58 West 58th Street #8D
1 bed•1 bath
Condo in Midtown
77 Fifth Avenue
Rental Unit in Flatiron
Madison Square Park Towerаt 45 East 22nd Street
Condo in Flatiron
There is no strict prohibition that I'm aware of unless your condo has precise rules against it. I have a friend who's the legal owner, and he submitted his wife to be on the board and it was okay.
With that said, if your board is full of insane people (very plausible in this city) and they're against something simple like this, I would start watching out and seeing what else they're up to. If you have crazy neighbors who may act in their own interests, start legal battles and quickly run up common charges because they have no idea how to run a building, I would RUN and sell quickly!
It's simply not worth it. Your unit will quickly become much less marketable with crazy people on the board and especially if the building is dragged into a legal battle.
That is a nightmare scenario of course and we hope it doesn't happen. In the off chance that does, just quickly list your property using a flat fee RLS (through Hauseit etc.) and quickly get the sale done. Fortunately there's not much a condo board can do to prevent your sale.
Is it legal for a couple (husband wife) to be both on a condominium board in New York city?
We actually already have copies of their records from when we adopted each that says they were neutered, so we're set on that front. But all of this is helpful info. Thanks!
I would also make sure that the letter from the vet says the cat has been spayed or neutered. That would be an issue with intact cats, howling to get out.
May want to test the existing dogs in the building to see if they'll go after the cat. And the cat to see if they'll go after the board member's bird.
lcsa, I would put a letter from your vet or groomer in the application package -- "I've been taking care of Fluffy for the past x years, she has a sweet personality and is up-to-date on all her shots" -- that sort of thing.
Buildings that restrict pets have often had a problem with a pet in the past, and proactively demonstrating that you're a responsible owner goes a long way.
On my board we do like to 'meet' applicants' dogs, but have never scheduled an interview for a cat. The idea being that the dog will be more of a presence in the building--in and out of hallways, lobby, elevator, etc, whereas a cat is confined to the individual apartment.
Keep in mind that some landlords will not allow cats because cats (more specifically their pee) can absolutely ruin wood flooring, carpeting and the like. But sounds like you are looking to purchase, not rent, so that likely won't apply to you unless you happen to find a particularly strict building.
Maybe it's slightly friendlier than 740 Park ? LOL
What do you mean by friendly? This is one of Park Ave's great buildings. There is no financing in this building, and you will need substantial assets well beyond purchase price for consideration by this board.
Hi dcmotu - We (Corcoran) have very limited building data but I can send you a report from our system if you email me Danielle.Nazinitsky@corcoran.com.
Anyone live or know someone who lives in this building? What is the board like? I've heard this is friendly building but I'd like to know more info.
Thanks for your comments. Keith was putting it accurately. Everyone just wanted to get the deal signed and get their money. period. End of story is that I managed to get my money back. Completely agree there was no thorough vetting of my qualifications.
A lot said here and I'm sure Ali offered some solid insight. I'm still puzzled that the listing agent/seller accepted your offer with not even a years worth of maintenance/loan payment liquid post close. Sounds like you did not have the funds even before you ran into a cash crunch. Sounds like both sides were anxious to get a deal signed without a thorough vetting of your qualifications.
Co-op 101 as I call it: 2 years post close liquidity and a 25% debt to income ratio. If you don't have this then ask questions. In a few cases where our client was well qualified in one area but not another or had a unique financial situation, we turn to the board for direction. Pre-contract signing if we are not sure if we will meet the boards requirements we submit a snapshot/explanation of the clients financials to the board prez or treasurer and ask for guidence. We are not looking for an approval just direction on whether we should proceed. It has been very effective even in cases where we had to twist the listing agents arm a bit because we felt we had a good case to proceed (and they didn't).
The Burkhardt Group
Well, jco, I love co-ops and boards, so forgive me while I geek out on this.
But first, realize that I can't see the complete shape of this thing. There could be a lot of different scenarios: Maybe there were two sets of brokers who saw financials where you were a poor board candidate, and neither side flagged it. Maybe you were a decent board candidate and then you had a financial reversal. Maybe you omitted a material financial fact.
Also realize that any advice you get from strangers on the Internet is worth pretty much what you pay for it. Here's where I throw in the disclosure that I'm not an attorney, and that nothing I say should be taken as legal advice.
However, in general, the way forward from this kind of situation depends on where the break happened.
If, for example, you were in a certain financial situation and something materially changed (let me use the example that you were employed when you made your offer, but then lost your job between contract signing and closing) you probably shouldn't close. You do have a responsibility, outlined in your lending documents, to notify your lender of major changes in circumstances. To "forget" to do so would be to commit mortgage fraud. Make that notification, and the lender will probably pull the loan.
If, when you made your purchase offer, you submitted a true and complete REBNY financial form, and then after contract signing you had a liquidity event (let me use the example here that you owned an investment property, which you disclosed on the form, and then suddenly your tenant needed an emergency $20,000 repair) then arguably seller had the information to realize that you were a marginal board candidate, and he/she rolled the dice as much as you did, and you both lost.
If, when you made the offer, your REBNY was, let's say, "inaccurate," that's IMHO much closer to Bad Faith. You have a duty to, for lack of better language, not misrepresent, either positively or by omission of pertinent facts.
If you're in a situation where 10% of the purchase price is at risk, and the board has offered you a way to close, then you probably bull your way through.
In a situation like this, your side probably asks seller to take a small haircut on price, since a small haircut would be better than paying lawyers to tussle over the contract deposit and then having to re-sell the property into a declining market. Both brokers would pitch in a little of their commissions -- to Riddhi's point, discounting is not exclusive to discount brokers, so if you needed a slight commission cut from the brokers to close the deal, you could propose that. Commissions are always negotiable, and the brokers would probably prefer getting paid something to not getting paid at all.
And you would indeed be stuck eating catfood for a year, but that's probably better than losing your deposit.
Consider that, from pretty much everyone's POV, this "lose-lose" hypothetical would be the lesser of two evils.
But, like I said above, I'm just spitballing here, since I'm neither your broker nor your attorney and I don't know your full circumstances.
You should definitely consult you attorney vs an internet forum for this. But from general experience it would be very rare for a seller to take your contract deposit, especially since you legitimately got rejected. Taking someone's 10% deposit is a huge deal and obviously leads to lawsuits. I'd be very surprised if the seller and listing broker wants a lawsuit. It just doesn't happen in practice, especially for the professionals as it's quite bad for business.
With that said, your broker if you had one should have prepared you a bit more for the purchase application and interview (http://www.hauseit.com/nyc-coop-board-package-purchase-application/). You should have also signed up for a broker commission rebate since your finances are so tight. 1% of the purchase price at close would have helped you. Good luck!
ali r. thanks for the comments. I wish I did have a good team but I feel so unprotected by my lawyer and broker. I told them I'm not going to have enough financials and you can see that in the documents. The board said that they honestly don't want me to "eat catfood" for a year because I'm not going to have money left and that this is a lose-lose situation. I didn't want to say I agree, because I need them to reject me (which they did). The contract is very clear about what happens in a rejection, I get my money back. The question is if someone can argue that I should have known that the co op requirements are going to include that. I asked these questions, but my lawyer and broker didn'd prepare me well for the interview.
Getting rejected does sting, but it is better to move on and not dwell on it. I am sure there are many other buildings out there who would appreciate someone with a good financial record.
Why do you work for an unpopular foreign government? Why are you looking to infiltrate a neighborhood, and this co-op in particular, to which your foreign government employer may be hostile? Are there other motivations at play here? Your purchase price down payment, is it entirely paid for by your earnings (including bonuses?) from this foreign government?
Give me a break. Queens County is probably the most diverse county in the whole United States. You can't live in this building - find another, there are a lot, maybe even some receptive to your hostile foreign government.
The next time someone brings up why you don't need a Seller's Broker this would be a good counter example.
I think that's worth talking to the city about since you do seem to be a member of a protected class (employment).
However, if the fact that you worked for Unpopular-stan was declared upfront (as it probably was, because for instance, they probably issued your employer letter) that's a weakness that your team should have seen, and it should be defended against in the package (it may have been... I haven't seen the application).
If you do decide to move on, one letter probably worth getting is a recommendation from one of your college professors (assuming you were educated in the U.S.) or someone else in your field (assuming you were educated overseas) talking about how skilled you are and how much of a catch you'd be to any employer. You want to move the focus away from your particularly unpopular employer and towards the fact that you'll always be employable.
I just did something similar for a London-to-New York relo. I thought she was in a fairly innocuous and safe-sounding job, but you still want to have the patch against the possibility that the board sees it differently.
My board package was submitted a week ago, and I have my interview today. I purchased in a small building though. I am advised that it could be difficult to schedule closing immediately given you need a lot of people on board, buyer and seller's lawyer, managing agent, bank, etc, and schedules have to work.
Don't forget eh Jewish "High Holidays" fall in the first 2 weeks of October this year.
That is quite tough. To give you a reference point, it's a little over 3 months between our submission to buyer's broker, and the closing. We did everything we can to speed things up but complications always happen. On average it'll be more like 2 months.
If you have a good broker, they should find out from the management company what day this month's board meeting is. By those dates, it doesnt seem random at all. It's probably the 4th tuesday of every month, with occasional years when everyone cant meet, they find another day in the week to have the meeting.
Your bigger problem is getting the package in all hands with sufficient time for the members to review the package to discuss it at the next meeting. Even if you sent out the copies of the package today it would be tight.
I doubt there is any way you'd be able to schedule your interview by the next board meeting, but as rentingbklyn says, many buildings do accommodate a separate night for it.
What you really want to do is get that package in the members hands before the next meeting with sufficient time to look it over and discuss it at their next meeting. Here the manager is your best friend. You have to find out what is the best way you can get your package in their hands before next meeting.
And yes, the bank will be a big obstacle for speed.
But Ive seen banks get their act together in as little as 3 weeks. Depends on the individual bank and the relationship you have there.
from now to mid-October is tight. Is there any chance that your broker (or you, if you're representing yourself) can sit down with the seller's broker today to review the package, even if it's not-quite-complete? Most agents on the seller's side are happy to do that if it's only missing one or two items, and then they can review pdfs of the last bits by email.
If you do that, and actually get the complete package to the managing agent on Friday, and ask them to please fast-track it to make the September board meeting, it's possible.
Separately, warn your mortgage broker and your attorney that you will only have ten days between board approval and close -- three of those days are holidays for many people, so the more notice you can give your team, the better they can plan.
If there is negligence, it is always best to go through the neighbor’s policy first because, depending on the carrier, they may not subrogate. Your carrier will work with your neighbor’s carrier to figure out what happened, and then your neighbor’s carrier will pay you directly. Homeowner’s premiums do not increase after claims like they do after car insurance claims.
Digs Realty Group
@Squid - managing agent and owner of upstairs unit are the same people, which makes it more complicated than it should be. I'm in one of those coops that are slowly converting to owner-occupied. Insurance is Amica. I'm going to call back tomorrow and speak with a different rep and hope I got an uninformed person the last time...
I had a leak in my apartment (coop) from a renovation my upstairs neighbor was doing. We were both insured by Allstate. He said it was his fault and went to his insurance company, they said I had to go to my insurance company since the damage was in my apartment. I did this. They sent someone to look at the ceiling damage and sent me a check. Then they collected from the neighbors insurance. Seemed like taking money from left pocket to give to right pocket since it was the same company, however, I got my ceiling fixed and my premium did not go up.
Never heard of such a thing. We had a neighbor whose illegal summer sublet left the toilet overflowing all night while we were on vacation. The damage was extensive, affecting neighboring rooms.
State Farm came out and looked at the damages. I submitted the repair bills to them and they, in turn, went after the unit owner upstairs. There was no increase in my insurance rate.
I also contacted the managing agent who already had a full report on the issue. I had told him that this person was illegally subletting before I left on vacation and he did nothing about this. I also contacted the Board who put in new regulations to prevent the apartments from being used as short term rentals. They also went after the owner because the water penetrated apartments 2 floors below me.
Who is your insurance company, State Farm?
The number doesn't have to be in the by-laws. The co-op's sponsor probably thought five was a good number, and it's never changed.
The only way to get unelected members onto a board is by appointment, to replace one of the five who resigns. The board couldn't just add a sixth member on their own whack. If the shareholders vote to increase the board to seven, say, then they'd elect seven at that same annual meeting.
OK, so if at some point it was voted on to be 5, where could I read that? It's not in the by-laws. And it's not in the amendments to the offering plan. (For the record, I do NOT want it to change, but I'm concerned that this could be used as a way to place problematic people on the Board.)
Most bylaws say something to the effect that "the number of directors shall be determined from time to time by shareholders at an annual meeting." If you want more, bring it to a vote at the next annual meeting, or try to get a special meeting called.
Thanks. The confusion is that the by-laws state: "at least three and no more than 9" directors.
What does that mean, especially given that for the last 30 years, the Board has been exactly 5 people?
It's however many the co-op's bylaws say. It can be changed by super-majority vote of the shareholders. We did that and went from five to seven. Two-year terms, with four seats elected in even years and three seats in odd years.
Most buildings where there have been sponsor defaults have actually come out the other side in much better condition.
There's never going to be a board that will not look out for the sponsor's interests. He elects them. Any lawyer that would let his client buy into this building is a lawyer who doesn't care about his client.
I would sell, as one person owning 65% of the units is very risky. If he should come upon hard times and would default on his obligations, this would be a disaster. The building may even revert back to a rental.
True -- renters have no interest in the sponsor selling off units. BUT, the impetus at this building for a leadership change is a myriad of other issues -- most pertaining to harassment and neglect. The renters are quite hopeful for a change for that reason.
The building is in Queens.
Is this a building on W.16th Street?
I'm not sure why the renters would want to do such a thing. Isn't it contrary to their interests?
What does "control" mean? (I've read about the "5-year" ruling...) If he has a 65% vote, doesn't he effectively control the board? Also, he has two seats on the 5-seat board.
The sponsor can't control the board longer than five years, no matter how much of the co-op or condo she owns.
The sponsor's tenants have no say.
In a building where the sponsor controls 65% of the units, how can someone get elected to the board? That is, do the renters of the sponsor units have any influence as to how the sponsor votes?
Great document, Mark. Thanks for sharing it.
Good info. Might consider adding a section on specific interview questions for purchase applicants. Surprising how many board members seem not to know how to conduct a thorough interview yet legally sensitive interview.
Have to copy and paste the entire link, through the ".pdf?dl=o" text as well, that didn't get pick up on the post.
Hi all, I created a document for new members of Cooperative Boards to digest, showing what powers they have, what they should be receiving from the agent, how they should interview purchasers, etc.
If you'd like to download, you can do so at the following Dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qsbwu00j4h18gzo/Welcome%20To%20The%20Board%20-%20Cooperative.pdf?dl=0
Hope that this is helpful to all!
I agree - board presidents are definitely not the 'king' in terms of job description but in some cases they may not be aware of the limitations of their role... =P
This just shows you how absurd co-ops are. Why in the world would you ever invest in a co-op vs a condo?? It's not even real property
Chair the meeting. Set the agenda. Wrangle votes. Give favors. Withhold benefits. Control communication with outsiders.
Board president chairs meetings and signs paperwork. No he cannot "boss" other board members around. He's an elected officer, not the king.
Some people really need to exist in the real world.
Setting the agenda covers everything except a well organized palace coup.
Unless it is someone on the Board who is doing the purchasing.
@interestedparties - well said. that's a very likely possibility. boards don't like low sale prices
It may be a situation that has to do with the transaction rather than the buyer. For example, if the Board didn't think the price would set a good precedent for the building they may reject the transaction regardless of the buyer.
Exactly, what neighborhood is this in?
Where is this co-op located ?
You know what they say, don't obey the cat policy, everything's up for grabs.
yes fuitistic - if your board doesn't follow its own bylaws, you should probably just move. sounds like they will cause trouble down the road for you in the future anyway.
although I don't think it's too reasonable to have an issue with cats given how docile they are, I do think that if you bought in a 'no pet coop' then you have the right to have pet-free neighboring units !!
Oh dear..........what a tough situation.
I was kvetching about my apartment on this board a few months back, and somebody on the board wrote: you should just move.
So I pass that advice along to you. We moved out in mid Sept and are enjoying the peace and the quiet in the new place.
My main problem is the noise. That the cat runs around (and the tenant as well) at 2 or 3 am when I'm trying to sleep. Or that things are being dropped overhead and I can't get a good night's sleep. The lady upstairs apparently is retired and never leaves the apartment. Our building has bad acoustics between floors so you can hear everything from one floor to the next. I had her stomp around one time when I had a cold and was coughing so it goes both ways. I talked to the super when I first moved in about her stomping and he claimed she had rugs everywhere. They really don't seem to be helping much. I've heard this cat for about 2 years ever since I've moved in so I'm pretty sure it's here to stay and that the neighbor is entitled enough to feel that she can let it run loose. Maybe I will talk to her or the super tomorrow about the noise and if it continues I will write a letter to the president of the coop board.
I don't think painting is something you ever have to mention to a board for any reason.
@callahan - agree, answer questions and don't ask any. smile !
Don't buy in a building where your would-be fellow shareholders don't want you investing in the quality of your apartment and the building.
The color is not the issue, the person who advised you on this probably has in mind that a board may be offput by candidates with disruptive renovation plans. Painting is generally not one of those.
If it doesn't come up, don't bring it up yourself. If they ask about renovations, answer briefly and truthfully -- you may bring in a painter but don't plan anything extensive.
Hi Bryant Park - you can email me Danielle@sohostrut.com if you'd like. I haven't had much luck either and have several other issues against my co-op board but lumped in the tax abatement in there. It actually is probably the most beneficial to connect my management company with yours and have them talk and guide through the process!
@Elleinad85 - sounds like a drawn out and frustrating process.
Are you able to share the details for this attorney of yours? Seems like asking nicely is a waste of time.
The management company is responsible for filling out the form. It took me 3 years to get the abatement and every time it was the management company who was responsible for applying for my abatement. The thing in my building is that there are long time owners who do not live in my building who are illegally getting the abatement.
If the management changed the status of my unit (to receive the abatement) they would also be responsible for adjusting the other units - the board of my co-op are all (but one) receiving the illegal abatement.
Anyways, now that I am finally receiving the abatement, I hired an attorney to have the board reimburse me for the 3 years I did not receive the abatement, around $6,000.
@miriamg - that's interesting, and different from information on this page:
How to Apply
Shareholders/Owners of cooperative units and condominiums without a managing agent or board of directors, please email the Department of Finance or contact 311 for more information on how to apply. Cooperative shareholders if you have a managing agent, please contact them to apply.
Is this NYC.gov page incorrect? What would be a more authoritative source of information that I could refer to?
the management company can update the status of shareholders that are currently receiving the abatement (for example: if it is no longer their primary residence), but they cannot apply on their behalf.
why on earth are they so strict? is this an ultra famous building or something? I just don't get it !
Putting aside front_porch's idolatry of Moly, her friendly approach is going to work out better for you than that of some ancient (30+20 = nearly 50 years) rock band groupie. http://streeteasy.com/talk/discussion/41160-coop-approval
Holy moly, 8 years' worth of income history is a lot --(I just don't see how, in a world where part of your comp is bonus-based, what you made even six years ago means anything) -- but it's also probably not that hard to reconstruct. If they laid out the path to showing greater financial strength at the interivew, then they like you -- so it's up to you now whether you want to jump through the hoops or not.
If you do want to proceed, I would say thank you "we appreciate have been given the chance to demonstrate our financial strength -- here's the information that you requested -- we want to reiterate how excited we are about this building" (or something along those lines)
If you want the apartment, and especially if you have the additional cash available, give it a try.
I would read this as a signal they may be willing to work with you (whether out of a sense of duty to the seller, who is their current shareholder, or just being open-minded). If they were uninterested in finding a path to approval, it would have just been a rejection at the paperwork stage, no interview. That's not to say an approval is guaranteed by any means, but try to look at it optimistically.
What neighborhood is this in?
What price point?
Is there a sponsor in the building that still owns units and holds a seat on the Board? If so, does the manager also manage those units? We have seen cases in the past where the property manager will be appointed as the sponsor's rep, in which case, this wouldn't be an issue.
Thank you so much for your helpful comments. I will check the bylaws.
BTW I don't mean to suggest that property managers are scary, or mostly dishonest; that has not been my experience. In my experience all the PMs in my life have all been careful and honest with my money. I'm just a stickler and believer in good accounting practices, and when they are not followed, I do not like it, even if nothing bad happens as a consequence. My friends who've lived in self-managed buildings without professional property management have often wished they lived in a bigger building with a real managing agent.
The property manager is an agent for the board, not an agent for the residents of the building. Technically if you're not on the board, the agent does not work for you, but of course practically speaking you call the agent to do things for you as a resident.
Property managers have lots of opportunities to commit fraud if the board is unaware of the hazards. I just sold a condo unit run by an incredibly naive, clueless board and just about kissed the closing table when the whole thing was over. If the board is unaware or easily conned by things like Christmas gifts, a property manager can pad expenses by supplying only the canceled checks instead of the invoices, or can provide invoices from companies that the PM controls for services that were not needed, not done, or over charged for. And that's just a couple of things they can do.
All that said: Check the governing documents (bylaws usually) to see what the board member qualifications are. If ownership of shares is required, then check ACRIS to make sure the PM meets that requirement, and all others. If that is the case---in my humble opinion having the PM on the board is no worse than having them not on the board. So Zoe, I would not be worried at all if I were you. If voted off the board, the board can still use the very same PM as their agent, who is also an owner of shares.
Everyone buying a co op or condo should investigate the property manager before signing on the dotted line. Find out if they get good reviews, make sure they are licensed. If the board is ignorant, or worse, you may not to reconsider buying into that building.
Is the property manager also an owner in the building? And is there any indication the board is sophisticated about managing the conflicts of interest inherent in a board member supervising his or her own work?
I would agree with the comments above. I rented there from the sponsor(owns/rents over 15 units in the building)for over 4 and a half years. My son was born shorty after we moved in. When we moved in there were toys on the roof in the community room for kids to play with. When the new condo board president took over, the toys were taken away and rules restricting kids soon followed. We eventually received a notice to vacant with no option to renew our lease. We were never late with a rent payment and rented at the market rate. I can think of no other reason that kids are not welcome. Thankfully we easily found an nicer apartment in a nicer building at the same rate. But, it was sad, my son did not want to leave, he had a lot of friends in the building. rent there at your own risk
if you don't like kids and have no friends. This building id PERFECT for you!!!!!
kids are not welcome. Neither are friends!!! Condo board president says no more than 3 guests allowed!!!! unbelievable!
yea and a want to be terminator that's always in the gym screaming at everyone, trying to intimidate so he can have room for his aerobics
I'll second the dictator comment above. Lived here for 10 years and never seen anything like it. The older residents (including the Board President) waging active war on owners and renters with children over what was once a play space upstairs. Del Boca Vista meets the terminator.
HDFCs are crazy deals .. .335k for a 1 bedroom in manhattan - incredible! http://streeteasy.com/building/58-west-105-street-new_york/4b
Yes they can 212mike
Can an HDFC co op vote to opt out of the program?
Yes, once you purchase it doesn't matter what you make any time after. Cash purchases either are gifts, inheritance, or a profit from a previous sale. For resale income restrictions will go up but they won't go away. We explored un-HDFCing for our coop and it's near impossible. There are rules in the property deed of what the property can be used for and the property taxes will go up considerably increasing the maintenance considerably. Some buildings have enforcement mortgages that you might have to pay as well.
NYC Matt, yes many people have lied to get an apartment and depending on location original owners can sell for a lot but if the coop wasn't foolish enough to reduce or eliminate the flip tax there is little opportunity for a cash windfall. Most HDFCs are not run well and have terrible financials limiting financing options for potential buyers. HDFC isn't perfect but the city continuing to be the landlord for these buildings would probably be worse.
"Once you are in the apartment, there is nothing stopping you from getting a new job that pays above the income limits."
Which is what you'd have to do to be able to afford these apartments in the first place.
Or just pull a Charlie Rangel and lie outright.
HDFC is one of the biggest legitimate real estate scams in the city today.