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Condominiums & Cooperatives Archives

Understand what a condominium is before a purchase

Condominiums, which are usually referred to as condos, are homes similar to many others on the market. They offer you a place to live and provide you with many of the rights that you'd gain as a traditional homeowner. The difference is that the development of condominiums is managed by an association, and that association makes rules for the community. The individual owners of the condominiums share ownership of common areas while the association maintains the common areas and sometimes outside areas of the homes.

What to consider if you want to buy a cooperative or condominium

It has always been your dream to own a cooperative. You want to be part of something that grows a community while bringing you a passive income. It's possible, but you need to be careful.

Condominiums: The benefits and downsides matter

Condominium living can be an exciting idea, but only if you understand what you are taking on. Is condo living really right for you? There are many things you need to consider before you make that decision.

Ready to sell a condominium? Get the law on your side

A condominium is similar to a traditional home in that you can sell and buy it, but it's different because common areas are co-owned by the people who live at the property. Condominiums can be converted into apartments or vice-versa. Each one has the potential to be sold with an individual deed and is subject to a separate mortgage. The entire property does not need to be purchased as a whole.

Struggling in your condominium community? You have rights

When you live in a condominium, there are bound to be issues that come up from time to time. There is typically a manager and board that works with members to work out issues that arise, although you can work out a problem on your own with the owner of another condominium if you two are amicable. Here are a few ways that you can work through a problem when it comes up.

Don't give your management company control over vendors

Recently we discussed the potential problems of hiring a condo or co-op board director as a vendor. It's important, however, for the board to maintain control of who can hire vendors as well as contractors and not to give your management company authority to hire someone without the board's approval. It's also essential for someone on the board to monitor the invoices as well as the actual work on a regular basis.

Why shouldn't you hire a board member as a vendor?

It's not unusual for condominium or co-op board members or directors to have careers that would make them a good candidate to be hired as a vendor by the board. For example, some may want to act as a property manager for foreclosed units or for units belonging to New Yorkers who winter in Florida or spend extended periods away from home on business.

What do you do if your neighbors are attracting pigeons?

Many condos and co-ops in New York City are adjacent to or even share buildings with businesses such as grocery stores or restaurants. Where there's food, there are often pigeons that leave droppings and build nests to start a family.

Are residents entitled to see condo/co-op board documents?

New York condominium unit owners and co-op shareholders are now going to have increased access to certain condo and co-op board documents. These include financial statements, legal documents, invoices and receipts and well as contact information of residents.

Accommodating residents with allergies in pet-friendly buildings

Here in New York City, many of us live in very close proximity to our neighbors -- and to their pets. Many co-ops in the city allow residents to have pets. This can present an issue for co-op boards if other residents have allergies to animals.

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