New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine July/August 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

CENTRAL HARLEM

Here was our situation: The developer of Strivers Gardens, our 170-unit condominium at 300 West 135th Street, wrote the bylaws and gave himself an overwhelming voting majority. By law, that majority is supposed to have diminished over the years, but for various reasons, including our own ignorance, it never did. He had about 27 percent voting majority. We don't have one unit per vote — each of the non-developer other units has less than 0.5 percent, so it takes about 64 of our votes to equal his 27 percent, which has rendered it impossible for us to elect our own condo board members. That is, until we learned of a way to solve our problem.

A BUYER ASKS: Our co-op board documented hundreds of instances of a shareholder and his family doing unspeakable things in the hallways and elevators. Urinating? Hah! As if that were the only way they were relieving themselves in public! Security cameras showed them selling drugs, having sex in the stairwells, you name it. We sent notices and finally had the shareholder appear at a meeting to determine whether to evict him under a Pullman action. He really had no defense for his family's behavior, and so the board voted unanimously to terminate the lease. But they won't leave! What happens now?

Updated March 13, 2014 — Psst. C'mere. I got a deal for ya. You buy these commercial condo spaces that I'm sellin' as the condominium sponsor and I'll tell ya what: You don't gotta listen to the board. You buy these units, you got veto power over any board decision that affects you. That means you can tell 'em not to raise yer common charges. And it's all perfectly legal. Just sign here on the dotted line. Or I guess these lines aren't dotted anymore. OK — sign here on the plain straight line….

Updated March 13, 2014 — Psst. C'mere. I got a deal for ya. You buy these commercial condo spaces that I'm sellin' as the condominium sponsor and I'll tell ya what: You don't gotta listen to the board. You buy these units, you got veto power over any board decision that affects you. That means you can tell 'em not to raise yer common charges. And it's all perfectly legal. Just sign here on the dotted line. Or I guess these lines aren't dotted anymore. OK — sign here on the plain straight line….

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, condo-owners at the landmarked American Tract Society Building a.k.a. 150 Nassau Street, swill be welcoming a Denny's restaurant, after all. Well, maybe "welcoming" is too strong a word. In Brighton Beach, the ultra-green condo at 67 Brighton 1st Lane may or may not still be called Bright N' Green, but it's back in the news. Upcoming Late Night host Seth Meyers buys in Greenwich Village. And condo owners at The Lennox say its construction was bollocksed. Plus: Tips on spotting a friendly / liberal co-op board.

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