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returned by “August 2023”

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  • A Routine Laundry-Room Redo Leads to a Structural Scramble

    A co-op in East 73rd Street found compromised load-bearing columns during a renovation. The board took prompt action, assembling a team to reinforce the steel beams with new plates and brick encasement, securing funding through a second mortgage.

  • As Luck Would Have It

    The co-op board in Lower Manhattan is taking New Year's resolutions in the summer during their annual meeting. They also use the opportunity to address foreseeable problems by changing house rules and bylaws.

  • Dog Bites Condo Board

    When dealing with emotional-support animals, co-op and condo boards must be cautious to avoid violating anti-discrimination laws. Boards often find it challenging to address emotional-support animal cases, even when the unit-owner seems to be in the wrong.

  • Electrification Boost

    New guidance from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority makes it easier to obtain PACE loans for energy-saving projects like electric heating, cooling, and domestic hot water systems. Borrowers repay through property tax bills.

  • Feeding the Reserves

    The reserve fund of a co-op or condo reveals important information about the board's planning, budgeting capabilities, and available resources. A depleted reserve fund and an unbalanced budget indicate significant financial challenges.

  • Fines or Retrofits?

    Co-op and condo boards are concerned about reducing energy consumption to comply with Local Law 97 by 2024 to avoid fines. Switching to electric boilers and LED lighting are common strategies, but the costs can be significant. Many boards are considering whether it is more cost-effective to pay fines or invest in energy-efficient upgrades.

  • Five Days to Evacuate

    A 26-unit condo faced structural issues requiring emergency evacuation. Timely communication, empathy, and preparation were crucial during the process.

  • Hard Facts About Insurance

    Currently, co-op and condo board clients are facing challenges due to the hard insurance market, with insurance premiums increasing by 5% to 15%. To keep premiums down, boards can review and consider raising the deductible to avoid smaller claims.

  • How to Create a Roadmap

    Create a building roadmap with a life-cycle analysis, prioritize projects, and explore financial options for compliance, transparency, and cost-effectiveness. Communicate decisions with stakeholders.

  • It’s an Outside Job

    Boards often make the mistake of assuming their managing agent can handle project management on capital projects, leading to costly delays. Hiring a dedicated project manager is crucial for cost-effectiveness and efficient execution.

  • Kathy Kahng, President, 159 Madison Ave.

    Kathy Kahng, the founder of CityRax, a consulting firm specializing in street furniture, has served as the board president for a 12-story, 118-unit co-op in Murray Hill for decades. When she moved in 1989, the co-op was financially troubled, but through strategic measures, including refinancing and selling abandoned units, they improved the situation.

  • Mind the Noise!

    In the case of Bacharach v. Bd. of Mgrs. of the Brooks-Van Horn Condo, a condominium board faced legal consequences for allegedly neglecting its responsibility to enforce house rules regarding excessive noise complaints from one unit against their upstairs neighbors.

  • Not the Time for Amateurs

    The co-op in question installed a $1.5 million electric HVAC system without consulting a mechanical engineer, relying solely on the manufacturer's plan and installation. It was later discovered that the system lacked proper air circulation due to the absence of return lines, leading to its inefficiency. The board should have sought expert advice from engineers or architects and considered a maintenance contract for the system to avoid such issues.

  • Staff Salaries: To Increase or Not

    There is a shortage of workers for porter, doorman, and handyman positions despite higher wages due to prevailing wage regulations. Buildings paying prevailing wages find it hard to revert to lower wages and need to consider the long-term commitment. Unionization can be a strategic choice for attracting and retaining employees.

  • Talking Trash

    To address the rat population, the city has reduced the time garbage can remain at curbside, affecting co-op and condo buildings that must now take it out later. Many maintenance companies providing temporary workers to buildings have experienced turnover, impacting their payroll costs.

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