New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine July/August 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

THE SOUTH STAR

The condo board at The South Star, a 147-unit high-rise in downtown Manhattan, thought they had solved their short-term rental problem when they sent out a letter carefully detailing the consequences of nightly or weekly listings. And for the majority of unit-owners, that was enough.

However, there's always one person who thinks the rules don't apply. So what do you do when a unit-owner adamantly refuses to comply with the bylaws? Throw the book at them. Metaphorically, of course.

The practice of turning apartments into hotel rooms or bed-and-breakfasts has become so common that it has attracted the attention of legislators, the State's bar association and the State attorney general. Co-op and condo board members, as well as apartment-owners concerned about non-vetted, non-background-checked strangers roaming halls and stairwells, should know what's going on, in order to keep the pressure on elected representatives.

Patrick Kennell, president of the board of directors at The South Star condominium, offers advice on how to handle illegal bed-and-breakfast setups in your building. Kennell and the board spent two years litigating a case against Sophie Grishanova, a unit-owner who refused to stop renting her apartment to short-term guests.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. As the year ends, some things don't change. To wit: Two Financial District condo boards and Pace University have filed a lawsuit to keep a city Probation Department center out of the neighborhood; co-op shareholders at Dunham House on the Upper East Side are fighting a retailer who threatens to block their views; and a condo board in Flushing, Queens, is getting sued for its treatment of a Buddhist church. Man, who hates Buddhists? Plus, one of the New York Giants is renting out his condo apartment during Super Bowl week since, let's face it, the Giants have no reason to stick around.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, are the primarily Polish residents of The South Star condominium prejudiced against the Russian lady, or do they just not like her illegal hoteling? Plus, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Hauppauge) talks HUD money for superstorm-Sandy repair grants, the CityRealty website revamps and Chelsea Clinton buys a condo, in neither Chelsea nor Clinton. And for condo and co-op boards, we've got noise-and-nuisance fights on the Lower East Side and in Tribeca.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, a Long Island co-op struggle to finance common-area repair, not covered by FEMA, after superstorm Sandy; a condo super in Greenpoint risks blowing the place up; and rich folk got dem pied-à-terre blues. For co-op and condo boards, we've two tales of illegal hoteling — both with hilarious, albeit nefarious, behavior by the apartment owners. Plus, the latest amenity: onsite well-being programs.

Ask the Experts

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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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