New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, an Upper East Side co-op owner with pot-smoking friends wishes the board would just chill out, dude. Plus, a dearth of condos makes it harder to buy the one you want, the mighty Thor Equites vanquishes a condo board, and no-FEMA apartments.

I'm co-op board president of a a 33-unit building directly behind One57, the tower being built at 157 West 57th Street, by the developer Extell and the construction company Lend Lease. On Monday, October 29, the day of superstorm Sandy, I was working at home, so lost in what I was doing I didn't hear anything until my wife came in with a horrified expression and said, "Carl, the crane on top of that Extell building just broke."

I went downstairs and asked a policeman on the corner, "Will we be evacuated?"

He said: "Oh, you're already evacuated. Police are clearing your building right now. Don't even bother to go home." That seemed kind of strange to me, considering I just came from there. 

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, politicians continue to promise tax abatement. Still haven't passed it yet, though. Plus, an upscale Brooklyn condo forbids smoking in apartments, gardening space is the newest amenity and fans make pilgrimage to The Odd Couple's co-op apartment building in the wake of Jack Klugman's death. Your co-op apartment building should be so revered, bubala.

Now it was time to talk to the dame's mouthpiece. Adam Leitman Bailey had made a name for himself writing books about real estate, like Finding the Uncommon Deal (2011). He had a pretty swell set-up, down on Broadway near the courthouses. He was the kind of guy that judges called, "Your honor."

We represent a condominium on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. One of its units was unoccupied, with no common charges paid for more than a year and a mortgage that was for more than its market value. 

The first mortgagee — the lender — has a first lien on the unit ahead of the condominium (unlike with co-ops, and something the condo community should strongly lobby to repeal). So, if we were to foreclose the condominium lien for the outstanding common charges, the result would be that after protracted and expensive legal proceedings the lender would receive all of the foreclosure proceeds. That would leave no reimbursement for the condominium of either its arrears or its legal fees.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week's riddle: In a no-dog building is a pet pig livestock? Plus, the federal Interstate Land Sales Full-Disclosure Act (ILSA) takes a homeowner-protection hit, we tell you where can you buy a co-op apartment for just $250 to $1,800, and The Rushmore condominium swears it meant to be finished by 2009 and that 2008 promise? Just a typo! And for co-op and condo boards, we have news about collecting monthly charges in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

Insurance Headaches Arise When Proprietary Lease Is Worded Certain Way

Written by Melanie Keenan, Secretary, 215 West 105th Street on December 20, 2012

215 W. 105th Street, Upper West Side, Manhattan

The downturn in the economy could be leading to a rise in legal disputes between co-op and condo owners — even over the payment of relatively low insurance deductibles caused by leaks, fire, shabby construction and other kinds of damages to a neighbor's apartment — especially when neither tenant is directly negligible or in violation of the house rules.

I'm close to this story, because it happened to me. I've lived in my co-op for some time, and have dutifully served on the board.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, a New York City co-op board that refuses to recognize Hanukkah? That'd be mashugana if it weren't so disturbing. Plus, another high-rise hooker, recovering from superstorm Sandy, a co-op flood wall in Yonkers and city inspectors have become unglued in Co-op City. And for co-op and condo boards that want good lobby art but can't afford it, two boards have creative solutions.

In February 2011, the Carlton Regency, a 210-unit co-op in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan, signed a fixed-rate, one-year contract with Hess Corporation for electricity. It didn't have to negotiate with Hess, nor did it have to shop the market to get this rate. What it did have to do, however, is join a bulk-buying group and pay $.002 per kilowatt hour for the privilege.

A Manhattan lingerie model on Wednesday sued her condominium over what she claims is mold from a nearly two-year-old water leak that neither the condo board nor the management company has satisfactorily addressed, and that has forced her to move out of her luxury apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood.

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