New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Under Local Law 84 of 2009, large buildings must record and keep track of their energy and water use — and then the city posts the results for all to see. The letter grades are linked to a numerical score called the Energy Use Intensity (EUI), which measures the energy used by a building per square foot, per year. The median EUI for multifamily buildings in New York City is 132.1. Score a 109 or lower and you earn an A; higher than 160 is a D. But in practical terms, how well do these grades translate to real-life energy use?

Local Law 84 of 2009 mandates that New York City buildings larger than 50,000 square feet must record and track their energy and water use, with the grades made public. This allow you to see how well your building is doing and how it compares with other buildings. But energy experts say there are still kinks to be worked out: The data is not always accurate and it's difficult to access.

Storage space is worth its weight in, well, you know the rest. As owners try to store clutter rather than live in it, buildings like 33-15 81st Street in Jackson Heights, Queens, are looking to get storage lockers and save dough as best they can. That’s what the board of this 272-unit, five-building hi-rise complex did when it had bins installed between June 28 and July 5, 2011.

The largest condominium in New York went smoke-free, boards crawled their way toward formal gun and privacy policies, buildings NIMBY'd restaurants and board prez Joan Rivers won a court battle. And, of course, some things remained constant, like the ubiquitous push-pull between residents and boards. All this and more helped make up the year in co-op and condo news … and we've got the quotes to prove it!

Homeowners rose in tax revolt again in 2012, yet politicians still failed to act to solve inequities hurting co-ops and condominiums. A board may have helped drive a resident to suicide. No-smoking rules, digitized offering plans and automated water-meter readers all made the news. And good boards and bad have their say and their day in some of the year's most interesting utterances.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, half of Albany is up in arms and the other half is sticking its hand out over 421a tax abatements for luxury condominiums. Meanwhile, the attorney general slaps the wrist of a developer banned from selling any condos at all. Plus, a big change at Co-op City and a big sale in Greenwich Village, as Mary-Louise Parker (right) sells her Washington Square co-op. Plus: Advice for your co-op board admissions interview.

UPDATED March 22, 2013 — Following an interagency raid by investigations who took files and computers from five local heating-oil business, two lawsuits have been filed by real-estate concerns charging that the companies have been selling oil diluted with waste product. Authorities and the plaintiffs claim such tainted fuel oil has been delivered for years to both commercial and residential buildings.

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.

The process of terminating the super begins with what is colloquially described as "writing him up." This can take a relatively short or relatively long time. "Documenting incidents is key," says Nadir Maoui, vice president of a 150-plus-unit co-op in Sunnyside, Queens, that recently fired its superintendent. The board spent almost two years preparing a list of offenses. "We went from [oral] warnings to write-ups with the union, and we went as far as suspension," Maoui explains. "If you go for union arbitration with no [prior] warning [to the super] whatsoever, the first thing they'll ask is to give him a chance. You have to show you gave him warnings and can't deal with him anymore. Otherwise, it's your word against the super's."

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, a Chelsea condo board has won its battle with a downstairs gym, New York City investigates possible fraud by Lower East Side co-op board members and a Queens co-op says it's not soulless. The Comptroller says the City goes too easy on water-bill deadbeats, raising rates for the rest of us. An expert answers: Are condo boards as powerful as co-op boards? And Law & Order's Richard Belzer sells his co-op. Dun dun!

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