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Minutes - Annual meeting & Financial report - Pooh Jul 03, 2024

When we have an annual meeting our board/attorney don’t take minutes which I find strange. If someone can’t make the meeting or even if you’re present and want to review what was discussed nothing is documented or distributed to the shareholders. I’m sure it’s a bit of just being lazy or they think if it’s distributed that someone might challenge something after the fact.

Oh I was also told by our managing agent that they don’t need to send out the financial report even after the meeting unless a shareholder asks. In other words there’s no legal reason that they need to send it out.

Your thoughts please.

I thought it was 2024!!!

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It sounds like your board/attorney and MA have a cozy arrangement. As far as I'm aware, most of what you describe goes against co-op regulations or is illegal.

Since it seems most of the people in charge of your co-op are colluding with each other, you'll probably have to engage an outside individual or entity. One that comes to mind is the Real Estate Board of NY (REBNY). They may not be able to help you but might be able to point you in the right direction. You can also try the Attorney General's office to see if they have any departments set up for this situation.

Ultimately, you'll probably need to contact an R/E attorney who knows co-op law and has no connection to any of the groups you mentioned. It's not going to be cheap, but right now you have no idea of the financial state of your co-op or whether any fraud or embezzlement has taken place.

Good luck.

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Hi

I have a financial report and anyone who attends gets it but if you don’t he was saying that they don’t have to mail etc and if you ask for a report they’ll send it. My issue is why aren’t they more proactive and buttoned up about important documents like this and just send it to everyone? I really don’t care what the managing agents says he likes to have the last word even though he works for me/us!

Minutes issue is strange. I think because there are older board members they’re not exactly current on how things are done nowadays.

Transparency is key!

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Mice infestation :-( - NYC Jun 19, 2024

Hello, my community has had a mouse/ rat infestation lately. Many shareholders have complained... The exterminator will put glue traps in the apartments but does nothing outside. There are Rodent bait stations outside but the exterminator said it is not his job. Does anyone know who is responsible for the maintaining those stations?

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Additional Liability Insurance Requirement for New Shareholders Only - Carole Jun 15, 2024

I recently purchased a co-op. One of the requirements was that I get $5 million in personal liability insurance. This rule was passed several years ago and it’s only being applied to new purchasers. Shareholders who purchased before the date this rule was put into effect only have to have $1 million in insurance. Is this legal?

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I am not a lawyer, but I believe it's known as "grandfathering". Unless there is imminent risk or danger, those shareholders who owned before the rule change was put into effect are entitled to follow the old regulation.

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Thank you. I was advised that the Board cannot impose different financial requirements for different shareholders. I have not heard anything about a “grandfather” exception to the requirement that new purchasers carry more insurance than existing shareholders. I don’t know if any real estate attorneys follow three discussions, but I would be interested in hearing what they have to say.

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House Rule: cannot smoke 25 ft from bldg entrance?! - DM Jun 12, 2024

I think the sidewalk is public domain, no?
How can a coop dictate a shareholder can only smoke 25 feet from a building entrance>?
Seems like a stretch.

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I believe this applies to public housing only and not private cooperatives:

Although not covered by the HUD rule, condo and coop boards may adopt house rules and/or policies within their governing documents prohibiting smoking outside of the building in common areas such as garden areas, patios, roof decks, and terraces. While a board can request and encourage that people do not smoke around the perimeter of the building, they generally do not have the legal authority to enforce building policies on public property.

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Signage is usually placed on the building facade by the entrances; I believe it could be Local Law 127. Hope this helps

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I belive such a rule appieles to public housing also and a coop cannot dictate or enforce such a rule.

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The co-op or condo could also make the claim that smoking within a certain distance from the building's exterior creates an environment that is detrimental to the health of the building's residents.

Courts have upheld House Rules that prohibit smoking anywhere within a building, including residential units because of the effect of second-hand smoke. The same argument could probably be made that smoking too close to the exterior of a building affects the health of the residents from smoke that is drawn into apartments and building-wide air circulating equipment.

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No -
Private coops do not have control of the public areas outside the perimeter of the building in regards to people smoking.
(As much as some board members might like to.)

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Apparently they can.

Starting August 28, 2018, all residential buildings with three or more units in New York City will be required to adopt a written smoking policy. This applies to rentals, co-ops, and condos.

The new ordinance, called Local Law 147, does not require buildings to ban smoking outright. On the contrary

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Read things carefully. This would be over reaching for a private cooperative.

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Income limit for Coop Abatement - Roy Jun 06, 2024

Is there an income limit for the Coop/Condo Abatement?

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I don't think so. Imposing such an income test would create two separate classes of shareholders, which is strictly prohibited. It's the DoF who determines who's eligible for the abatement. They send a list each year with the amount of the abatement for each unit, and which units are ineligible. If you're on the list as eligible you get it regardless of your income.

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As usual, Steve is correct in noting that the coop itself can't condition abatements or assessments on income, and I don't believe the city does, either - at least for the Coop/Condo abatement. However, the STAR credit *does* have an income limit set by the state of NY. You're not eligible if your household income exceeds $500,000. See https://www.tax.ny.gov/star/

- Carl

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Building Managers/Owners: Thoughts on canners? - Amanda Kari McHugh May 14, 2024

Hey everyone! I'm a reporter for the Mott Haven Herald and Hunts Point Express. We're working on a project about canners in the South Bronx. We'd love to talk to some building managers and/or landlords about their thoughts on canners to understand your thoughts on canners and any impact they might have on your building - if any - if they're talking cans from in front of your building. We've talked to a bunch of canners and recycling centers but haven't heard this perspective yet. Please comment here, DM me or email me at amanda.mchugh38@journalism.cuny.edu - being an anonymous source is an option if necessary, though not ideal.

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Before speaking to you, would it be possible for you to provide some identification like your name, email address, and links to current articles with your by-line? I try to not be paranoid, but in today's environment of fakes, deep fakes, deeper deep fakes, etc, one can never be too careful. A reply to this response should work, and would make your credentials available to all my fellow Habitants as well. Thanks!

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A 30-second search brought this information:
https://www.amandakmchugh.com
It lists the same email she provided in her post. Looks legit.

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Financial report - Pooh May 12, 2024

Hello
I asked our board for our financial report a day before the annual meeting to review so if I have any questions or concerns I can just ask at the meeting and was told that our accountant is contracted to give them out the day of the meeting.

To me they don’t want us to see so we can’t ask questions in front of everyone.

I’ve never heard of that.

Your thoughts.


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It sounds rather draconian to me as well. Read your bylaws to see if they have any requirements for when the annual meeting should be held and when any required documents should be delivered. The annual audited financial report is required and I'm not sure about the budget report.

Try asking your managing agent for the report before asking the board. You might get better results. I can tell you that a lot of MA companies are still backed up due to COVID-19 and CPA attrition. The board may be using the excuse of "contractual obligation" to cover themselves.

Hopefully, you'll find something in the Bylaws you can use as a lever. If nothing works send a polite request to the board asking for a copy of the audit report. Send it by USPS certified/RRR. Start a paper trail in case this escalates. When you finally receive the report, send a list of your questions to the board, again by USPS certified/RRR. What happens next will guide what you do next.

Good luck!

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I asked a board member and the management agent in the same email and the board member responded only on Sunday and I emailed on Friday.

My understanding was that the financial report is actually supposed to be mailed out to shareholders so obviously you get it before the meeting. Have you heard of that being mandatory? I will ask our attorney at the meeting.

They also emailed it to us last year the day before.

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Isn’t it mandatory to send the financial report at least after the meeting even for those that didn’t attend the meeting?

I was told that it’s not mandatory and only if they ask.

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Tree Guards - Elisa May 08, 2024

We paid for the installation of a tree guard in front of our Condo. Now, two people in the neighborhood have gotten into the habit of chaining their bikes to it, on either side; it creates an unattractive appearance. Is there anything we can do about it? thx

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NYC Department of Buildings Electrical Inspections - Gouverneur Gardens May 03, 2024

Is it Legal to conduct a random non-emergency Department of Buildings Electrical Inspection on a Sunday at 7 am?
This is a Mitchell Lama Cooperative of 782 apartments.

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slander - DP May 01, 2024

A neighbor of mine has been wrongly accused, via email, by the building’s management—who provided zero proof or evidence—of subletting their coop unit. The only thing management said was very vague and heresay, along the lines of “someone saw…”. This shareholder has also been threatened with additional monthly fees (as stipulated in the House Rules). They responded immediately, saying the assumption is incorrect, and is still waiting for a reply. That was two weeks ago.

Any thoughts on how to proceed, where to start? Honestly… how do you prove a lack of evidence (no they didn’t have a Ring camera until now, after this started)?

Respectfully, please reply only if you have some experience or knowledge in this area.

Thank you so much!

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I don't have experience in this specific area, but I was board treasurer for 15 years and these are the steps I took under similar circumstances:

1) Have your neighbor make printouts of every email and other electronic textual communications they receive or received in the past.

2) Make copies of every bit of correspondence they receive regardless of how it was delivered (USPS, slipped under the door, etc)

3) Speak to other neighbors they are close to, to see if anyone else has experienced similar treatment.

4) As soon as possible, consult with an attorney who specializes in co-op law. I know it will cost money you were not expecting, but poop is a fact of life.

What I would *not* do is take any action whatsoever before your neighbor speaks to an attorney. Don't respond to any emails or other communications, immediately shut down any verbal conversations, do not initiate any actions, even responding to the email you said in your original message your friend sent two weeks ago.

The more your friend refuses to engage, the more agitated the board will become and the more prone they become to making mis-steps. I know this is hard, but even if a board member gets up into your friend's face, advise them to simply stand there, smile, and politely say when the confrontation is over, "thank you for sharing that with me." Full Stop.

I wish you and your friend all the best.

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Thank you, Steven424. Much appreciated.

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