What Happens When a Board Goes Too Far? Abuse of Power

Co-op and condo owners often complain that their board doesn’t do enough, or that the board members aren’t involved as much as they would like in the administration and maintenance of their building. While a disinterested or apathetic board is certainly a problem, going to the other extreme can be just as bad…or maybe even worse.

Board members who let their power go to their heads can be a liability to their building community on many levels, but of particular concern is a board that oversteps its bounds and intrudes on the privacy and agency of individual residents.

Understanding the boundaries and limitations of your power is something that every board member needs to realize or else trouble—including legal problems—can result.

Knowledge is Power

Balancing what is right and what is expected can be tricky for boards — so much so that sometimes, board members and non-board members alike wonder why people bother to serve in the first place.

“I always tell my fellow board members and clients that if you’re going to be on a board, you are basically a sacrificial lamb,” says Luigi Rosabianca, managing partner of the Manhattan-based law firm Rosabianca & Associates PLLC. “You don’t get paid for it, but by doing so you are providing a service to your building. It’s not only a way to protect your investment, but also your quality of life—but [board members] have to learn what being on a board means, and not to overstep their bounds.”

Read More...

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88 Comments

  • What do you do when the Sponsor perverts the system of checks and balances? First they lied and said they had the right to appoint half the seats and vote the shares for the rest. The next year they put their names on the ballot but then instructed shareholders that they HAD to vote for the Sponsor reps on those seats because they were appointed. The next year, they said the ballots didn't count because we didn't have a quorum (but they wouldn't let anyone check the records and then quickly destroyed them. What recourse do shareholders have?
  • I am a non-resident owner in a 10-unit co-op in Manhattan. I have been renting out my unit for the past 7 years. Recently, While I was away from the country on work, my son inadvertently rented my apt to a tenant without first getting Board approval. I know we violated co-op Bd rules and immediately stated we wanted to be in compliance. I submitted the rental lease to the Co-op Bd, as required. But now the Co-op Board is saying that my tenant must vacate by October 31 (they gave us 30 days' notice) and that if she continues to stay we have to pay a fine of $1000 for every month she stays. There is NO mention of any fine or penalty in the Prop. Lease or the Bylaws or in any other written rules. I have complied by turning over the rental lease to the Board. This is a first and only time violation on my part of the renting rule. The Board has also threatened me with forfeiture of my shares. What shd I do? The Board seems to be acting illegally and in an excessive use of its power
  • What do you do when a board/board member rejects you as tenants for self-serving gain? My husband and I were in contarct on an apratmnet where we were paying in cash, had no mortagge, could easily pay the maintenance if we both lost our jobs, and had incredible references, not to mention we'd passed several boards before in even tonier buildings. But this Board had a member who was angry because SHE had wanted to buy this apartment but didn't have her finances in order. Apparently the board strung us along for months until she could get the money together, and then we were turned down -- no interview, no explanation, nothing. We were all packed, we'd worked to sell our current apt., then out of the blue and for no reason at all (save this Board member's insistenece she get the apt.) our lives have been turned upside down. It's an estate sale so there's no seller or anyone to call teh Board on this. Do we really have no options? Can a Board really just destroy our lives like this?
  • Our president has instituted projects over $5,000 without the majority of the owners votes. She is not being controlled in any way by the board of managers. She also paying for enlarged, imported tiled patios with everyone's money, even though this is a restricted common area. I am trying to motivate the owners to get rid of the board, but they seem very complacent and foolish, since this is their investment and the board, especially the president is in violation of the by-laws. She also is an employee of the management company and we found out by accident. She kept it a secret. Can we (I) sue the board? She is so out of control, I have many other issues against her (the board).
  • Foreign Little Sheep on Friday, July 30, 2010 6:57 PM
    I bought my condo at the end of 2008. I am the first foreign single mom move into this building in it's history, most owner (at least half) are senior. The Board managers are 3 senior women. After I move in, they just forced me to repair my frond stripe (only dent a little). I asked if they forced my pre-owner to do that, they said they did, but my pre-owner didn't do it, so I have to fix it up! Then they asked the building cleaner to repair it for me, and forced me pay him $130 cash without any receipt. I told them I just need a details about this repairmen, they yelled me and said if I didn't pay, they would call lawyer....Is that right? One more thing, the basement roof fell down a piece because of some water leak, and it looks like old damage because there was a patch there. They said they made aware my unit had strong possibility to leak water, then went down to basement cause damage. I lived in 2 floor, they didn't even check first floor, but check 2 floor first. Especially, they order plumber to check my room at 2pm the next day, and force me have to stay at home. If it was emergency, it was reasonable. But it was not, my room is clean and dry, my first floor neighbor's room dry, no any water leak...even ridiculous, the falling roof didn't get any repaired after they check my room! I was so angry, and so stress, I didn't have any time to arrange my work and go back home that day! They are wrecking my job, I have to keep my job to pay the mortgage!!! How can I prevent these things happened again?
  • Buying shares in a coop is frequently the worst most disgusting living arrangement that an individual can self impose. It is bad enough that we live in a giant corporation called the US...where a small percentage of shareholders are preferred ones while everybody else is under occupation.
  • What can be done when the builder/owner/board member is also the one who does all the pool maintenance/snow removal, etc and decides what they pay themselves. His wife is the superintendent, does nothing, porter does some cleaning but not much. Also violated bylaws by not having election every year, told that there were no open seats since last election 3 yrs ago but according to bylaws the elections were to be every year, when asked the board/managing agent has no explanation but that they don't know why and will look into it. It seems to me that there is a conflict of interest here, being the builder/owner/board member is doing all the maintenance and paying himself whatever he deems reasonable.
  • Can my condo board nter my apartment without my permission to search for washers, dryers or tankless water heaters? This is what they informed us they will be doing.
  • I need to know if a coop board can assess the tenants to do whatever renovations they decide are necessary without a majority vote. When does a board need a majority vote by tenants???
  • The handyman for our building used the key I leave with the property manager to enter my condo while he thought I wasn't home. What are my options here? I'm seriously thinking of purchasing a gun and learning how to use it. This is MY home. Why are random people walking in for no reason?
  • Our new board president lived at our condo only 1 year and became our president. In 1 year he filed personal bankruptcy after qualifying for an FHA loan. He is threatening us that this year he is going to fix everything he feels we need fixed and will cause a financial hardship to the unit owners because we don't have the reserves for his "fix list". How do mortgage companies view association that don't have reserves?
  • Is it 24 hours or 48 hours that you need to notify the unit owner (Condo in Florida) that you need to enter his / her unit?
  • I live in a housing cooperative in Washington DC and just recently found out that we have renters on our property who are not shareholders. We members were never informed about this and according to our by-laws we cannot have renters, should have the board of directors and management informed the members of this because we were all under the perception that we were all members/shareholders?
  • Co-Op in Florida undergoing concrete restoration project. Many owers are either forced to install or elect to install new sliding glass windows. (Prop Lease clearly states windows are the owners responsiblity. Board elects to use assessment fund to pay for removal of windows, removal of shutters and building of weather wall from assessment funds. Many unit owner elect to change windows due to $5000 subsidy provided by board - can board use funds for non common area improvement to some but no all units? Five of 7 board members have installed new windows - conflict of interst when the refuse to get legal opinion as actions
  • Resident Manger- onsite RM is volatile, loose with resident/ owners personal information. Scares me to death. Board has ignored complaints, inc. mine. I don't want him to have access to my unit but in case of emergency , I'm worried. I asked that he be supervised when entering for routine maintenance issues , and to report to management company. In cases of bonafide emergency , to be accompanied and report back to management company in 72 hrs. the board rejected this d/t cost. What is my liability ?
  • No Longer "Ignorant and Blissful" on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:03 AM
    This article is correct, i.e., knowledge is in fact power. Fortunately, the Constitution grants freedom of speech and press. Here are condo owners who decided that the board's newsletter needed a competitor: www.pacifictower.org
  • MY BOARD MEMBERS AND PRESIDENT ARE SPENDING ALOT AND RAISING SPECIAL ASSESSMENT. HOW CAN WE CONTROL THEM? AND WHICH GOVT. OFFICE CAN CONTROL? PLEASE LET ME KNOW. THANK YOU.
  • We had damage from Hurricane Sandy in our crawl space. A member of the board wants to hire a contractor that nobody want to hire. What rights do we have?
  • What power does a co-op board have within a community. I live in a neighborhood of mostly residential homes. The co-op board sent me letter that was rather aggressive and without merit. I responded in a timely matter the meet the board an address there concerns. The refused my meeting. Who handles legal challenges between local residents and Co-Op building?
  • The board has just raised condo fees to replace our sliding doors, I feel that since the doors are part of the condo, it should be the responsbilty of the owner to pay for their own doors. Also because this not a common area according to our bylaws. Please help
  • Can Management / the Board of Directors add or remove Terms in the Occupancy Agreement without notifying the Cooperators? And if not; what recourse can we take?
  • can the board check security cameras to determine if a shareholder is coming to apartment?
  • Can I sue the CAM/Management company for trespassing/intrusion to my condo without having the board go against me? Is the CAM a separate legal entity than the HOA when it comes to violations of my rights as a landlord?
  • Who oversees Board? And Board President be voted out if he's harrassing Resident Manager and other workers. Who votes him out?
  • Hi there. My condo board is trying to charge me move in and move out fees of $1,000. Apparently there was a rule in place pertaining to this for the past four years, but the prior property management company never enforced these. One condo board member who put out the house rules, didn't even pay with the excuse that the property management company didn't enforce on anyone. There is now a new condo board in place. New house rules have not yet been published, but they put a note under the door about this charge. The new rules apparently doesn't apply to a partner moving in or out. How can they ask to divuldge this information about how intimate someone is? Also, there was no warning or start date. It was immediate. Also, my new "friend" who moved in, had few items. The place is furnished. I am also an owner living there, so it is not a sublet as they say one part of the fee is for.
  • should the president be involved in campaigning for another member to be re-elected? This is a condo association question
  • we hope to limit our present board's power. however the info about usual complaints is not the one we had. Ours is more serious and more complicated than average perhaps.
  • A letter was recently submitted to my coop that the property manager wanted access to my apartment to check that it is compliance with the building. Is this legal?
  • Our board is only allowing 4 keys per unit rule and we are a family of six as owner of my condo can they do this?They say its for security reasons but I do not rent my apartment and my six keys and entry fobs have been with me for seven years.
  • It's all about power! I live in a community 55 and older., Condo/Villa situation. Our govern doc's clearly state that the association should carry the insurance on our home outside, since we only own 7ft out. They haven't no do they take care of any dead trees that need removed. I actually don't know what they do. They allow my roof mate to rent like a motel 6, when the docs clearly state twice a year. Which is stupid, because her insurance is no good. I would love to sue them and get out of here any Idea what I can do?
  • Can a Coop association charge a "laundry use fee" on renters? It appears not so in 718.112 (i) (transfer fees); Other than a transfer fee, "No charge shall be made by the association...on connection with...the lease."
  • I am handicap. I haven't walked in 5 years. I just recently had 2 surgeries to walk again. I am very weak and at the same time going through extensive rehad for 180 days to retrain muscles and walk again. I asked the board if they would give me a reserved handicap spot for 4-6 weeks just till I get some strength back. They said they can't reserve spots. Its on a first come first serve basis. I am in need and critical. I have to walk up 15 steps to my condo each day. While the other 2 people who park in handicap spot that are available are healthy enough to go to social events and walk. I never have a parking spot, and Im in need. Is the board aloud to deny my request of a reserved space for a short time in my severe condition? Im in need of assistance and help. Thank you for your time.
  • I plan to rent a condo for 3 months. The condo association wants my Social Security Number. Should I or am I required by law to comply?
  • we all own our condos and the association forced us to change out our front doors without a voting on which doors would replace the old ones. turns out they are frosted glass that you can see through and they have NO peephole! no way to clearly see who is outside knocking on your door without opening, no way to protect ourselves!!! on top of that, they are keeping a key for themselves without making it known before hand. i have heard from other owners that they have already entered their units without any reasonable cause, no emergency, nothing! even lying to one unit owner about being in her unit only to admit to it after she said she had proof. i can not imagine this is legal! we all own our own units here ... where is our privacy and security? i am a young woman living by myself and now feel very unsafe in my own home!
  • I am a owner of a co op apartment in NJ. I would like to know...what steps do I take and who do I appeal to.....I feel the board is misusing funds and and violating the by laws. What is the next step and who do I file my complaint with?
  • we live 8 years in the condo we purchased in queens 118metropolitan ave. our management" all aria" it is very corrupted and i is very hard to communicate. current board member doesn't care. a few never comes to the meetings. building employe do nothing accept garbage. it is very hard to keep up. owners very disappointed about .
  • I live in a condo where I have a leak each time it rains and I was told there was a problem with our chimney it had too many holes and needs a new liner.( I found this out while having a new water heater installed) they chimney is supposed to help with the draft it has to many holes to do so. I have had my leak for 7 years.
  • The board has just raised condo fees to replace our sliding doors, I feel that since the doors are part of the condo, it should be the responsbilty of the owner to pay for their own doors. Also because this not a common area according to our bylaws. Please help
  • Do I have to give the keys to my condo in Michigan to the President of the Association?
  • What can we do? We have had two, very qualified cash buyers with excellent employment and credit for our co-op in Westchester cnty NY, that were turned down without an interview.
  • Can foreigners take over a 55 and older 40 yr. old condo association with 8 buildings with their own boards and come together with their own agenda to form a single condo board to control all the different boards under the one clubhouse board. These are almost exclusively Italian French Canadians that only reside by U.S. law for up to 6 months in the U.S.
  • I rent a condo, but am moving soon and my power was shut off. So the condo association hired a locksmith and just walked into my condo without calling me first, not only that but they changed the locks on my private back door. We have a main hallway which is my front door and is the common area. . Did they overstep there power?
  • We purchased our condo from the Developer 5 years ago. It was advertised and sold as a "gated, limited access" condominium and was until just recently. Our present board just voted to open the gates from 7 am to 7 pm. Gates are now open 12 hours per day. Most owners are not happy and the Board seems dug in. I'm considering a petition to try and change the position of the board although no guarantee Board will listen. Any advice?
  • Need help board formats fine committee after roof access is this against the law! Secretary is going to far because she did not identify herself my guest asked who she was and then bullied us and bow charging 100 dollars
  • One of the condo owners lost power. Electrician has to access my unit to make repairs .The manager left me 3 voice mails to inform me that the want to access my unit. I'm not good at checking my voice mails. Just learned about it from the building janitor. I spoke to manager and told me I didn't care about my neighbor and that they could break my door since it was an emergency and the repair of my broken door will be my responsibility. Was he right?
  • Fire sensor in an enclosed laundry closet went off in my condo. The alarm company that responded stated that the sensor was the oldest he had ever seen. He said it was so old the dryer could set off the alarm. By coincidence construction was going on in my kitchen when alarm went off. Now the HOA wants me to pay for the fire alarm company's response. The firefighters that responded and the alarm company said there was no way the construction set off the alarm. All the alarm sensors in my condo are 20 to 30 years old and need to be replaced. The HOA sent me a letter stating that I have to pay for fire alarm company response. I asked that all sensors be replaced because I am disabled and a widow living alone. They did not even answer my request. Am I responsible for paying the alarm visit when the alarm was in an enclosed closet nowhere near the construction?
  • Support It!!! Creates the office of the cooperative and condominium ombudsman, authorizes the residential unit fee Bill A34-2013
  • Can my condo board deny me access to our pool because I don't have my common access card? I have my state issue ID card which shows my address? The common access card has no identifying information on it. It's simply a magnetic ring inside a cardboard square. I think my government issued ID should be sufficient for establishing who I am and up to the board member challenging my identity to prove I am not allowed access for what ever reason.
  • I have been living in my unit ( co-op) for twenty-three years. Can the board or president evict me for leaving a shopping cart at my entrance for a short length of time. That's what they are trying to do.
  • Can a Vice President of a Condo board and salaried employee report 30 owners who have had screen rooms attached to their townhouses for over 30 yrs, many with permits and some cited for removable wind breaker windows where there was no code 20 yrs ago. This was done Aug. 2013 and no one on the Board notified these owners. The President and 2 other Board members knew of this in March and April 2014 and still Never mentioned this in meeting or notified the owners. The salaried employee is still on payroll. Do the selected owners have any recourse.
  • all members of the complex voted on a special assessment to be paid in full in 12 months or in 24 months on a case by case basis. Now, upon application to pay in 24 months they are asking for my current bank statement and a statement showing my income and expenses. CAN THEY DO THAT??
  • I bought my condo at the height of the housing bubble, just the wrong time, thinking I was getting a good deal at the time. Now, I am $80,000 under water. I don't want to rent my unit out so I am staying put. However, my complex has deteriorated in the 8 years I've been here. I think we are over 50% renters, most of which are loud, criminal-like, and don't follow the rules. We are down two board members as no one, including me, wants to run (I work odd hours when the meetings are). Our property manager, an outside company, does nothing but make sure the grass is cut. I've reported numerous repairs and few have gotten done. The last meeting I went to 5 out of 200 owners attended. I was told the complex had no money for anything and fees would have to be raised. No one votes, even if ballot boxes are placed in the hallway. Any communication I received from the board or property manager is threatening or is so grammatically full of errors as to make no sense. I want to leave but am waiting until I can at least break even with the mortgage. I've seen renters trash units and can't afford that for myself. There has to be a better way to manage condos than by having a voluntary board and hired property manager. There really does because this ain't working.
  • Condo attorney fired to dismiss pending case against new board member. President hires friend, criminal attorney, to handle the case of her new vice president. Legal?
  • Condo owner also has another home which they live in 6-months out of a year. They now loan out their condo to their friends. They say these are their guest and do not charge them. These guest now stay for over 3 months with no owner present and I feel violate our 1 year lease bylaw. Fearful of making our development very transit.
  • Can a president be voted back in if he or she was voted out by board members yr
  • 109 18 LEFFERTS BLVD, S-OZONE PARK NY 11420.We, the unit owners of 109-18 Lefferts Blvd Condominium are writing this letter because of an internal corruption that has being occurring in the building for the past couple of years by the board of managers. The boards of managers have been continuously taken out loan against the condominium one after another. They took out a loan of $30,000 in 2010, $36,000 in 2011 and $48,000 in September 2014. AS soon we finish paying for one loan, they hit us with another one. The condominium never seems to have any money. 109-18 Lefferts Blvd Condominium has a maintenance income of over $100,000 yearly not including other income such as laundry room, buying , selling and renting fees for the units, storage etc. We, the unit owner believe that repeated loan against this building was not justified. The boards of managers are abusing their power. We are individual owners and we did not have a vote on any of the project they instituted. We know that according to the bylaws the boards can take out loans under$50,000 without the approval of the unit owners, which is the reason why they continuously take out loan less than $50,000.The recent loan that they took out for $48,000 was unjustified. They used that money to paint the fire scape outside. When we confronted them that this was not $48,000 job, they had no answer to give us. We believe the board of managers might be taking kickbacks from contractors. In other words, the job is not $48,000. We recently send a letter out to the boards through the management company on 09/22/2014 requesting bank statement of transaction for the past 5years. We have not received any response to this letter from the board as of it. In addition, the water in the building is not drinkable because the pipe has not been changed at all and black chips spills from the pipe into the water. We have to buy water to drink or buy a filter. The building never has any money to even keep us safe despite the $100,000 in maintenance money alone. We do not even have enough money for a full time super. When any one of us ask the board president Raymond where the money go, he never seem to know. He always brushes off the topic. The boards of managers have also created a laundry room and have worked in the basement numerous times without the approval from the building department. If any dangerous situation arises from these illegal constructions where are we going to go with our family? According to the bylaws, if an owner purchases a unit, he/she must live in it for at least one year before they can be rented out however; apt. c1/d6/b5/c2 were rented out right away. The people that the president like, he bends the law for them and the people that question him; he starts to harass them and give them hard times. In addition, one of the board members don’t even live in the building. Furthermore, the president and the vice president have cameras inside their own apartment watching the unit owners every moment. They are continuously invading our privacy. We don’t feel safe that they are watching when we leave our apartment and when we come back. The cameras should be in the basement and not in their apartment; we are not here to entertain them. For instance, one day one of the unit owners was cleaning up her apartment and was going up and down the stairs to the garbage bins, the president call her up and asked her why she was going down the stairs so many times. Moreover, about couple of months ago, we the unit owners requested a meeting to address some of the issues we were facing and the president rejected our meeting saying that there had to be at least 8 people to request a meeting and we were only 6. We are requesting the DA to look into this matter. We, the unit owners are signing the paper in the sense that DA will look into this matter and keep our names confidential so that the president will not harass us like he always does to people that ask questions and stand up agai
  • In 2002 me and my wife of 72 years old move in to a Large rentalplace in Miami, in 2004 this place was converted to a condo. In those two years and a half I obtained permit to indstal video cameras inmy unit because Iwas vndalized twice, I installed also with the rentalplce toinstal a fan inmi terrace due my healt and therapy I do, alsotwo electrical lighs side by side of my glass door in the terrace so I can walk tio my patio and terra at night and avoid accidents of any falls, everything was installed by the code and by licensed compnies and I have the invoices and the permits fronthe rentalmamager. Now 8 years latter (2012) this Condo's Board who was converted in 2004,and two Boards has pass by and nobody has objected my installed properties are asking me to remove all of my installed and authorized mention personal properties authorized, even the same Board asking me to remove my video cameras they gave me a written letter authorizing my video cameras, but now the are rivdersing without any reason at al, What happens is that my video cameras cought the Board Secretary doing harms and I mention that the the Board president whois close friend of the secreaty. I have been fighting this with the Board, but nos they have charge mi inmycondo account $10,000.dolars fine, $1000.00 for ea property I have installes, I am saying to them the Grandfatherin Provisions,the status of Limitation and without any Due Proccess ( violation meeting reunion) they can't do that. but they just want tokeep me silen because I am the only voice in this Condo who tells thjem they are wron. Thank you
  • frustrated. My buyers 4 have been turned down without any reason. the apartment have been empty for almost two years. I'm tired of paying fees with no end to it. what shuold I do.Please help
  • To all you owners frustrated with your condo board... Be more proactive, organize your fellow condo owners, sell them the idea that the only solution is to run in numbers as candidates for the board next election, campaign and win to take control of the board..that is the most inexpensive and effective way to make things right for Your Association. As a matter of fact that is the only way to beat an abusive board. be proactive, do not complain...take responsibility, there is no other way, ,
  • I just found out that our co-op manager was never voted in by the shareholders but brought in by a friend...is this legal ???
  • Whether or not he was voted in by the shareholders, I believe he came with excellent references and seems completely capable of handling this position. Let's just give him a chance before we knock him down, ok?
  • Can idividuals be arrested for tresspassing if staying in a co-op without being a shareholder or on ocupantcy agreement,with shareholder in another stare.
  • Dallas, Texas HOA Board raised our HOA dues by 10% without a owner vote or legal annual meeting. Is this Legal?
  • What is the point of all these questions, but no answers?
  • I see many questions posted but no answers. There are several questions that may b common to all. Do you reply directly or just post questions on this site.
  • Where are the answers to the above questions?
  • Can an association team de-activate entrance gate keys to owners who are behind on thier association fees? I live in a 300 unit condo community and all but 20 gate keys have been de-activated due to unpaid association fees leaving tenants/owners stranded waiting for someone to come/go to get access to the buildings. Is this legal?
  • The co-op board in my building decided to renovate our lobby. They did not consult with the residents or hold a vote. The changes they want to make are not structural, but cosmetic. They have paid an architect many thousands of dollars already for what will be a mult-million dollar project. Do they have the right to do this?
  • I live in Bellevue,ky. Igot cats after my husband passed in2011. president of condo ass. gave me a 25 ticket because I let my cats out. didn,t know belleue had a leash law for cats. kept them in after that, but one got out when I eas coming in one day....only out about 15-20 min. and back.now here's the problem. I was issued another ticket for$100. can they legally do this?
  • I live in mon .county nj.our community consists of 3 phases.phase 1 is sold out 2&3 are not built the bank took back control when the builder walked. the bank wants to change the original plan but the owners are going to vote this proposal down but are being scared and told they can be sued. I believe the bank/new developer can appeal to the township planning board but can we be sued we are agreeing they can build to the original plan but do not want anything built of lesser value.
  • What can you do if you were verbally assaulted by a board member? I'm a co-op owner and so is the board member. Help please!
  • I live in a condo and the management co. took 45 minutes to respond to my call about my unit flooding from my upstairs neighbor. They took no responsibility and even complained we were making too much noise trying to save our condo with water mitigation from the insurance co. We also had complaints about opening the front door to move in contractor materials. Now we are getting fined $250 for having a contractor working on a Sunday, we didn't even know he was working then and when we found out we told him immediately. Now we are to have an ADR hearing after the management co. took 4 months to arrange it (and gave us 6 days notice). The complainer is head of ADR, they say they won't be involved in the ADR hearing. Any suggestions? The condo management company manages 100 or 200 buildings in NYC and are very arrogant.
  • in my co-op disabled person with teenager son and new boyfriend is ruining her unit and backyard, pooped by dog and junks. What i can do to required some respect to co-op rules from them?
  • Live in an over 55 condominium with 58 homes in East Bridgewater, MA. The Board of Directors acting in haste because of a rise in the town garbage rates decided to have in-house garbage storage. The two dumpsters are 100 feet from the nearest home. There is no way that even a tree can separate the owners from a view of the dumpsters. Then the road next to their home allows the trucks picking up garbage and recycle to pass about 15 feet down the entire length of the side of their house. It was not sold as a maintenance lot. The placement of these dumpsters will cause the loss of our property value. The deposit of the garbage and recycle is noisy and the trucks roaring in are noisy, unhealthy and disruptive to our lives. It is amazing that after living here 10 years we now have a changed environment and can do nothing about it.
  • My co-op apartment includes a terrace that is entirely visible from public spaces. One can also see most of the interior of my apartment from public spaces. I have received multiple notices from the superintendent and management, even from the co-op's attorney (for which I have been billed!), complaining about various items on my terraces or in my apartment. I feel that my privacy is being violated, in that the staff, board and management are effectively using their right to enter and inspect my apartment to a much greater degree than any other apartment. After one complaint of something they wanted removed from my terrace, I pointed out that I could see similar items on other terraces. I asked if the other terraces would be similarly inspected and notified. I was told I could directly report my neighbors to the super or management. So, basically, 'no,' they hadn't inspected other terraces and had no intention of doing so, but I was welcome to 'rat out' my neighbors. If this continues, what recourse do I have to protect my privacy and reasonable use of my apartment and terraces?
  • I have had a serious issue in my condo. The board for several years has not helped my problem. A new member joined the board and showed some concern and saw my problem when she entered my home. Now I feel the board has told her to stay away and not talk with me anymore. She has possibly changed her story since seeing my serious problem and trying to tell the board or management Person of the condo's. I live in. She will not even talk with me now. What should I do? The management person is a bully and is very dishonest person.
  • Our condo board president is in charge of employees. He has always been verbally abusive to our female property managers and some female bard members. What can be done? I believe that employees can be given constructive criticism without such abuse. Can a former employee file a lawsuit?
  • I live in a Co-op in Michigan , I have been trying to get some info on what is legal and what is not legal. I was on our board for 9 years and now am not and have not been on the board for about 4 years. Our morgage was paid off with Hud last year and to my belief the C0-0P was supposed to have a vote on wether our C0-0P would go market rate or condo or stay the way it was. There was several meetings on this and we were told the vote would not come up for about a year which I thought was wierd. At a board meeting I asked when we would have our vote for the members and was again told it would be next year. Now here it is and nothing has gone out to us on when we would vote on this. We don't get very many times that we get to vote on anything but this is our right is it not. Not sure but I think our finance manager and the board of directors have taken decided to vote on our behalf is this legal? Myself and several other members are still waiting to vote on this matter but have heard nothing. Can they just do this without us voting or can they ( the managment and board of directors take this in their own hands. Also is there any one I can get ahold of on this matter?
  • I was wondering if anyone here could tell me if it is legal for a coop to assess moving violations on a co op memberon private property belonging to the co op?
  • I own a coop apartment. I had a buyer who was qualified but the person was rejected by the board. Prior to this buyer, one member of the board said they had prospective buyers and I should go directly to them for a sale. Some members of the board are aggressive and wanted their own people or wanted to buy it themselves. I chose to get my own buyer. After the first buyer's rejection I let the board know that I am still interested in selling. They immediately gave me a buyer and said to have my lawyer write up contract for sale but did not give the name of the buyer's attorney. When I pressed for the lawyer's name they said reluctantly that the coop lawyer will take care of the sale. They also would not give the lawyer's address and said write up the contract without the buyer's attorney's information. Many of people in the coop are afraid of this person and some have tried to sue. I am giving you this information for some back round. The board member said bluntly, 'If your lawyer does not want to write it up like that, get a different lawyer. We have coop lawyers you can use." So the board member has said in essence you use our lawyers. So basically I do it their way or just sit with my apartment I have asked a few attorneys about writing a contract like that and they were apprehensive to do so. Is this legal and if not what can I do? .
  • I live in a condo and I'm a Co-owner. Last week I went out of State and upon my return my neighbor a couple building down erected a 30' Antenna Tower in the rear common area. I contacted the management company and he said he was unaware of the installation he would check with the Board. I took photographs of the antenna and sent my disapproval to the board because as I look out my rear window this 30' foot tower is in my view. I also took photographs of the WARNING on the pole that if the wires come in contact with other wires you can be killed. My concern is that the wires are visible and accessible to children or anyone. I attended a board meeting and ask the board why and how permission was given to this co-owner to erect this tower in a restricted common area and they told me to talk with the co-owner who installed the tower. I'm told the antenna is used for CB communications and other usages. I'm also told by a electronics manager that towers of this nature are obsolete and that he could get a short wave radio for the same results or get a police scanner if he wants to hear what's happening in the community. Another board member told me, you should have seen his first request. I told him that's why you are there as the voice of reason. He may have wanted a 60 feet tower and you should have said NO as well as a 30 feet tower. There should be no compromise. What recourse do I have. I would not be opposed if he moved it out of my view and closer to his view and his property. I think the board has overstepped it bounds. What's your opinion?
  • Why don't u answer the dam questions? People take the time to to punch iit in! We dont'! Want to read other problems we want to see the possible Solutions!!!!! So we can proceed with the jerks we vote in!!!!
  • Hello Everyone! First, I realize this is an old thread, but thanks Keith for writing the article. I've read all of the responses as well, and did so because like most of you I am soon going to be a co-op owner, and like you I am concerned about the potential for harm that can come from a board which abuses its power. In my case it's a board that I have no experience with and don't yet know, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt, hope for the best, but keep my eyes and ears open! I have owned and lived in a house for the past twenty years, in a neighborhood with nice neighbors, and no monthly community fees. From time to time the homeowners would get together and pitch in for required road repairs and resurface, but not very often and entirely appropriate. Now after divorce I am moving across the country from my California suburb to the city. The co-op apartment I found was very reasonably priced given the location. When I put an offer on the place, which was accepted by the seller, I read ALL of the documents. Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, Rules and Regs etc. I have asked for meeting minutes of the board but they have not yet been provided. In short, I've been doing complete due diligence. What I have found, is that based on the type of purchase (co-op), there is very limited recourse to a bad board. This conclusion is from carefully reading the agreement I will sign on settlement, that essentially allows me to live in a space of a building, owned by a corporation in which I will hold some shares. I had conversations with the building manager, and others, who explained this again. So I am therefore putting myself in this position, and handing powers over me to a board that I don't know that will limit what I can do in my apartment. Am I happy about this? Not a chance. But sometimes you have to compromise to get what you otherwise want. In this case the ability to live in the center of an expensive city at a price I can afford. So to those having problems, you have my sympathy. To me it seems that your options are: 1) As Sandy pointed out, you can reach out to your neighbors and come together to force out the bad board, 2) Hire an attorney and sue the offending board member (keep in mind that you as a co-op owner will end up paying some of their defense costs!!), or 3) Sell your place and move somewhere else. For those that are upset that they are not getting a response to your posts, be just thankful that someone took the time to write an interesting article for you, and that people who wrote followup posts provide useful insights into what types of real problems can arise.
  • Our Condo group has a multi million dollar loan that when approved had a requirement that prepayment options would be provided. 2 members don't want to do it so have suppressed any action to do so. They say they have a legal opinion. I asked for a copy and they say it is protected by lawyer-client privilege. Since it has a financial impact on me, can they refuse to do that?
  • Be honest, the coop and condo type of business structure in the USA, is the nightmare of regular people like you and me, the local government can't do anything about it. From my understand, since coop and condo, or the management company can do anything to its residents by holding the unit, and impose fines without any kind evidences to support. It is actually organized crime so the board or the management can get any kind financial benefits. It should be report to FBI for organized crime.
  • For at least 30 years, all residents (owners and tenants), have been using the front (main) door of our Co-op buildings. Now our Board of Directors sent out an updated list of rules that says anyone walking or carrying a dog must use the back door and and will incur a $250 penalty if using the front door. Is there anyway to stop such a rule?
  • Who do you contact or who do you go through to report abusive Behavior oh Township trustees and zoning we recently received a letter declaring as a nuisance we live here on the property we like to scrap different materials but anyways they declared us a nuisance I have semi trucks and trailers here on the back of the property that cannot be seen from the road are trustees decided to go above and beyond the courts and what the assistant prosecutor told them to do they went on their own came out with 6 Sheriff and a Construction Company to level our property clean everything up take all the trucks trailers all our personal property but luckily I was home and prepare for this and I stop them by repeating if they did not have a right to be here there's no law that backs them and after about 20 minutes they left but they did trespass and we can't find the larger within 75 miles of Toledo that would even touch any kind of case concerning trustees the courts the prosecuting attorney's any of this we're lost we tried to go to the news crew they turned it around on us they are violating our constitutional and civil rights and we can't get nobody to help us we've called the FBI u.s. Marshals Attorney General the list goes on and everyone says they cannot help us or they won't help us what do you do I'm at the point where I will protect me and my property and my belongings I would die for my property and my belongings and nobody cares to even acknowledge what's going on here we're lost we don't know what to do devastated is one of my main words and how I feel
  • I live in a co-op in the Bronx and have been here for 62 years. The President of this Board has moved his family inside of an apartment with the Treasurer's approval and no one else's. The President is also renting out rooms here in apartments that are cooperative's and renting is not allowed. Moving forward, no one say's anything because they don't want to deal with the whiplash that will follow, such as no one speaking to you. Personally, I really couldn't care less about who speaks to me or not, however, I can't fight this battle alone. I just want to know if I can sue them for not following the bylaws on my own, or do I need other cooperative owners to be in agreement?