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Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, even paying all-cash and additionally transferring a year's maintenance and $30,000 extra into an escrow wasn't enough for a Murray Hill co-op board being sued after allegedly leading a buyer on. Oh, and they also wanted his British documents translated to, um, English. And you wonder why a new sitcom makes fun of co-op boards. Plus, The Sheffield gets a work by renowned sculptor David Hostetler, and OSHA cites poor construction in a Brighton Beach condo collapse.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. More on price floors keeping people locked in their apartments, and billionaire buyers at one midtown condo may reap 421-A tax abatements meant for lower-income housing. There's one degree of Kevin Bacon at an Upper West Side co-op trying to tone down a big honking new penthouse next door. And for co-op boards, a candidate for the New York State Assembly wants to revive the issue of board oversight and accountability.

It seemed a simple thing for the co-op board: Cancel shares and foreclose on a shareholder long in arrears. But in a case taking on new attention, now that a 2001 court decision was published for the first time yesterday by the New York State Law Reporting Bureau, this textbook case reminds us that even when just walking to the newsstand, make sure your shoelaces are tied.

In June 2010, the board of the Upper East Side condominium The Leonori pulled the trigger to make the switch from oil heat to natural gas. Your condo association or co-op board may be contemplating the same thing, what with New York City phasing out the two dirtiest heating oils, Nos. 4 and 6. So what can you expect when the workers come in to do the actual, physical switch? Here's what.

With natural gas prices falling and the city phasing out two of the dirtiest heating oils, Nos. 4 and 6, buildings are rushing to switch to natural gas. But switching is not simple. It requires coordination among various city agencies, private contractors and Con Ed. With requests up by 400 percent within the last three years, according to Con Ed, the system is overloaded. In 2010, Con Ed received 400 requests to convert. In the first half of 2012, it has received 1,200.

Should your co-op or condo approve such a switch? What are the factors to consider? What are the potential benefits — and the potential pitfalls? The story of how the condo board of The Leonori made the changeover can help other condo / co-op boards looking for a roadmap of how to make the decision.

Theodore Xenakis bought shares of 50 Sutton Place South Owners Corp. and was the proprietary lessee of Apartment 6J. In August 1980, he purported to transfer the shares and assign the lease to Cia. Naviera Financiera Aries, a Panamanian corporation. Xenakis never told that co-op board he had transferred the shares and lease.

When I looked at my co-op's financial situation in 2005, we had less than $10,000 in reserves, negative equity and barely positive cash flow. My building needed a sustainable, long-term fiscal plan. And I had my prototype: the Marriott hotel chain. I had worked for Marriott in the late 1980s into the early 1990s. At that time, the chain set aside a percentage of its revenue each year for capital repairs and improvements. As a result, management is able to repair and improve the property so that it stays current. Our co-op was in desperate need of a Marriott-style makeover!

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, The Beresford, where Jerry Seinfeld lives, goes after a sidewalk hot dog vendor. Hey, don't let the fact that the city and the police both say he's legal — you just keep on fighting the good fight against nitrates! The FHA is relaxing condominium-certification rules, making it easier to get mortgages. And just in time: New York City condo prices are jumping. Meanwhile, for co-op / condo boards, there's a new resource for tree guards, and an old lesson for Law & Order fans: Don't mess with Lt. Van Buren!

Paul Vercesi moved into his 80-unit building near Gramercy Park way back in 1962. After the building converted to a co-op in the 1980s, he served a dozen years as the co-op board treasurer, then returned in 2000 as board president, a post he still holds today. His philosophy, in its simplest terms, is to get to know your fellow shareholders so that the board's decisions reflect the will of the majority of the building, not just the majority of the board.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, New York City cracks down on people illegally turning their apartments into hotel rooms. On the other hand, state legislators want to soften ILSA, the federal Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act that helps protect condominium buyers from bad developers — allegedly like the one the condo board at On Prospect Park is suing. Plus: What's an ongoing assessment, and how did the co-op board shut up that rooster? And Cynthia Nixon may no longer be your co-op neighbor, but David Duchovny might be your new one. The truth is out there — or it will be at the admissions interview.

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