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Hello, I have owned my co-op since July 2012. I received a tax abatement in 2013 and 2014, but did not receive one this year in 2015. I thought this was odd and questioned my management right away since I was charged an assessment. Per the management, the Department of Finance deemed my unit as not my primary residence. I explained that it has been my primary residence for the past 3 years and nothing has changed. I contacted the DoF, their response was "Your managing agent submitted a 2012/13 cooperative property tax abatement change indicating this unit was not your primary residence. As a result the unit received a phased out coop abatement. The abatement was then dropped for 2014/15."
My question is, should i be going after my management because they gave the DoF incorrect information? Or can I request a correction from the DoF? My Board of Directors are very questionable individuals, they have changed the management companies 3 times within 2 years and refuse to provide audited financials. If the management companies are the cause of me not getting my tax abatement, I want to make sure to catch them.
why does it say cooperative, when this is a condo?
Are you concerned about the board infringing the seller's ability to transfer the property, e.g. adding conditions that are not contemplated by the bylaws?
Or is the worry that this sounds like an awfully broad release that buyers may experience, or the board may employ, as a shield for illegal discrimination?
My Condo Sales Package includes an applicant's release form to "the Board of Directors of the Cooperative Corporation" that he/she can be disapprove by the Board of Directors with their sole discretion without reason being given. No such clause exists in the By-laws.
Is this legal?
You are all a bunch of morons...................... Grow up and get a life You're all miserable and hateful because you live in your tiny, roach-infested hell holes like all New Yorkers.
There is a way to find out ahead of time if the co-op board will require the purchaser to hold the $$$ in escrow or just show it on financial statements by checking with the management company. Just because the board has this policy in place - it does not automatically make them fussy.
is the $50,000 in United States Dollars, or in some strange foreign currency http://streeteasy.com/talk/discussion/33006-f-coops
What neighborhood is this in?
be funny money.
London Babe, what neighborhood is this in?
Babe, first of all this sounds like a CO-OP and not a CONDO. When you buy a co-op you are a renter with equity interest in your landlord's company. You pay monthly rent (called maintenance). You get a lease, and you get a stock certificate with the corporation. If you want to buy an apartment, you need to buy a condo. Otherwise you are buying stock and lease.
That said, if this really is an identity theft case, you have a police report plus you have filed with the FTC. You (or she) has contacted all three credit reporting bureaus and there is a note on your credit reports clarifying same.
The idea that you think this is a secret suggests you either haven't followed the process because the perps are relatives, or you are just not paying attention to what you need to do.
If you or wife are protecting relatives who committed crime against you, it depends on the co-op of course but why would a well managed co-op want to take a chance on you, in this hot market, I can't imagine.
Here's a question and I hope you can help: I am trying to apply for a condo but unfortunately, my wife has been the victim of identity theft. Her son and daughter in law purchased properties worth well over one million dollars. Needless to say, it's ruined her credit. This is an ongoing case as well, about 10 years in the making with the authorities involved.
I know that both my and my wife's credit will be checked, as this is nothing that we can keep a secret anyway, from them. I'd like to include this on a cover letter when handing in our co-op package/forms so that they will be informed well in advanced and not be surprised. My question, finally is how or what should I put on paper? Thanks for all input!
What neighborhood is the listing?
I saved a building in a folder, but on learning more about it, no longer want to keep it. Cannot figure out how to delete the saved building from my folder. Please help.
Some of units in this building back and off market frequently . Heard that because of the rejections of the coop board. Does anyone know why?
Wanderer: Useful info, and well worth the time to read. Thanks!
here you go, might not be the latest info but it gives you a good idea of what the board can do.
The board may reject the proposed sale, as it diminishes the value of all the apartments in the building (or, more accurately, the values of shares in the corporation). Your contract contains a statement that the contract between you and the seller is contingent upon the board's approval of you and the contract terms, so yes, the co-op can keep the contract from being completed (if the contract doesn't, you need a better lawyer). If your application has been denied, it is unlikely they're going to invite you for an interview. Your broker should speak with the sellers broker who can maybe suss it out with the seller and the board to ensure that the board isn't mis-reading the sellers concession as a reduction in the price per share. If the board is holding to a particular price per share, you can either pay up, or walk.
Separately, why on earth would you not have market comps in front of you when you made your offer?
Not an expert at all but weren't boards left and right rejecting sales prices that were too low during the credit recession of 2008-2009?
What neighborhood in Queens?
Move. Good time to sell, rent a while and do more research before buying again. Worked fine for us.
Why don't you join the board and convince some like minded people to join you. Effect change from within.
I would sell right now after 1 year here, except spouse won't agree (commute's too good/hates to move). But I'm sure either the board will change or we will be gone in a few years.
Looking back, pre purchase, the only clues were: building not clean relative to its price point ($950 square foot low floor currently); numerous small neglected jobs around the building (leaking outdoor faucet pulled out of wall, failure to keep things painted, smelly trash area with houseflies); board involved in a stupid lawsuit.
Good question. Given all the seemingly endless problems where I live now?.....yes, the strict, slightly crazy UES co-op was better than this.
Do you wish you were back in a strict coop?
Hi, what kind of questions are on a co-op application, besides asking specific financial information? Are there samples online? thanks
Yes, the Board could try to take action against someone who sneaks in an extra cat. But is the Board really going to spend the time and money to hire a lawyer, etc. in order to do so? Odds are low, unless it's a widespread problem impacting the building (e.g., crazies with nine cats, multiple yapping dogs, etc.), and the Board goes after all violators.
The Board can certainly threaten to evict the tenants or cancel the Proprietary Lease, but the odds that it will actually be able to do over a second cat are basically zero.
Lying would be beyond stupid. The board could cancel your lease, remember a co-op "owner" is just a renter who happens to have equity interest in the landlord's company.
What we almost did--but ended up not having to do--was have our attorney put a rider in the contract that protected us if we were rejected because of pet issues. Atty offered to do this.
Your bigger problem is that the seller will pass on you. Why take a chance in this market?
My building has a two ferret limit.
This is a frustrating situation to find yourself in. Sounds like the broker/seller either had outdated info on the house rules or blatantly misrepresented building policy to you.
Either way, house rules are house rules and are there to keep the building comfortable for all tenants. In my co-op we would not allow an exception to house rules for the same reasons Aaron outlines in the above post. Asking for an exception to be made will flag you as difficult and may get you rejected.
Never take a broker's or seller's word for things like pet policies, sublet and pied-a-terre policies, etc--always check with the managing agent to confirm. Keep in mind that boards change house rules from time to time so it's possible the seller/agent will have outdated material, which may have happened in your case. That said, the selling agent should have immediately confirmed the building's pet policy since he/she knew from the start that you had several pets. Simply going by the word of the seller was foolish and unprofessional on the agent's part.
I agree that lying would be bad. The policy is what it is. Sneaking in an extra pet would mean you are in breach of your proprietary lease, which could get you evicted. Yes, it could happen. All over one cat.
All this said, every co-op board is different. While in my building there are absolutely no brokers, residents or other, who have any 'sway' over the board, that doesn't mean that the co-op to which you are applying is the same. Maybe they bend rules all the time. Maybe the selling agent really does have the ear of the board. But if I were you I would not go any farther until you have determined whether the board would even consider you with the extra pet. This should likely be done via the managing agent of the building, not through hearsay from your broker or the selling agent.
So, the way I see it, you have one dog and one cat, and you are cat sitting for the time being you mother's cat. Case closed.
NWT posted a URL to the original scandal in 1994. One of the firms mentioned in the article was back to their old tricks again in the early 2000's in the building I mentioned. It was the firm from which my acquaintance resigned.
There was a scandal with several managing agent firms about 15 to 20 years ago about condo AND co-op funds being misappropriated. This was published in several newspapers and the firms were deemed guilty in the courts. My condo changed firms and thought they were free and clear. Apparently, a long term president of the condo moved and everything started up again. The new president started to receive notices from Con Ed and other vendors about service being turned off or suspended due to non-payments for over 6 months. At the same time, the account balances showed ample funds to pay bills. What happened?
The managing agent was playing games and getting kick backs. The money was being used to cover bills for OTHER condos/coops where the sponsor gave the managing agent kick backs. They were crediting the sponsor's apartments in the other buildings with maintenance payments not made while the sponsor collected rents. The managing agent received a cut of the extra profit the sponsor made. At the same time, double ledgers were being kept to cover the issue with affected buildings. Fortunately, there was a show down with the owner of the management company; our sponsor supported the condo with his lawyers since he was not involved with the kickbacks. The firm had to provide more frequent updates on the payments and balances in the accounts.
I subsequently met someone who worked for that management firm and quit over this practice. That person confirmed that this was being done on a regular basis.
FC - What I was able to gather from previous years of SE postings by and about Truth before her account was deleted is that she actually sued either the board or the sponsor of a building in which she lived. I actually have always wondered about the identity of that building as well because I wanted to learn more about that particular lawsuit and how it turned out.
I own in a building in San Francisco that came online in 2007. One of the other owners is trying to get a coalition together to sue the sponsor because the sponsor still owns a considerable percentage of the building with no intention to sell. I have declined to participate in the proposed lawsuit because I feel that all of the risks that have materialized in that building were disclosed in the offering plan. I also have no issue with the way the condo board is running the building because the level of transparency is high and it all makes perfect sense to me. We are also pleased with the way the board of the building into which we bought in New York runs the building. As with the SF purchase, we did extensive due diligence prior to buying. I do not know the identity of the building into which this OP bought, but I am curious as to how this situation turned out. In our SF building, I know some owners have sold at a significant loss. It sounds like some owners in the building above decided to simply sell, and I would be curious to know if they sold at a profit or at a loss. One of the things that continues to fascinate me about New York real estate is/are the high price points at which new condo developments are selling. Most if not all of the people that I know in New York (small sample size) lives in coops; who is buying into all of these new condo developments?
Well, look at me and my crappy manners! Hello again, folks - in case you're wondering where I disappeared to, I was very busy after my last post - BECAUSE THE BOARD ACCEPTED ME!!! I interviewed with them in mid July, went to closing in early August, and moved into my dream apartment on Labor Day Weekend. And of course, between painting, redecorating, work, and then the holidays, updating my good news here just blew right through my mind. Very sorry to have not updated sooner, but it's been a very busy, but wonderful, handful of months.
And I sincerely meant what I said - I am never moving again, LOL! First of all, this place is so fabulous, there's no need to even consider moving. Which is really lucky for me, because I'm staying put!
Thank you all again for your help back when I asked for it - it really did help put things into perspective for me during the whole waiting game.
two months is the typical time. you will not know in advance
There is no standard behavior for all boards.
On my closing, I went to contract @ 1st week of January
Submitted my board package @ 1st week of february.
Was interviewed by the 1st week of march and closed around the 3rd week.
I could have probably submitted my board package faster but I committed to my rental through april anticipating it would take 90 days for any emergencies. Once things looked smooth I actually slow played it and ended up with only a week of an empty rental apt.
I would be sitting on your broker.
I shouldnt judge your broker based on him/her not assembling/making copies of your board package, but if your broker is not from a boutique agency counting all it's pencils and staples, Im guessing they are not a good one.
A buyer's broker should be proactive on the package, it's the major part of the real work they'll do for the transaction.
Once on a unit I almost bought with a crappy broker, I went to an open house of another unit they were hosting.
When they saw I was still looking at other apts, that lit the fire under their azz.
(My board def goes darker in summer, we have foregone July and August meetings. But we are a small co-op)
Just wanted to comment that I have never heard of a buyer's broker not assembling or at least substantially assisting his/her client with the Board Package. Crazy. Keeping my fingers crossed for you! Keep us updated!
Forest Hills, Rego Park, Briarwood in Queens. treelinetoskyline.com
^^ although now I read your post -- she's leaving WaHi -- would Riverdale or Inwood really be better?
Bick, that's exactly right. It will be easier for you if you're moving your mother closer to you, and can make that statement to the board, but this is not an unusual narrative at all.
I'm sorry that this went, because it sounds like it have worked nicely for you: http://streeteasy.com/building/870-west-181-street-new_york/28
Off the top of my head, don't know anyone who has the bandwidth to do both upper Manh and Queens, but I'll give it a think.
With these specs your mother might be able to qualify on her own depending on her post close liquidity. She also might be a good candidate for HDFC buildings if she has little to no income for the past couple of years and can purchase in cash.
Thanks Jason. 1BR, price point is under $250K, need maintenance that is $800 or lower. Definitely looking upper Manhattan, Riverdale, and Queens. Also pet friendly hopefully. A big ask I know. If anyone has a good broker to refer for this kind of thing please post.
FYI: The PDF is for the listing agent/broker to review. The managing agent receives copies or what ever format they request. I hear you on the electronic portal, sort of cumbersome uploading all the documents. We wind up spending a lot of time with the buyers, sellers and other agent (if they have not done it before). If the docs are not entered correctly it wont allow you to continue. If the seller has not entered their information correctly it prevents us from entering ours. Far from perfect.
let's see, RED -- I had a client who had recently retired, so in the application, in addition to providing historical financials, and supplementing documentation for those, we provided a pro forma financial for what retirement income would look like, and supplementary documentation for that. I had another client who had a reference letter that was provided on letterhead from a referrer who had since changed her phone number, so I had to annotate that. I had another time where the Aztechs had to get reprocessed since the middle name of the purchaser had been omitted, and the legal name didn't match the driver's license. I represented a landlord who used his co-op sublet application, but we swapped out the boilerplate lease offered by the co-op for our own lease, and then both sides kept adding riders at the last minute.
Those are all examples I can think of from the past couple of months. None of these were $5 million deals, just everyday business in neighborhoods from Chelsea to Midtown to Hudson Heights, but each one needed that little bit of customization to get across the finish line.
Thanks for all of the comments. In regards to substituting documents, where (which sections/types of documents) do you generally see this? I assumed most applicants would be following the board application as requested rather than making their own edits.
I'm going to say "thumbs down" on electronic applications, because they don't allow for any variability. It's one thing (and fine) for a board to want a completed application scanned and submitted as a PDF, or -- the way Keith B. does it -- assembled in Acrobat Pro and then submitted as a PDF. If the management company wants to see the package on a thumb drive, no problem. But to ask for an application through a portal that goes document by document deprives applicants of the art of assembling a board package -- substituting documents, making highlights, and writing notes to guide the board through an application that can be 300 pages long. It's a disservice to any buyer who isn't cookie-cutter perfect.
The current electronic portals can be pretty confusing, though I think a step in the right direction. We have completed a number of them. We use ADOBE PRO to securely, efficiently process "paper" board applications. Digitize all documents and make them writable, use passwords when sending completed pdfs and sensitive docs. Essentially We Prepare The Entire package, Then Meet the clients to get signatures. Once you have a system in place it's not that difficult.
The Burkhardt Group
As I said the lock has a lever on the inside that can be easily flipped. If you call emergency services someone (call a neighbor, someone else in unit) can just run down at release it. In our building, since we were small as well, (18 units) whoever came entered around 11:00 would flip it to locked and whoever left first in the morning would unlock. So it was just the late night hours that we kept it locked. Lived there for 20 years and we neve had access issues.
Thank you apt 55! That sounds like a good solution tho you would have to remember to give the code to ambulance/firefighters if called. And glad to hear that you found a cheap way because the building near me that did this installed a costly buzzer system.
BTW... the lock cost $40 and the super was able to install. Very easy.
I use to live in a building with the same lobby set-up. We needed it to mostly keep out homeless, especially in winter from sleeping in between the doors. On the outter door we installed a combination type lock. It required you to push a 3 button combo to enter. That number could be given to friends, visitors to enter. The back side of the lock (inside the door) had a small lever the could easily be flipped to lock/unlock. It worked out well. Due to its ease of use with just a lever to engage the lock... it comes in handy if you feel unsafe (someone following you) as soon as you enter the first door, you could flip the lever, so you the door behind you is locked and you can then safely go through the second door. Vistiors would then still be buzzed up after entering the first door, so giving out the combo did not pose a risk. It was also very easy to change the combo which we did periodically.
Thanks for the info, I did not know where to begin researching this. Would like to find the law before approaching the rest of the owners to request a change in policy. We were going to research putting in an outer buzzer system, where you would need to know the code in order to buzz yourself in--but that would be costly and also does not solve the problem.
If you really want to know, here it is: 1. There is The Condominium Act, which is part of the NY Real Property Law, and you can get it on Find Law for free and read it. Do that first. It tells you generally, very generally, what CONDO by-laws must do, among other things. (Don't worry about how co-ops do things if you live in a condo.) 2. Read your condo's by-laws carefully. Somewhere in there it probably says the board has the authority to create such rules as to allow for orderly deliveries and the moving of households, or some such language. Find that part, or confirm that it does not exist in the BY-LAWS. 3. IF that language exists, and I'll bet lunch that it does, then the board has the authority to fine you and charge you. (If there is no mention in the by-laws, that's another story.) The managing agent is a general agent for the board and has a fiduciary responsibility to the board. They sent you a letter about this stuff, and you probably signed something at closing that covers this. And yes the property manager is your enforcer.
The smart thing to do is to pay promptly and move on, and let go of any resentment you feel. This sounds like a well managed building and boy oh boy do you want and need that. These is small money. And, it stays your money, as it goes into the coffers of your building so they can use it to fix things down the road; your property manager may get a small service fee, but possibly not.
So the argument that if its not in the by-laws or house rules it doesnt exist, doesnt apply here?
Also, they want to charge $125 for the supt, who never showed up because they didnt schedule him, and $250 fine. Can I argue that there is no reason for the $125 fee to pay the supt who wasnt here?
AH145: The move-in/out rules are basically the same in most condos (and co-ops). Monday - Friday, usually 9am-5pm or 4pm. They don't want the elevators to be used for moving during weekday hours when there are residents needing to use the elevator for leaving for work and returning home. The same for weekends because many are home and using the elevator.
You need to give advance notice because they need to schedule your move on a day when there is no other move-in/out for another resident.
Your broker or the seller's broker should have given you this information (and getting the information in writing is always important). Your attorney could get this information for you before the closing date.
This information should be listed in the house-rules but it's not always included.
Most boards will also require that your movers be insured and that you provide their Certificate of Insurance prior to move-in/out.
If this is the only problem that you ever experience in your building -- you can consider yourself to be lucky.
Enjoy your new apartment.
The house rules has no information on move in/out policy. The letter I got from the management company states that I need to give them at least 10 day notice, and if its a weekend delivery I need to pay $125. They claim that a quorum is needed for major changes and not small potatoes like move in/out and fees. So basically, this is mostly driven by the board and the management company is their enforcers?
The Board can change the House Rules without a vote of the residents. When I was on a condo board, we periodically distributed the updates, including fines, fees, insurance requirements, move-in/ move-out days and charges, etc. Frankly, I don't like "legislating" things when there is a problem in the building. Sometimes you just have to impose a fine system when people refuse to cease doing things that create problems and expenses for the rest of the residents. The managing agent just collected the monies, depositing them in the building's account.
If you have been notified the Board and the Managing Agent repeatedly over the past 2 years. hire an attorney.
I lived in a coop where just a few of the neighbors had no heat. They hired a lawyer eventually after being repeatedly ignored by the Board and the Managing Agent. Apparently, one of the Board members on that line made modifications to the heating units within their apartment that blocked others on the line from getting heat. That's why their complaints weren't handled. The Board member didn't want to go through the expense of fixing the heating system again or being caught about for an illegal renovation he did on his own.
The lawyer for these people called the appropriate city agencies to inspect the apartments. He also held the Board's and the Managing Agent's feet to the fire. The building was also slapped with numerous violations that the city uncovered at the same time.
Just call your managing agent or talk to your board.
Attorney, why use an attorney when you can have a wife of an attorney?
Thanks for the advice.
clearly the co-op board is going to have to hire an attorney to move this process along, and since I'm not an attorney, I can't say anything that can be construed as legal advice.
But as a broker, I have sold a number of properties that have passed through estates, and I would remind you that it's customary for co-op boards in this situation to ask that the Letters Testamentary (which in this case might be Letters of Administration -- your attorney will know) be updated so that they are not more than 180 days old at time of closing.
If the relative has been appointed by the Surrogates Court as the Administrator, then he does have the power to resolve the estate. He may be having troubles doing so because of multiple claims on the estate, particularly if the original owner died without a will (which is implied in there being an Administrator. Otherwise they would be the Executor).
NY state law limits who can be a distributee of the estate of somebody who died without a will, and if this relative doesn't have sufficient blood relation, then they may not be allowed to inherit the co-op shares. If this is the case, then they may be illegally converting the estate's assets for their own benefit, or 'wasting the estate' (assuming that the estate is paying the maintenance). If so, the co-op could be included in a suit brought against the Administrator for not properly handling the proprietary lease (i.e., the Board permitted somebody to live in the apartment that was not permitted by the proprietary lease). Your board needs to get their lawyer to square things away sooner than later -- if nothing else, fully understand any issues with resolving the estate.
That said, I know of a unit in a Brooklyn co-op that remained empty for 10 years while the estate sorted things out with the heirs.
I'd get the "administrator" out of the apartment ASAP. His role in this estate resolution seems dubious since this has gone on for 5 years.
It's taken 5 years because the Administrator doesn't have the power and hasn't tried to get the power to resolve the estate and the board has been remiss. It is frustrating that the previous board left this mess for the current board to deal with.
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.
Yes, there is a bit of a gold rush mentality out there with at least some of the HDFC's, especially the one's in Manhattan. It's only been in the last 5 years where the Harlem HDFC's have been seeing prices out of line with the income restrictions. HDFC's that were originally built as luxury buildings tend to sell at astronomical prices, while the one's that were originally constructed as tenements tend to be closer aligned with the income restrictions- but still very expensive. There are HDFC's in Harlem where the prices are reasonable, but the boards are very strict about the amounts as well as the source of the downpayment (i.e. no parents buying for children).
That said, once an HDFC, always an HDFC- as posted earlier, don't count on the income restrictions going away. It's not a very common situation. That said, not every board is so strict, and they will allow for situations like parents buying for children. As to determining family income- the restriction is only applicable at the time of purchase and resale (your future buyers income). Once you are in the apartment, there is nothing stopping you from getting a new job that pays above the income limits.
Also, curious how they determine "family income". If I purchase an HDFC and my income is just under the limit, and then my girlfriend moves in with me, or I get a new job that pays a lot more, what happens?
I've looked at a few HDFC's in Harlem, and at least two of them the realtor later told me were purchased with "all cash". These were 500-600K apartments. I'm trying to understand what's happening. Parents buying for children? Or is there a "gold rush" mentality that believes (perhaps correctly that HDFC will "un-HDFC" at some point?
On my board, we only allowed 1 year leases. Renewals had to be approved by the board. However, any increases on the sublet fee were only implemented on a new lease or renewal. We didn't think it was fair to the owner to "change the game" after the lease was in effect.
The only "contract" here is between you and the tenant. The co-op can change its rules and fee structure at any time.
Typically you will have a contract between you and the tenant that last 1 year. If the board imposes a sublet fee per month, then it can be changed at any time, but I imagine if they charge a yearly fee, then it can only be changed after that year is up.
Hey, everyone. Does anyone have wisdom regarding sublet fees being raised after you've got a tenant in place? That is, when my tenant moved in the fee was $150, but two months later the board changed their policy and it went up to $175 a month. Am I beholden to the tide and I have to go with the changes, or should I remain on the initial contract when the tenant moved in?
Thanks so much,