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This school of thought says maintenance should be allowed to rise – gently.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, the Realty Advisory Board is negotiating on behalf of boards and landlords as it continues contract talks with the union representing doormen and other building workers. New York State has some questions about NYSERDA money at Co-op City. A Queens co-op seeks money to repair a Sandy-battered seawall. And who's the best building manager and which is the best property-management company in New York. Well, there are many factors consider including continuity of leadership, responsiveness to clients, stability, experience, expertise, sufficient staffing and industry reputation and good will. Or you could just go check out the NYARM Awards.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, State Senator Tony Avella tries to bring home the bacon ... or, rather, keep the bacon home, in a co-op issue involving a pet pig. Plus, for condo and co-op boards, New York City wins an illegal hoteling case, a co-op racial-bias lawsuit moves forward, and the boards of a Fifth Avenue co-op and a nearby condominium band together against a building proposed to rise between them.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week, they do love their cigarettes in Queens, a Long Islander may face eviction for burning the wrong kind of firewood and Petey the Pig's "parents" are trying to sell their co-op apartment and fine a more swine-friendly place. There's a Harlem co-op / condo expo April 6-7. And where the wild things aren't is in the late Maurice Sendak's co-op, now up for sale. Plus, for condo and condo and co-op boards, we've advice on mediation.

Every January, the New York City Department of Finance releases preliminary figures for the coming fiscal year's property-tax assessments. Homeowners, typically, often contest these figures, and in a standard legal process called tax certiorari eventually receive a refund. The city even offers a database of property-tax refunds. But something different happened last year, when the DoF hit some co-ops in northeastern Queens with demonstrably unrealistic, triple-digit increases that shocked all reasonable observers. Yet it took public outrage in the form of protests and a widespread tax revolt before the DoF finally begin to question figures so obviously and blatantly incorrect. And now this year, say community leaders, it's all happening again.

Despite an average 4.1 percent increase over last year in Queens overall, according to tentative figures by the DoF, "My own properties have increased an average of 7.7 percent," says Warren Schreiber, board president of the 200-unit Section 1 of the 12-section Bay Terrace Cooperative, who says co-ops in northeastern Queens are seeing high double-digit spikes. "At Deepdale Gardens, one of the biggest garden apartment complexes in Queens, each one of their block and lots came in at a 50 percent increase. At another Alley Pond, they came in at about 47 percent."

We may go forward and

demand the resignation

of Commissioner Frankel.

Bob Friedrich, president of Glen Oaks Village and co-president, with Schreiber, of the co-op /condo board-member group the Presidents Co-op Council, estimates the average increase at his 2,904-unit co-op complex at about 21 percent. "And we can’t forget about last year," he says, "when we were increased 50 percent with a five-year phase-in, 10 percent a year. Now we're seeing huge increases again. It is unsustainable, unfordable and unacceptable. They are pushing the middle class out of this city very quickly. These are just unaffordable increases in an economic period of time that is completely unjustified."

Among the other boroughs, Brooklyn saw a 4.2 percent average increase over last year while Manhattan's average jumped nearly five 5%, according to figures that the DoF released on Jan. 19.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. This week's riddle: In a no-dog building is a pet pig livestock? Plus, the federal Interstate Land Sales Full-Disclosure Act (ILSA) takes a homeowner-protection hit, we tell you where can you buy a co-op apartment for just $250 to $1,800, and The Rushmore condominium swears it meant to be finished by 2009 and that 2008 promise? Just a typo! And for co-op and condo boards, we have news about collecting monthly charges in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

... a court rules against a Queens co-op that tried to evict an elderly couple when the asthmatic, severely allergic wife needed a disallowed air conditioner in order to, you know, breathe and live. Also: How to prep an apartment for sale, what to expect from brokers in 2012, and how condos are becoming like co-ops when it comes to admissions.

I’m a retired banker who worked at one company for 41 years. Clearview Gardens is a 1,788-unit garden apartment co-op complex located in northeastern Queens, situated over 88 acres. I was there before I was married and now I live here with my wife, son, and daughter. Altogether that spans 30-plus years.

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