New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



8 Things You Need to Know About Cooling-Tower Regulations

Written by Lisa Prevost on October 12, 2018

South Bronx

Co-op and condo boards are facing strict enforcement of tough rules.

Opinions sharply divided on proposed condo for artists in the South Bronx.

Do you remember when The Bronx was burning? The decay that became synonymous with the borough, particularly the South Bronx, began in the sixties. By the seventies it was in the grip of abject poverty, the result of total economic collapse. Property values plummeted. Slumlords abounded. Gang violence was rampant — indeed, gangs set up shop in abandoned buildings. Do you remember the arson epidemic? So many buildings burned every day throughout the seventies that the fire department couldn't keep up. Something had to give. It finally did in the late eighties, when the South Bronx finally began to experience urban renewal. The upward trend has continued: crime has dropped significantly, and property values have started to climb. You can guess what's starting to happen now. Real estate news has been abuzz with news of New York City's population soaring faster than expected. When the city is too damned crowded, its people are going to look for places to live in areas that they may not have before considered. And it looks like The Bronx is burning again, for a different reason entirely.

A condominium or cooperative's relationship with the building's superintendent is vital. He, and in rare cases she, is the caretaker of the property, the person who deals with emergencies and the one who meets with contractors, city officials and inspectors. The super often does private work for residents, and in larger co-ops and condos supervises the staff and oversees projects. 

Yet as with any relationship, sometimes things don't work out — and letting a super go can be as hard as any other breakup. You don't want it to be a cold Dear John letter, but you also don't want it to be Tiger Woods.

Recent news affecting co-op / condo buyers, sellers, boards and residents. There's no other news more important this week than New York State legislators and Governor Andrew Cuomo letting the co-op / condo tax abatement expire. This, in a state where every other form of residential property gets an annual cap on tax increases. But there's a sliver of a silver lining — read the second article below and contact your representatives.

Also this week, New York City condos go on the warpath to collect arrears — read about some of the tactics now becoming commonplace. Plus, what's with all those condo boards acting like co-op boards, requiring hundreds of pages of buyers' financial data? A broker breaks it down. And did you know boards can't stop residents from operating day-care centers in their apartments?

Ask the Experts

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Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

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