refinancing easier — or, to hear homeowners tell it, possible.  Plus, learn how a board really feels — especially about the prime minister of Qatar. A majority of New Yorkers want no-smoking apartment buildings, says a Quinnipiac poll (or is that a Quinnipiac-a-day?)  Co-op boards say no to super-sizing. And you think you have issues with your super? You won't believe what one at a Westchester co-op is accused of. That's him in the orange outfit.

... a Brooklyn co-op ponders the cost of repairs now that its building has been landmarked and a buyer gets blindsided by a seller not honoring a deal — wait till you read why. And a real-estate attorney explains how co-op boards may just have saved New York City real estate.

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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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