2015 October
Focus on... Board Operations

Board Operations Upholding Your Fiduciary Duty
2015 October Upholding Your Fiduciary Duty

Being on the board of a co-op or condo is a big responsibility—one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. While some people may run for a board seat just to have the title, they need to be prepared to govern fairly and make decisions that are in …

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Board Operations Going by the Book
2015 October Going by the Book

It happens in business, government, and industry every day: employees learn the rules of a new job, and before long they know those rules so well, they start going around them or taking short cuts. Rarely is this done with malicious intent.…

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Board Operations Noise Rules
2015 October Noise Rules

When you live in a multifamily building, however, peace and quiet can be hard to come by. From the guy upstairs who gargles loudly at precisely 6:47 a.m. every morning to the neighbor with the yapping Chihuahua—at some point the soundtrack …

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Board Operations Good Boards Make Strong Communities
2015 October Good Boards Make Strong Communities

Accepting a board position for a homeowners association is no easy task- you can please some of the residents some of the time, but rarely if ever can you please everyone. For board members, serving the community they live in may seem like …

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Finance Forensic Accounting
2015 October Forensic Accounting

Recently, have you noticed that your managing agent has exchanged his old Toyota for a new Mercedes? Has he installed a new addition to his house? Has he appeared erratic...and returning from jaunts to Atlantic City all the time? If so, it …

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Management What’s My Line?
2015 October What’s My Line?

Generally, board directors in condos and HOAs are volunteers who live in the building and want to assist in protecting their investment. Often, however, new board members enter positions without knowing the full scope of expected responsibi…

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Finance Planning for the Future
2015 October Planning for the Future

The experience of condo and co-op board members can often feel like a juggling act. There are varied interests in the community that want different things. There's legal counsel, financial advisers, and managers who try to offer the best pr…

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Maintenance Making Minor Repairs
2015 October Making Minor Repairs

Every year, like clockwork, Wayne Bellet, owner of Bellet Construction in Manhattan, says that he gets multiple requests for his company to scrape, prime and paint metal fire escapes. “It’s silly, because it’s so easy to do, and building m…

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Law & Legislation Mitchell-Lama Co-ops
2015 October Mitchell-Lama Co-ops

In 1955, when many city neighborhoods were deteriorating and the flight to the suburbs was going full blast, the Mitchell-Lama bill, named after state Sen. McNeil Mitchell and Assemblyman Alfred Lama, was signed into law in New York State. …

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Finance Flip Taxes or Transfer Fees
2015 October Flip Taxes or Transfer Fees

When finances get tight—the last recession period comes to mind—boards and managing agents often look for ways to increase revenues or decrease expenditures. In some cases, the answer is a flip tax, a “transfer fee” that is paid to the co-o…

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Management Firing Building Employees: Super Bad
2015 October Firing Building Employees: Super Bad

Donald Trump makes it look so easy. “You’re fired,” he declares firmly, terminating an aspiring apprentice from the popular reality TV series, who will never be seen from again.  In reality (and reality TV is not reality), the issue of ter…

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Finance Control Your Operating Costs
2015 October Control Your Operating Costs

In the context of multifamily communities, there are two kinds of budgets: a capital, or reserve budget, and an operating budget. Capital budgets apply to long-term, big-ticket projects like new roofs or an HVAC overhaul. By contrast, the o…

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Finance The Clubhouse Rules
2015 October The Clubhouse Rules

Amenities can be a major selling point for any co-op or condo. You don't have to be Jillian Michaels these days to have a spa or full gym at home. Naturally, they add to the property value of the building as a whole, as well as to the indiv…

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Neighborhoods Midtown’s Murray Hill
2015 October Midtown’s Murray Hill

Murray Hill, a respectable traditional neighborhood in Midtown  Manhattan, started as a small farming community but soon became a playground for the wealthy with industrialists like J.P. Morgan and John Jacob Astor building their townhouses…

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Energy Conservation Four Smart Strategies
2015 October Four Smart Strategies

Companies that provide energy to the public—that is, to households and businesses—have a unique corporate social responsibility; and that responsibility isn’t just to deliver gas and electricity. It’s to teach customers and clients how to u…

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Management Neighbor to Neighbor
2015 October Neighbor to Neighbor

What happens when people begin to notice that their next door neighbors are having difficulty with their mobility, are suddenly at risk of falling or have fallen, are confused about where they are and begin to exhibit this and other types o…

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Management I Bid You Good Day
2015 October I Bid You Good Day

It only makes good business sense that if something goes wrong and needs fixing at a condo or co-op, the board or managing agent is going to do some due diligence to choose the correct contractor, and this is normally done by gathering bids…

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Q&A Q&A: How can we remove the Board Treasurer?
2015 October Q&A: How can we remove the Board Treasurer?

Q.  “We live in a condominium development of 130 units. One investor own 48 of these units. He’s taken two seats on the board since 1986. No one votes for him, I suspect he always votes for himself and gets on the board. Can this be possib…

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Energy Conservation Energy Waste
2015 October Energy Waste

Is your building bleeding energy—and money? In today's more environmentally-conscious society, administrators of all sized co-op or condo buildings are looking to save money. These energy professionals weigh in on some of the more common en…

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