New York based property management firm, All Area Realty Services blog. Find tips for Co-Op Boards & Residential Building Management.

Following The Rules Of Your Co-op

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Nov 12, 2019 4:42:01 PM

New York City has many co-op buildings. Each co-op has different rules, which are determined by the proprietary lease, the bylaws and local, state and federal laws. The laws protect from illegal leases or by-laws. These three areas balance each other out and create a fair living experience for the people in the building.  

A proprietary lease establishes the terms in which you abide by in your building, including maintenance fees and other terms. Bylaws outline the relationship between the board and the unit owners. It defines the board’s powers and responsibilities, including who can serve on the board, how members are elected and how owners request information.  The local laws rule and if the lease or the bylaws violate a state or federal law, it is not legally binding. 

Who is responsible for all building and unit maintenance? The co-op is responsible for everything out of your apartment but you are responsible for the interior of your apartment. The building is responsible for maintaining the pipes within the walls, ceilings or floors. 

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There are heating laws in NYC and the co-op is obligated to abide by them. A warranty of habitability guarantees the right to a livable, safe and sanitary apartment, which includes communal areas.  

A co-op owner can be evicted if they are disruptive, unable to abide by the building’s rules or are violating federal laws.  First, make sure that there is a reason for the eviction. Document any wrongdoing so you have the proper paperwork when you go to evict the owner. Lastly, make sure that the board conducts its business properly that way the board does not have to answer if the unruly shareholder calls them out.  

 Each co-op can set the rules in regards to pets. If the co-op is pet friendly, be prepared for strict guidelines. Check your renters insurance about pets and dog bites. Most buildings allow cats but if you have a smaller pet, ask your board if it is allowed. 

 NYC has the Roommate Law, which allows one additional occupant in addition to immediate family, as long as you are currently living in the unit at the same time. If you are charging the roommate rent, it could be a sublet and that is not typically allowed in co-ops. Ask your board, its rules regarding sublets. 

If you decide that you want to renovate your unit, you need approval by the co-op board. Most likely, you will need to sign an alteration agreement and to provide details to the board. 

Remember, that just because you live in a co-op does not mean that you lose all of your tenant rights. Knowledge is power and knowing your rights is an important step in ensuring your rights will not be violated. 

All Area Realty Services knows what it takes to run buildings smoothly and efficiently while keeping both tenants and owners happy.  With over 30 years of experience, and many clients with us for decades, you can trust All Area Realty Services with taking care of your building and tenants. 

Topics: Co-Op Board, Property Management, condo

Always Follow The Rules of a Condo and Co-Op

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Oct 22, 2019 3:31:04 PM

iStock-139694969Every community has rules. In order for people to coexist in the same space, rules are essential. Co-ops and condos’ rules are called bylaws and house rules. Bylaws discuss the requirements for operation and governance of the co-op or condo association, including stipulations and parameters for election and meetings and who has the authority to act on behalf of the board and shareholders. House rules discuss quality of life issues. Most buildings have communal space. House rules dictates what is and what is not acceptable use of those spaces. 

Rules begin when the sponsor first builds the building and sets the house rules in the offering plan. Most times, the first draft is boilerplate and makes little sense. Under the bylaws, the board has the ability to change the house rules. It takes a majority of the board and then notice is given to the shareholders for a vote. House rules change with the building’s needs. Bylaws are easier to enforce than house rules because they are part of the offering plan of the co-op/condo and have remedies for violations of the bylaws. 

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At the end of the day, it is up to the shareholders to abide by the house rules in order to have harmony within the building. The best way to create house rules is to ensure that everyone living in the building believes them to be feasible.

All Area Realty Services knows what it takes to run buildings smoothly and efficiently while keeping both tenants and owners happy.  With over 30 years of experience, and many clients with us for decades, you can trust All Area Realty Services with taking care of your building and tenants. 

Topics: Co-Op Board, Property Management, condo

The House Rules of a Condo and Co-Op 

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Dec 5, 2018 2:38:53 PM

Are you interested in living in a co-op or condo in the city? If yes, then it is important to know that these buildings have a specific set of policies, called house rules. House rules are designed to guarantee harmony amongst neighbors by governing the standards of everyday behavior. These rules are different depending on the co-op or condo you are interested in, and it's important to know and understand these rules before signing any contracts. 

Where Can You Find the House Rules? 

Ideally, the house rules will be listed in one place. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The house rules can be listed in:

  • The bylaws of a co-op 
  • A co-op’s proprietary lease 
  • A condo's declaration of covenants 
  • The conditions and restriction (CC&R) of a condo

To find the exact location of the house rules of a co-op or condo ask the listing agent.  

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Possible House Rules 

House rules can govern your conduct in common areas such as elevators and hallways, and in your own apartment. Here are a few examples of possible house rules: 

  • The public halls and stairways of the building shall not be obstructed or used for any reason other than ingress to and egress from the apartments in the building. 
  • Children are prohibited from playing in the public halls, stairways or elevators. 
  • No disruptive noises or objectionable odors may be produced upon or emanate from any building
  • Each Unit Owner shall keep his unit in a proper state of preservation and cleanliness. 
  • Each Unit Owner must obtain extermination services for the Units at such intervals necessary to maintain the Units free of rest, mice, roaches, and other vermin. 

The Enforcement 

If you ever have an issue with a neighbor it is best if it is resolved civilly and quickly. If the co-op board is involved it may have the right to impose a fine. Worst case scenario if the issue is ongoing with repeated violations the board could ask you to leave the building under terms of a proprietary lease. 

Co-Op Versus Condo

A co-op’s board has more power over its shareholders than a condo over its unit owners, so their house rules are generally stricter. However, this does not mean you can overlook a condos house rules. It is still important to know and comprehend a condo’s house rules before you put in a bid for a unit.

What House Rules Cannot Cover

House rules can’t be used to discriminate against an individual or a group of people. If you want to rent or buy a unit you are protected by the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act will protect you from being discriminated against due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or the presence of children. 

House rules may sound restrictive, but it is important to realize they are also protecting your rights as a neighbor. House rules are protecting your right to a clean and peaceful living environment. Every building has a different set of policies, so remember to always be familiar with the house rules before committing to any co-op or condo. 

All Area Realty Services knows what it takes to run buildings smoothly and efficiently while keeping both tenants and owners happy.  With over 30 years of experience, and many clients with us for decades, you can trust All Area Realty Services with taking care of your building and tenants. 

Topics: Co-Op Board, Property Management, condo