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In our small coop, it states in the proprietary lease that a shareholder must use the apartment as his or her primary residence. Yet it has become common practice for some shareholders to buy a second home and then begin using their apartment as a pied-a-terre. It has somehow become an accepted, tolerated practice (I am new here, so I am just experiencing this for the first time.) The problem is that since we are self-managed, that leaves too much of the work on the shoulders of those who actually do live here. When this happens in several apartments, it really becomes a problem. Can this situation be addressed via challenging the claim that the apartment is a primary residence? I feel we need resident owners here, but since we are small enough that every shareholder (absentee or not) is on the Board, it is not a simple matter of taking the issue to the Board. Also, what determines "primary residence" for this purpose? If someone files taxes in this location, is that enough to legally claim it to be their primary residence--even if they own another home far away and are rarely on the premises here?
How many apartments?
What percentage would you say are not using the apartment as a primary residence?
Aren't you actually glad that some of the people in question are paying their [higher] taxes here in NYC and NYS rather than in their other locations?
I believe you can now obtain the services of "pied a terrorist" sniffing dogs. They can immediately detect the presence of absentee owners with near 100% sensitivity.
Your primary residence is defined by the IRS
If you have people breaking their proprietary leases, you need to take them to court.
It's a private corporation. How it defines primary residence and how it enforces it are completely separated from how the IRS defines it.
Since, short of a lawsuit, the Board is the only entity empowered to enforce lease terms, I think you do not have many options here. Perhaps you could let the place fall apart to force someone's hand. Strategic leaving of trash in the hallway, perhaps.
Advocate for hiring a management company (or part time services to alleviate the burden on you) - self-management with a bunch of pied a terrors seems like a nightmare.
rather than doing many tasks yourselves, start hiring people to do them. unfortunately, that will incease maintenance.
the other choice is to require shareholders to put in X amount of hours per month in assisting the coop. if they do not, there is a "service charge" that will be levied on them as contractors/service people will have to be hired to do the work.
sjtmd: that is funny! I needed a laugh....