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This forum contains 57 topics and 229 replies, and was last updated by  anon200 1 month, 1 week ago.

Brownstoner July 31, 2013 at 10:53 am

We've Updated Our Spam Protection

Our tech team has made some pretty big updates to combat spam in the Forum.

*One is a plugin that should filter out most of the attempts by spammers to register in the first place.

*Two, Forum users now have the ability to mark spam when they see it. If enough users mark a post as spam, it will automatically disappear.

Very sorry for all the spam lately. We hope this puts a lid on it.

Co-Op Related July 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Coops: no sales tax?

A contractor performing work recently told me that coops should not be charged sales tax, and that many management companies he works with don’t include sales tax in the final price. Can this be right?

Co-Op Related July 3, 2014 at 11:54 pm

How to turn a Tenants in Common 3 family brownstone into Co-op or Condo?

We have owned a 3 family brownstone for years as tenants in common with no problems but we each have two kids and would like to do estate planning in a way that clearly specifics which son or daughter gets which apt so there is no problem if one wants to sell and the other does not.

Any suggestions about
- resources to figure out which is better, co-op or condo or some 3rd option
- source where we can get info on what’s involved in conversion before we look for a conversion lawyer or other specialist?

Co-Op Related February 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

Average common charges for a 5 unit brownstone

Hi all! Just bought an apt in a 5 unit brownstone in Crown Heights from the sponsor. We were the last apt in the building to close and this is the first time the building has been split up and sold with a unit on every floor. Collectively, all the owners inherited a management company hired by the sponsor, and our common charges are roughly $600/m per unit or $3000/m for the whole building. Does this strike you as high? What are others in 4-5 unit brownstones paying for your common charges? Would be great if you indicated whether you are self-managed or whether you’ve hired a management company. Thanks!

Co-Op Related September 25, 2013 at 10:45 am

Co-op selling roof rights

Our co-op could use some updates that our out of our budget (roof repairs, oil to gas conversion, painting, exterior work, etc.). The top floor, rear unit is about to go on the market and we’re considering selling the roof rights to approx. 450 sq. ft. above this apartment. I believe that a deck or single story rear, rooftop addition would fall within our zoning allowances.

A few questions:
1. Assuming that the top floor apartment sells for $300,000, is it safe to estimate that the roof rights could sell for $100,00?

2. Is it fair to assume that the buyer would make all updates to the space?

3. Would roof access affect the co-op’s insurance given that only the unit with roof rights would have access?

Thanks for your input!

Co-Op Related September 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Philip Howard Apartments

Does anyone own or know anything about the Philip Howard Apartments? I have been looking at a few units in the building and would love to hear peoples opinions on it.


Co-Op Related April 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Combine two co-op studios

I own a studio in a co-op, and I have the opportunity to purchase the studio adjacent to me.  I would like to execute a very simple combination: install a door to connect the two studios and remove one of the kitchens.  My current studio would contain the kitchen, dining and living areas.  The new studio would be used as the bedroom.  Both bathrooms would remain intact. 
After combing through the archives, I now have a general idea of the process.  I am well aware that my maintenance would double.  I already have board approval (I’m also on the board), so no need to address those topics.  But I do have a few questions that I would like to throw out to the community.  
1) Would this be considered an Alt-2 renovation?  Would the combined apartment, or my building, become subject to current DOB handicap codes?  For example, the building has a single step at our front entrance.  Would that need to be converted to a ramp?  What else, if anything, might need to be changed?
2) I am also considering the idea of subdividing the second studio into two rooms.  The first would be a bedroom with two windows.  The second room would be window-less and would serve as either a walk-in closet or office.  Would this window-less room create complications when filing with the DOB or create any other issues I’m not aware of?  
If I wanted to create a closet/office down the road, would I then need to hire an architect and file permits? 
3) For a job like this where floor plans are not being changed, what options do I have when selecting the right professionals (architect, engineer, contractor, and/or expeditor)?  
4) Would job require a change to our C of O?

Co-Op Related April 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Access to basement in a Co-op

I am president of brownstone co-op in Park Slope.  Our basement is only accessable to members (for storage) & maintenance people by walking across our neighboring property backyard. A new neighbor has moved next door and he no longer allows us to walk across his property because our co-op have no easement agreement and for security reasons. 
In addition, the original sponsor in the 1980s, blocked off the main stairwell so only the member living on the ground floor can access the basement.  That member will not allow maintenance people or other members thru’ his apt to the basement.  He says this access is for his use only.
Please send me any ideas on how I can resolve this situation.  Is there a building code about this?

Co-Op Related April 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm

facade resurfacing

Does anyone have the contact info for Jose Gonzalez restoration?

Co-Op Related April 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm

neighbor planing extension

I live in a landmarked block with beautiful green corridor that emcompasses many houses’ backyards.  I just learned that the house next door was sold and the new owner is planning significant renovation, including adding an extension that will block the light in my backyard and obstruct the flow of several houses.  does anyone know if I have any recourse with landmarks or DOB?

Co-Op Related April 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Dog in a co-op – Part II

Thanks for your responses to my question earlier this week:

My co-op now aggrees that my adoption of a dog was within accordance of the co-op house rules (although it’s still regarded by some as un-neighborly).  My problem now is that my co-op takes issue with my dogwalker – as a stranger with access to the building.  The circumstances:
- Many members of the co-op leave their apartment doors unlocked.
- The co-op recently expressed concern with an increasing number of strangers in the building.  The meeting notes state “Several owners expressed concern about the increasing number of strangers in and out of the building. Board requires that visitors be announced. Simple email should suffice.”
- Before the first visit of the dog walker, I sent out an email with a photo of the walker, a link to their website, their email address, their cell number, my cell number, that the walker will stop by Mon-Fri between 1:00-3:00pm. (the walker is a local business with a yelp page and other clients on our block)
To what extent can a co-op limit access to the building?  Is there a distinction between non-residents being let in by an owner vs. possessing a key?  If my dog walker is limited access to the building - must this rule extend to other service providers such as home nurses, house cleaners, etc.?
Thanks again for your advice! 

Co-Op Related April 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Dogs in a co-op

Hi –
My co-op’s pet policy states “The Coop will allow pets in apartments provide they do not disturb other shareholders or constitute a nuisance”.  We have cats in the building.  On Saturday I wrote to co-op to let them know that I was looking into adopting a “small, adult, trained, calm, quiet, hypoallergenic, non-shedding” dog.  On Sunday I brought home said dog then sent out an email with a photo of the dog, the dog walkers contact info, and a photo of the walker.  My downstairs neighbors (who constitute 2/4 on the board of directors) are upset that I did not ask the board’s permission before the adoption.  Am I a jerk?
Thanks Brownstoner community!

Co-Op Related April 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Recommendations? Need help hanging tire swing on tree / swing installation

We got a tire swing for my daughter but now need help hanging it!  We have a very large tree in the backyard, and need someone with a tall enough ladder (or serious climbing skills) to hang it.  We’ve used Urban Arborists in the past to prune our tree (40 ft tree), but since it is their busy season, they have to charge their minimum fee to send a crew.  Any other ideas out there? 

Co-Op Related March 3, 2013 at 11:12 am

Permits needed for coop renovation?

I am planning a coop renovation which includes a bathroom gut, a cosmetic renovation of the kitchen (including the addition of a dishwasher), plaster work, and putting in a new breaker box/updating electrical. I was under the impression that permits were not needed for renovations unless walls were moved/plumbing was significantly changed, which is not happening here. I understand that our plans need to be approved by the coop, but do I need to pull permits for this as well? We do not have an architect and our GC seems to think that permits are needed. If we do need this, recommendations for an expeditor would be welcome.

Co-Op Related March 2, 2013 at 9:45 am

Property Management

Hi- I am looking for an excellent yet affordable company to manage my small co-op. Does anyone have a company to recommend? Or, the converse, does anyone have a company that they do not recommend? Any leads and reasons why would be highly appreciated. Thanks

Co-Op Related March 2, 2013 at 9:45 am

New home sales in Stuyvesant Heights neighborhood

Anyone knows what are the current trend on home sales in Stuyvesant Heights neighborhood?

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