In: long island property management
In the past twenty years, the world of property management has changed but oftentimes, the way in which property management companies manage, has not. There are plenty of companies that are still run by the same executives and they continue to live off of the management style of the 1980’s. To put it bluntly, the use of modern day technology and apps is mostly non-existent and as a company, we’re changing that.
Have you run into this scenario before; a Board member resigns during their term and the Board of Directors (or Managers), collectively, appoints a replacement to the position that was just vacated? It should be smooth sailing and without issue, but if this is a cooperative or condominium with an opinionated ownership base, they’ll want to know why the new Board member wasn’t appointed by the shareholders or owners, as a whole.
While it would seem that putting it out to all shareholders or unit owners would be a great idea, it’s not often done, for a variety of reasons. One reason is that it is difficult to get all shareholders and owners to another meeting that is not the Annual Meeting and it is much quicker to appoint someone who is interested in serving on the Board for the remainder of this term. In some cases, there may be a committee member who has been serving on the periphery of the Board and this is a great opportunity to increase their level of participation, if it has been shown that they have something to offer, beyond just filling an open seat.
The reason that the Board will have the final say of who to appoint, in most cases, is provided for in the Bylaws of the building. For instance, below is a partial section of the Bylaws from a NYC cooperative, as it pertains to Vacancies:
When any vacancy exists or occurs among the directors by death, resignation or otherwise, the same shall be filled for the remainder of the term by a majority of votes cast at a special meeting of the remaining directors duly called for the purpose or at any regular meeting of the directors, even though a quorum shall not be present at such special or regular meeting.
As you can see in the above paragraph, the Board has complete control over who they appoint to fill the remainder of the term that was vacated. This could be a period of only a few months or it could be a multi-year term that the new appointment will fulfill.
Just because an appointment was made to the Board does not mean that the shareholders or unit owners are completely without hope if they absolutely disagree with the new appointment. If for any reason they are completely unhappy with this appointment, or the Board in general, the could also look to their bylaws to remove either one or more persons from the Board. They would have to follow the passage in the Bylaws that pertains to removal. From the same NYC cooperative bylaws on Removal:
Any director may be removed from office at any time with or without cause and at the pleasure of the shareholders, upon affirmative vote of the shareholders of record taken at a shareholders’ meeting duly called for that purpose; provided, however, that the directors elected by the holders of Unsold Shares can be removed without cause by such holders of Unsold Shares who alone will have the right to designate a replacement.
There’s no way that each and every shareholder or unit owner will be appeased in each situation, and this is a great example of this. More often than not, the Board will have someone in mind to fill a space on the Board if one should become vacant for any reason during the term of service. It’s up to the shareholders or unit owners to take matters into their own hands if they feel their interests are not being properly represented by the existing Board members.
As I always say, if you’re unhappy with the Board you have, throw your name into the ring the next time around and get on the Board to make a change.
February 14, 2015
Where In The Offering Plan Can I See How Many Shares I Own?
The Offering Plan of a Cooperative or Condominium is a huge book that is filed with the State at the time the Sponsor / Developer decide to offer their building up for sale to the open public. Being that it is so big, it’s often easy to get lost in the vastness of printed paper. For those looking to view the specifics of how many shares or what the percentage of common area ownership are in a particular unit, it could take while to narrow down the search if it is not known where this information is housed.
If you thumb through the beginning area of your Offering Plan in search of the specifics to either the unit that you own or that you are looking to purchase, the “Schedule A” will be one of the most important areas to verify ownership information. It is on that document that the apartment number, size (bedrooms and bathrooms), share count (% of common interest owned if a Condominium), original purchase price, approx. amount of the mortgage applicable to those shares and projected annual maintenance amounts. These amounts were essentially estimates at the time that the Offering Plan was filed with Attorney General, so it is possible that these amounts have since changed. It would be wise to check with either the Management company or the attorney to verify that these amounts are current and/or applicable to the unit in question.
We’re providing a sample Schedule A (click on this link) so that you can see the breakdown of the apartments and shares. Please note that this is in use for the building specific to this Schedule A and all others will vary accordingly.
Update on 1/15/15: On January 14, 2015, President Obama signed the bill that reauthorized TRIA for another six years, with a new expiration date of December 31, 2020. Although it was renewed, there are some revisions to the TRIA renewal program. These revisions include higher deductibles to insurers.
On December 26, 2007, the President signed into law the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-160, 121 Stat. 1839) [TRIPRA]. This signing extended the existing Program through December 31, 2014, a date that is fast approaching.
Excel Bradshaw Management Group, LLC has been hired to oversee the professional property management of Smith St. Gardens, Inc., a 65-unit Cooperative located at 194 Smith Street in Freeport, NY. Effective February 1, 2015, Excel Bradshaw Management Group, LLC will oversee operations of the building and will work in concert with the building’s Board of Directors, building staff and residents to ensure a smooth transition. (more…)
New York State, as of December 3, 2014, is requiring that all current subleases acknowledge if there are or aren’t sprinklers in their respective units with a new Fire Sprinkler Acknowledgement Form (EBMG can provide you with a sample Acknowledgement, below). We are now going to include an Acknowledgement Form in all Cooperative sales and sublease applications (sublease only for Condos) for the new tenants to sign and will also be sending out an acknowledgement form to all residents that currently have a lease so that we have them on file.
This new code is for all leased premises, so it does apply to new leases, renewal leases and all Shareholders in a Cooperative with a Proprietary Lease.
Sample Acknowledgement Form (download)
If your building is concerned that Shareholders or Unit Owners will possibly default on their maintenance or common charges during the period of the sublease, there is a simple Rider that the building can attach to the existing sublease application to ensure that the building is made whole in the case of a delinquency in payment.
The Rider, which we have provided for in the link at the bottom of this article, states that in the case of a delinquency by the Shareholder or the Unit Owner, the subtenant, upon written notice from the Board will pay their rent directly to the Cooperative or Condominium until such time that the delinquency is taken care of.
This Rider, with a signature by the Shareholder and Subtenant will enable the Board to collect fees that are due more quickly and all parties are aware of their responsibility in the case of a default.
Sample Rider For Coops / Condos (Word Doc)
September 5, 2014
Shareholders Refinancing And Something For All Boards To Consider
In NYC Cooperative buildings (and others throughout the country as well) Shareholders are often looking to refinance their apartment either through a new mortgage or for secondary financing such as a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) or a second mortgage.
When a Board is looking over their options for approving or not approving this financing for the Shareholder, they should be looking at more than the overall amount of the financing. They should also take a hard look at what that loan will do to the Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio of the apartment. If the Co-op, for instance, has a maximum of 80% financing, if the new LTV exceeds that amount, they may want to reconsider the approval. (more…)
In Condominiums and Cooperatives, one of the factors that will play into whether your Unit Owners, Shareholders or the building as a whole can easily get financing is the percentage of investor-owned units. Investor-owned, in this case, is a unit that is sublet out. If a building has greater than 15% of their units sublet out by the respective owners / shareholders, the banks will take notice and may give an issue when trying to obtain financing.
There are some buildings that don’t allow subletting at all, but most will at least make it difficult or onerous to do so. A sublet fee based on a per share basis, a flat fee or a sliding scale for different years can be put into place to create soft income for the building. The theory is that the person who is subletting out their unit is making money on the transaction, so why not also create a fee within the building.
In NYC Cooperative buildings (or in all locations, really) adding someone to a stock certificate may seem like something that should be easily approved, but it is often a lengthy process.
The Cooperative Board of Directors is charged with protecting the interests of all of the Shareholders in the buildings, so when someone is being attached to the shares of a particular apartment, it is their fiduciary responsibility to ensure that this person will be able to financially afford to pay for the monthly maintenance, along with all other debts in their lives.
Even if this person has been living with the Shareholder for a lengthy period of time, most Boards will consider this transaction similar to a new purchase of an apartment and will ask for detailed reports on the financial activity of the new person applying.
These processes can also be costly. There are costs for application processing, Board review and then ultimately, the closing of a new stock certificate and proprietary lease.