Q&A: No Elections, No Access, No Rules

b>Q We have a serious problem in our HDFC co-op, a limited equity cooperative.  Number one, there have been no annual meetings for years. There have been no  elections and the same people are entrenched on the board of directors.  Thirdly, no bylaws or business corporation laws are being followed. The same  person happens to the both the president and the managing agent and her mother  is both the secretary and the treasurer. There is no vice president position.  Numerous complaints have been filed to the board and building management to no  avail. There is also no access to any books or financial recordkeeping. The  board members are unresponsive and won't come to any shareholder meetings.  Although we are in a small building, what can we do to remedy this situation?  Is there any city agency to whom we can turn?  

 —Big Trouble in the Big Apple  

A “Check with your supervising agency, most likely either the New York State  Division of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR) or the New York City Department  of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), or possibly the New York City  Housing Finance Agency, may have helpful information,” says Lewis C. Taishoff, Esq., of The Taishoff Law Firm in New York City. Get a  copy of your corporation’s Certificate of Incorporation from the County Clerk’s office in your county; it should designate the supervising agency.  

 “The supervising agency can appoint a board of directors because a temporary loan  or advance was in jeopardy. See Private Housing Finance Law §573(3)(c). Your Corporation’s Certificate of Incorporation must so provide. The supervising agency can tell  you if this is the case.  

 “The foregoing should not be construed, and may not be used, as (a) legal advice,  or (b) to abate in whole or in part any interest or penalties for, related to,  or in connection with any tax or imposition by any governmental authority  having or asserting jurisdiction, or (c) solicitation of retention or  employment, or for the furnishing of legal or non-legal services, or (d) to  create a client-attorney relationship or privilege.”      

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