Posted by Marsha D on January 22, 2000 at 10:46:10:
In Reply to: Heat in COOP posted by Marion on January 20, 2000 at 10:20:02:
: Hi, Desperate for any help and info. For 10 days in December my coop failed to heat. I am constantly writing to the managing agent and board , but problems are on and off. I never know,if I come home to aheated apt or not. Do have same rights as tenants and how can seek further help,possibly legal. contacted the nyc heating complain unit960-4800. --No results.Thanks Marion
Hi Marion, I don't know the exact procedure but I'll give you my thoughts on the situation. I am a Board member myself and I am surprised that your board is unresponsive to this situation. I suggest that you
1. Rule out any mechanical failure that may prevent you from receiving adequate heat. Have the super or handyman check your heating system in your apt. to make sure that everythnig is OK. (If you don'tget a response to this request you might want to mention that you may hire your own professional to do the job and deduct the cost from your maintenance. That may get them to respond.)
2. You should also canvass your neighbors to see if they are plagued with temperamental heat. If so, the group of you may want to get a letter/petition together to address this issue. Send copies to the Board and the Managing Agent. Don't forget to give them a deadline to forward a response to you. If you get enough signatures, you can also demand a meeting regarding the issue. Remember, there is strength in numbers.
How often do you go to shareholder's meetings? You should use these meetings to your advantage, go to them and voice your concerns. Don't forget to share any constructive ideas you may have to make the quality of life better for your co-op community. Have you considered running for a seat on the Board? If you did, you'd have an opportunity to change things form the inside. Most don't realize what is takes to sit on the Board. It is not an easy task, but by no means does it mean that a Board should be unresponsive.
Again, I don't know if cooperators follow the same process when there is no heat that tenants do, but I hope this helps in some way. I was once where you are and I decided to get on the Board to make a difference. I hope this message gets posted. Good Luck!
P.S. Get a hold of your Bylaws and learn them forwards and backwards. The bylaws hold the key as to how the development is supposed to operate. You'd be surprised at what your bylaws can teach you.
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