Board/Shareholder Relations

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Keeping Track of Paperwork

By Steven Cutler

Serving on the board is not all fun and games, glamor and glory. There’s also some paperwork involved. In fact, the flow of paperwork is the lifeblood of the community. Read More

Board Owner Doís and Doníts

By Lisa Iannucci

It only takes a few minutes of a web search to uncover the traits that make a successful person or business owner. For example, Entrepreneur magazine’s Steven Key wrote the article, “5 Qualities of Successful Persons,” which included such traits as open-mindedness, unwavering passion, and a forward-looking approach. But what makes a building board or association, which is made up of individuals volunteering their time, a successful one? Read More

Making the Switch

By W.B. King

The goal of any property developer is to sell units, but until that objective is reached they have to assume all the day-to-day responsibilities to ensure smooth operations and continued sales. This requires wearing many hats—manager, board member and ombudsmen. As a result, it’s often a relief when the control of the property is transitioned to members of the board or association. However, this isn’t always the smoothest of processes. Read More

Howdy, Neighbor

By Anne Childers

The word community, like many words in the English language, has more than one interpretation. A community can be identified as a geographical location—a physical infrastructure of streets, parks and buildings, defined by tangible brick and mortar structures. But a sense of community is often emotional, intangible and much more difficult to define; it is what makes an address a home, not just a location. Read More

Building Traits of Successful Boards

By Liz Lent

 Working in groups can be a challenge. Working in groups when people’s homes—and possibly their life savings—are involved can be a far greater challenge. It’s one faced every day by those brave souls who volunteer to serve on their co-op  or condo board. While there is no sure-fire recipe for building a board that is  100 percent successful day in and day out, there are definitely traits and  tactics that the most well-run and effective boards share. Read More

Taming Transient Turmoil

By Keith Loria

 While the New York City housing market has not suffered as much as in other  parts of the country, there are some new construction condominiums that hadn’t sold as much as the developer had hoped. That’s why a recent trend in condos in the Big Apple has been to convert portions of  these developments into rental properties. Read More

Neighbor to Neighbor

By Lisa Iannucci

 Can’t we all just get along? It's a million-dollar question. When someone moves into  a community, they often look for the friendliness and camaraderie that living  in a co-op or condo association brings. But with many personalities often  butting heads on everyday living situations, it can often get tense and things  can go awry. Neighbors argue with each other, boards complain about residents  and residents complain about boards. Minor issues can often be settled quickly  and cordially without involving anyone beyond the disagreeing parties. But  that's not always the case. And when it isn't, things get tricky. Read More

Shiny & New

By Liz Lent

 For most people, few things are as stressful—or exciting—as buying a new home. That can be especially true for buyers and residential  unit owners who sign up to be among the first residents in a newly renovated or  constructed condo or co-op complex. There is the smell of the fresh paint, the  shiny new stainless steel appliances, the untouched bath tiles and pristine  hardwood floors— nothing quite beats that feeling of knowing that such a beautiful space is  ours. Read More

Renters on the Rise

By Lisa Iannucci

 Last December, The William Beaver House, located at the heart of New York’s Financial District, sat with 209 of its 320 units unsold—units priced from $900,000 to well over $2 million each. Unfortunately, while  sales had gone well for the 47-story luxury building during the previous few  years, the recent economic troubles let to a somewhat desperate situation for  the owner of the lavish property. Read More

Involved & Invested

By Jonathan Barnes

 In an urban environment, people can feel isolated, though they live close to  each other. While high-rise residential buildings put families near one  another, living close doesn’t turn a group of neighbors into a community and that’s understandable, since people are busy and schedules are hectic. In some  buildings in their downtime, few residents eagerly attend their building’s annual meeting or socialize with their neighbors. But attracting committed  board members and creating a sense of community improves the quality of life  within the building and saves money. It’s good to know that there are many ways that co-ops and condos can work to  foster a stronger sense of community among their residents, while also  attracting new board members and committee members.   Read More

Following the Golden Rules

By J.M. Wilson

 Every co-op and condo association has its own house rules—rules and regulations (hopefully) based on common sense and aimed at protecting  residents' safety and quality of life without undue disruption or  inconvenience.   Read More

The 25th Annual Co-op & Condo Expo

By Cooperator Staff

 Are you looking for a new management company or financial advisor? Does your  lobby need an extra splash of color? Is your co-op looking for replacement  windows or facade repairs due to Local Law 11 work? Read More

Q&A: Paying for Home Improvement

By Aaron Shumlewitz

“I live in a co-op in Queens. The front door to my apt. is being replaced—due to its extreme age it is no longer functioning properly. The manager informed me that I will be responsible for providing all of the hardware for this door—which includes a particular type of lock and handle, large metal mail slot, and even the hinges. This will cost over $120 because of the exact type of items needed to fit this particular door. Is this really my financial obligation? I thought the co-op was responsible for providing me with a working door.” Read More

Hot or Cold?

By Paul Jann

 No, it’s not the Katy Perry song, “first you’re hot and then you’re cold,” but treating a bedbug infestation can be just as opposing and confusing as the  romantic relationship in that popular song. Do I go with the pest control  company bedbug treatment that cooks ‘em alive or the company that freezes them into popsicles? Read More

Court Rules on Non-Judicial Foreclosure Sale

By Jarett L. Warner

 Given the state of the economy and the real estate market, a novel issue is  whether when a bank conducts a foreclosure sale on the shares relating to a  cooperative apartment (without a judgment of the court), the successful bidder is subject to the  approval of the cooperative’s Board of Directors and must otherwise comply with the cooperative’s governing documents. That was precisely the issue raised in LI Equity Network,  LLC v. Village in the Woods Owners Corp., 2010 N.Y. Slip. Op. 07514 (2d Dep’t October 19, 2010). Read More

Astoria, Queens

By The Cooperator Staff

 Astoria is a neighborhood in the northwestern corner of Queens that is as  diverse as the immigrants that settled there from places as far away as Greece,  Italy, Ireland, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Read More

Managing People

By Keith Loria

 The responsibilities of property managers include a wide array of tasks, from  the physical to the administrative. While many of these jobs involve concrete  things—like sending out monthly bills, filing paperwork, or going to meetings—equally important is managing the people involved with the building. That  includes everyone from the building’s staff, to the residents to those on the board and committees. Read More

Before You Sue ó Read This

By Rebecca Fons

 Filing a lawsuit as any co-op or condo resident that’s been involved in one can attest, is not only very time-consuming and  expensive, but equally unnnerving and contentious. A much saner solution to  settle any acrimonious dispute is to consider settling the matter without  setting foot into the courtroom. That is where organizations like the American  Arbitration Association can help. Read More

Getting Out the Vote

By Lisa Iannucci

 Election season typically starts around Labor Day, when we start to be bombarded  with reminders to cast our ballots to choose who we want to be in charge of our  city, town, state and country. It ends on Election Day in November, when the  voting is completed, the tallying is done and a winner is announced. In a co-op  and condo association, a similar type of annual election process takes place—an election to choose a board of directors that will work with the building’s manager to make sure the community’s finances, physical maintenance and other day-to-day business remains solvent  and sound. Read More

Pets Allowed?

By Jim Douglass

 increase marketability during the recession, only a limited segment of New York  City buildings have jumped on the bandwagon. Read More

The Growth of Home Based Businesses

By Matthew Worley

 According to U.S. Small Business Administration statistics, over half of all  small businesses begun in the last decade have been home-based—that's more than 24 million in real numbers—with a new home-based business being launched every 11 seconds. And according to  U.S. Census figures, some 100,000 New Yorkers work from home, with more  switching all the time. Read More

How to Get Heard

By Lisa Iannucci

 As a shareholder or condo owner, you’ve got a gripe. Whether it’s about Mrs. Smith’s poodle barking all day, the neighbor’s teenaged son who blasts his heavy metal music full-volume when his parents  aren’t home, or a long-coveted parking space that hasn’t materialized after years of waiting, you want someone to listen—and of course, do something about your complaint. Read More

Duty vs. Neighbors

By Bernadette Marciniak

 Getting elected to the board of one's co-op or condo building is usually a very  positive thing: it gives a person the chance to play a part in the preservation  of their community, and also gives them the opportunity to leave it in better  shape than when they started. But great power comes with great responsibility  that must be utilized properly. Board members can suddenly find themselves in  tough spots when figuring out how to balance their status and fiduciary duty  with relationships that may predate their position of authority. Read More

The 2011 Cooperator's Co-op & Condo Expo

By The Cooperator Staff

 As the snow and ice melts away and the city readies for signs of spring, it’s time to turn our attention to The Cooperator’s 2011 Co-op & Condo Expo, a must-attend event for the tri-state area’s property managers, board members, real estate professionals, shareholders and  unit owners. Read More

What Do You Do With Your "Greenie"?

By F.L. Andrew Padian

 Most of your buildings have a shareholder—or maybe two or three—who fit into a particular mold: you know, longer hair, Birkenstocks, vintage  Woodstock t-shirts; or maybe yours has the $5,000 suit, $1,000 shoes, and  starched attitude. They may look different, but both have the same agenda: “Green our building!” Read More

Where the Dollars Are

By Liz Lent

 Few things can be as upsetting as discovering that the funds that fuel a co-op  or condo have been mishandled—or worse yet, stolen. For residents, fraud undermines their sense of trust in  the men and women who oversee and manage the place they call home. For managers  and board members, it can breach the trust that exists between each other,  wreaking havoc not only on the bottom line but on the very fiber of the  organization itself. Read More

Board Elections

By Jonathan Barnes

 Every co-op and condo community has a board of directors in charge of governing  the community’s finances, physical maintenance and other day-to-day business. Part of the  board’s responsibility also is to keep the community fiscally sound, though not all  boards do a good job of this task. Given all that, it's easy to see why it’s important for residents to choose their community’s board members carefully.   Read More

Home Sweet Office

By Lisa Iannucci

 Ari Meisel lives in a 4,000-square foot loft in a four-family co-op building in  Soho—he also operates several green buildings, consulting and real estate businesses  from the comfort of his own unit. He has lived in this building for his entire  life, renovating the loft to accommodate his growing business. He holds  meetings and occasional gatherings there, like the speaker event he once had  with 30 guests. And in case you’re wondering, Meisel says his neighbors and the board don’t mind one bit. Read More

Board Members and Privacy

By Greg Olear

 As the leaders of a private corporation in which shareholders own stock that  entitles them to live in an apartment within the corporation’s building, residential co-op board members have a lot of responsibility. Along  with this responsibility comes questions about what can and cannot (as well as  what should and should not) be openly discussed among board members,  management, and non-board shareholders. Read More

Civilian Again

By Liz Lent

 Few board members would argue that the time spent serving their buildings and  fellow residents can be both very strenuous and very rewarding. For years, they  make decisions that affect their community in the present and may continue to  impact them years down the road. Read More

Anger Management

By Yvonne Zipp

 For most people, “foaming at the mouth” is just a figure of speech. Attorney Ellen Hirsch de Haan, a managing partner  in the Tampa Bay, Florida office of Becker & Poliakoff PA, has encountered the real thing—and not at an animal shelter, but at a condominium owners’ meeting. Read More

From Horror to Harmony

By Ed Serken

Neil Goldstein flashes a look of genuine surprise when a resident kisses him hello on the cheek in the lobby of The Harmony, an Upper East Side co-op where he is board president. Other residents trot by with friendly waves and call out, How are you doing, Neil? A couple seated on the lobby couch look over floorplans, obviously waiting for a broker to show them an apartment. An elevator opens to discharge a small child who totters toward the doormen, who know the kid by name. Clearly touched by the environment, Goldstein rubs the spot on his cheek and breaks into a satisfied smile.

Read More

Who Really Runs the Building?

By Lenore Barton

Most people assume that the board of directors runs the building. Actually the responsibilities for maintaining the building are usually divided between the board of directors and the managing agent. Both parties perform their functions with the advice and help of many support professionals. Typically the board establishes the policy and expenditures; and the managing agent or property manager actually runs and manages the procedures in the building. It’s important that the manager understand the philosophy and culture of the building in order to be able to implement the style the board desires. Read More

Taking the Bait

By Greg Olear

Bugs, rodents, and other pests are always a potential problem in a city or densely populated suburban area—and even upscale, well-maintained buildings are not impervious to the occasional unwelcome interloper. Cockroaches invade kitchens, termites feast on foundations and walls, bees sting humans, and now bedbugs have hogged the press as the latest plague du jour. No two ways about it: if your property falls behind on the pest-control front, you’ve got yourself a menagerie. Read More

Small Town Ambiance in the Big City

By Alexis Wolff

A two-mile long sliver of land in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, Roosevelt Island sits a mere 700 feet from Manhattan’s East Side. Still, many New Yorkers know nothing about Roosevelt Island’s expansive green spaces and unrivaled city views, not to mention the distinctive small town ambiance of this planned community. Read More

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