New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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UPPER EAST SIDE

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, police erroneously force a doorman to let a delinquent owner into her condo apartment — while almost simultaneously, a judge is ruling that she pay up first. Add the fact this occurred at the condominium where Joan Rivers is board president only goes to show that no matter who you are, board members (as another comedian put it) get no respect, I tell ya. Except here, of course, and for boards we've news of a lawsuit against an insurance agent who procured inadequate flood coverage, efforts to keep an alleged hoarder away and that graffiti on the side of your building? It may be worth six figures.

The concept has been used in New York City since the 1980s, but shared savings agreements have only recently begun gaining traction with co-op boards and condominium associations as a way to finance green projects. It involves finance companies, energy consultants or contractor / vendors financing your green project with the promise they'll be repaid annually, with interest, through the subsequent energy savings. So when and why would such an arrangement be appropriate for your own building?

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, The Plaza puts the pedal to the mettle, as the storied hotel-condominium sues to get rid of a CitiBike rack. Also suing: Corporations fighting Joan Rivers' condo nemesis Elizabeth Hazan (see last week's News Roundup), and Yoko Ono, who says her West Village co-op board is walking on thin ice. We've renovation plans a board won't like, the latest on mortgage rate-locks, and superstorm Sandy woes persist in The Rockaways, Coney Island and elsewhere.

Recent news affecting co-op and condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. The aftermath of superstorm Sandy lingers, Concourse Village workers may strike and a co-op / condo board-member group meets with mayoral candidate Joe Lhota. Plus, lot o' news for boards this week, as one court ruling partly limits the Business Judgment Rule and another says a particular type of Airbnb rental isn't illegal hoteling. And experts answer a board member's own plea: "What Can I Do About the Tyrants on My Co-op Board?"

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week there's a lot of news for boards in particular, with a growing wave of scammers falsely claiming disability in order to have dogs in a no-pet building, with the latest on publicly naming residents in arrears, with the expansion of no-smoking buildings, and with converting a club space to an apartment for resale. Plus: families buying multiple apartments together, broker-free sales and Judge Judy (above) buys in Sutton Place.

For a condo association or co-op board, nuisances take on all shapes and sizes, and the word "nuisance" doesn't even do the issue justice: These are quality-of-life and even health and safety concerns that involve the place your residents call home. Here, two veteran property managers give two real-life, practical responses to two common nuisances: hoarding and excessive noise from an apartment — with the latter covering an interesting additional issue.

For a recent hallway renovation at an Upper East Side co-op, the plan was to remove old wallpaper and replace worn carpeting. But in the process, remembers Marion Preston, former board treasurer of the 111-unit co-op, the previous board had ordered a huge supply of excess wallpaper and carpet. "They had extra of everything just in case, but no one ever used it or needed it," Preston says. "For our job, we had all-new material, so we obviously didn't need this anymore. I couldn't bear to just toss it out. It was still in its original packaging." So what to do?

It's hard enough for condominium associations to go after unit-owners in arrears for their common charges. It's even harder when the unit-owner "gives away" the apartment to somebody outside the country who moves around and doesn't give a forwarding address. And since courts don't recognize it when you serve court papers to the "former" unit-owner — who still lives there — what can a condo board do? Are you out of luck? Is this the magic-trick loophole, the get-out-of-jail-free card, that prevents a board from taking someone in arrears to court?

Maybe so, at least judging from a case still in its early stages involving The Spencer condominium in the Lenox Hill neighborhood of the Upper East Side.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, for some reason, we're big on board-specific news: boards suing developers and residents, a board president squeezing "donations" from building vendors for a political bid and a board turning amateur cop and firing employees it suspects of thievery — hindering the investigation by actual cops. A George ZImmerman board, as it were. Plus, exclusive co-ops learn to compete for buyers and an alleged illegal hotelier has people arrested who complain! Man, late August is crazy!

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, the case may have involved a rental landlord, but a court approved "heavy surveillance" to build evidence of an illegal tenant. Condo and co-op boards dealing with illegal hoteling, take note. Elsewhere, the chickens come home to roost and the co-op board says they have to relocate, and at $125 million, a co-op penthouse becomes the most expensive publicly listed home in New York City history. Plus: Co-op board presidents tell their horror stories!

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