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Re: Heat in COOP: all shareholders are tenants.

Posted by Anna on January 25, 2000 at 16:33:03:

In Reply to: Re: Heat in COOP posted by Marsha D on January 22, 2000 at 10:46:10:

: : 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

There is no such thing as a coop-apt-owner, it is merely street slang.

All coop-shareholders are tenants. There are no health, safety, fire, sanitation, building, maintenance laws that exempt coops or their tenants. All basic tenant rights laws apply. Think about it: if any these laws did not apply to coop tenants, all landlords would have converted all buildings a long time ago! Then, all the laws would have gotten rewritten to include coops...

There are a couple of minor exceptions like: a non-resident shareholder cannot sue for or use as a defense the Warranty of Habitability, but the non-resident's subtenant can.

In a coop building, there is only ONE owner: the cooperative corporative. It is a paper entity that owns the whole building & sometimes the land under it.
It sells 'shares' (stocks); a person buys some shares 'allocated to a specific apartment(s)' and receives a 'proprietary lease appurtenant to' the apartment. (translation: the shares & lease are joined at the hip) The buyer pays cash or gets a bank loan for the shares, and pays 'maintenance' (RENT) for the lease. Maintenance pays for the underlying building mortgage & taxes & building-wide expenses, like heating fuel.

Therefore, ALL coop shareholders are tenants with leases with their landlords, the coop corporation.

More details about coops are available on this site, all over the web & in most bookstores. Read the booklet 'How to Handle Problems with the Board' on the OAG's website.

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