New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

HABITAT

TRIBECA

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, condo-board president Joan Rivers scores a court victory over a deadbeat resident, and residents around One57 no longer have to keep relocating because of that freaking construction crane. New York City's getting greener with new electronic-waste recycling bins for your garbage room. Plus: news on tiny apartments, colossal condos and, for boards, the latest on Airbnb hoteling and what's new in combined heat and power (CHP) generators.

At a 26-unit co-op in Tribeca that he manages, Timothy C. Grogan, president of Grogan & Associates, reviews the construction contract when a buyer does a board-approved apartment alteration, makes sure the security deposit is paid, and checks that all insurance and Department of Buildings filings are in order and that periodic inspections by the building's engineer or architect are performed on time. For this, he's paid a $450 fee by the shareholder whose apartment was under renovation. Should he be?

Two common problems that co-op boards and condominium associations should be aware of in residents' apartment renovations are that the jobs don't get done on time and the contractor fails to comply with the hours and days his crew is allowed to work. What can you do about it? At a 26-unit co-op in Tribeca, the board addressed these issues by requiring the contractor to read the alteration agreement and sign off on it before work begins.

It's a New York tale told more and more frequently as the economy and the real estate market continue to rebound. A buyer in a 26-unit co-op in Tribeca decided to make extensive renovations on his new home before moving in. The co-op's board of directors gave the green light, and work began.

A year later, it was still going on. And with it, the disruption. The dust. The contractors. The noise. Cut to: two years later. The work was still going on. The contractors. The dust. The noise.

The patience of shareholders was wearing thin, so the board checked the shareholder's alteration agreement to find out when the work was supposed to be completed.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, if you look into the windows of people's homes, you're a peeping Tom ... unless you take photographs and put them up for sale. Then it's legal to spy on people because, hey, it's art! So ruled Judge Eileen Rakower after Tribeca  parents sued a voyeuristic creep — the New York Post's word — who shot pictures of their kids and sold them for up to $10,000 each (without paying or even getting a release form from the unwary models.) Homeowners beware.

We've also a lawsuit between condo-owners over what they say is their building's overpriced gym, a reminder that clothes make the doorman, and did you know that New York City apartments aren't considered "luxury" until they cost $3 million? Plus, for condo and co-ops boards, tips on noisy neighbors and meeting minutes.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, winds of change sweep New York City as Hurricane Sandy strands seniors and clobbers cars. Plus, advise on filing your insurance claims, a heads-up on changes to real estate advertising, and do you want to buy Celeste Holm's home? For condo and co-op boards, the lawsuit against The Dakota's board takes a turn, secret-identity sales increase and we give some options to help counter illegal renting.

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

How would you like to make sales dry up in your building? Or guarantee you'll lose every challenge to your authority as a board? What if you couldn't charge assessments, collect flip taxes or go after people who were in arrears? Nutty, right? Well, not so nutty if you're one of those condo or co-op boards that don't keep minutes.

Ed Fields, who has lived in Tribeca since Halloween 1982, has seen his neighborhood change – but still regards it as a “a small town” located within the vast city. He notes that change can be good, and points to the condominium he has lived in for the past 20 years as an example.

The building, at 55 White Street, was constructed in 1861, and features a striking cast-iron facade, with large picture windows, Corinthian columns, and intricate designs in the brickwork. It was one of many beautiful buildings that resulted in the neighborhood being designated the Tribeca East Landmark District in 1988.

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.

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