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Co-op Apartment Management issues

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Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby Cassiopea369 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:51 pm

hello

Who decides in the cooperative apartment property management, regarding monthly maintenance late fees that are being imposed on shareholders?
Is it lawful and legit? Or they can do whatever they want? Can I fight this?
I was late two days with the payment ( bank deposit issues) and i got late fee in the amount of $50 I wrote a letter to the board of directors ( i was told to do so by the secretary) and they still decided to impose me with the fees. Not to mention that they raising maintenance every year around $15 ( i know that this is NY and it its corrupt way especially after 2020 year it because more
obvious)
I have been residing in that coop for 20 yrs, and did my best to pay on time. They are claiming that they have a record of my payment history, and according to them i was late few time times.
Well many are unemployed and are struggling with payments, while trying to survive at such difficult times.

Apologies for a long post
Thank you
Last edited by Cassiopea369 on Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby TenantNet » Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:27 pm

Are you a shareholder or a tenant renting from a shareholder? (I know it's confusing as shareholders are often referred to as tenants ... if that's the case are you a "sub-tenant" of a shareholder?)

If a real (non-shareholder) tenant, are you rent stab ... were you in occupancy when the conversion to a coop occurred?
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby Cassiopea369 » Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:52 am

Hi

Yes, to me it doesn’t make sense when coop calls al shareholders “tenants” , but i understand since the cooperative is the landlord and we are tenants:(
It’s the fiction world that corporations follow in this Matrix system :(

So This is a little complicated:
I have been a shareholder from the beginning when apartment was bought, but after couple of years shareholder became my sister ( mutual agreement) but i still reside in my apartment. She has her own residency. This was done to protect the investment when i lost my job and couldn’t pay for maintenance, ( my parents were helping me at that time with payments until i found work) and at this time my sister is the shareholder, but i reside there( it’s actually my inheritance from my father)

p.s.
i realized that i was a week late with payments :(
The payment is due on the first of every month, they give us until the 5th.
I got sick and also had issues with the bank( i wrote this to the coop office manager)

my question still remains, regarding late fee ...is it lawful, and can i fight this?
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby TenantNet » Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:50 am

We asked about your status for two reasons:
1) the answer might be different if you are a shareholder vs. a tenant (a real tenant).
2) This site is for tenants and we view shareholders as a landlord.

You didn't answer if you were in occupancy when the conversion took place. If so, you could have remained a RS tenant. But here you have interest in both the shares and as a tenant. I'm assuming you are unregulated.

You really need to look at the lease to see what it says... both your agreement with the current shareholder, and the shareholder agreement. See what those say about late fees.

I would also look here: http://tenant.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7648

I'm sure if you Google "late fees." you will find things. But just make sure it applies to NY and to unregulated apartments.

If you feel their records are incorrect with regard to you payment deadlines, you should examine your record and correct them if they are incorrect.
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby Cassiopea369 » Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:21 pm

thank you
RE:” If a real (non-shareholder) tenant, are you rent stab ... were you in occupancy when the conversion to a coop occurred?”

No, the apartment is not rent stabilized, there was no conversion to coop when i occupied.
It was a coop from the beginning when i bought the apartment and moved in.


yes it’s confusing- i am living in the apartment that is on my sisters name, so she is a shareholder ( while the coop calls her a “tenant” ) the coop is the landlord.
She is the shareholder and the tenant at the same time. So What am I then?
I am living there under her name, and the coop management knows about it.


what is RS tenant?
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby TenantNet » Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:38 pm

You would probably do better by asking a site or attorney that handles coops. We really deal with tenants.
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby Cassiopea369 » Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:57 pm

ok
thank you
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:58 pm

That said, generally, co-ops are allowed to impose reasonable late fees. Since co-op shareholders are technically tenants, those late fees are limited by the laws governing rental late fees.

When was this fee assessed? If it was after 2019, then the "new" rent laws cap the fee at $50, or 5% of your monthly maintenance, whichever is lower. If it was after March 20, 2020, then the late fee isn't allowed at all, as Covid-related executive orders prohibit them.
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby TenantNet » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:39 pm

Thanks Bubba - I wasn't thinking about the HSTPA and Ex. Orders. But with the latter, be aware that at some point that prohibition might be lifted.

The bottom line is still the lease. Late fees must be allowed in the lease.
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:05 pm

TenantNet wrote:The bottom line is still the lease. Late fees must be allowed in the lease.


Co-op proprietary leases are typically very short, unlike a standard rental lease. Elements like late fees are typically in the house rules (which buyers are required to agree to), so I wouldn't expect there to be any specific provision for late fees in the proprietary lease. There would need to be a provision in the house rules, though.
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby TenantNet » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:40 pm

I'd have to check with an attorney that handles coop/condos. Most tenant lawyers don't (although one does). Maybe the house rules are incorporated as part of a lease. In general in rental buildings, LLs may put out house rules, but they must be reasonable, in writing and not change at the whim of the LL. Some provisions may be unenforceable if it contradicts the lease, is illegal or unconscionable or would not be permissible under rent regulation.

One provision that comes to mind is a prohibition against smoking within one's apartment. A LL can introduce such a rule for new tenancies, but not for existing RS tenants (and during the current term of an unregulated tenant). They can prohibit smoking in public areas of the building at any time (and I think it's also now required by law), but not inside one's apartment.

Other things might have to do with laundry rooms, parcel delivery, moving (when, how, moving insurance and so on -- AFAIK not applicable for RS tenants). Of course LLs will insist on compliance. And on principal I refuse (but I'm not moving and don't smoke).
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:15 pm

TenantNet wrote:One provision that comes to mind is a prohibition against smoking within one's apartment. A LL can introduce such a rule for new tenancies, but not for existing RS tenants (and during the current term of an unregulated tenant). They can prohibit smoking in public areas of the building at any time (and I think it's also now required by law), but not inside one's apartment.


FWIW, co-ops can introduce a prohibition on smoking in apartments that is binding on all shareholders (not just new buyers), with an amendment to the house rules (which often requires a 60% or 2/3s supermajority of shares voting in favor), but I presume that the restriction wouldn't apply to RS tenants who predate the original co-op conversion.
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Re: Co-op Apartment Management issues

Postby TenantNet » Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:43 pm

Not for RS units if the RS took occupancy before the smoking ban was introduced. I think there is case law on that, but I'm too busy to do the research. In general, for RS tenants, LLs can't change the terms or conditions of a lease ... and that includes house rules if it takes something away they had before.

Few years ago my LL sent out a notice that no one can smoke anywhere, and that included public areas and unregulated units. It also implied within RS units. As I had quit many years ago, I didn't raise a fuss, but I could have told them to go to hell and see if they would attempt to enforce it. I'm aware of only one old RC tenant that smokes and I didn't hear anything from that tenant.

They also claimed that people walking down the street can't smoke on the sidewalks in front of the building. That's not something they can do either as there is no LL-T relationship with pedestrians, and it's not their property. (they said the entire sidewalk, not just congregated around the front door as you might see when people take a smoke break in front of an office building.) I know some office buildings prohibit that, but I do not know the legal justification.

In any case, all this is way off-topic.
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