More information on the Air BnB front in NYC

Nov 6th, 2014, 03:51 PM
  #21  
 
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I would hope someone who is forking over hundred of thousands of dollars would know what the rules of their new co-op are prior to signing on the dotted line. I think it's clear from the OP that the rules re: subletting were very clear and the person in question chose to ignore them and hope he/she wasn't caught.

Flip side of all this: I wonder if owners who choose to illegally sublet their residence would support others in their building doing the same thing. I suspect they are ok with themselves doing it because they profit and feel like they are safe because the have some sense of control over their subletters. But would they continue to support short-term vacationers in their building if everyone else was doing it and they were seeing new strangers every week, with no idea who had keys to the building and who was staying next door?

I can totally understand where the OP is coming from. They do extensive interviews and background checks to vet potential owners, then have all that work and security undone when one person decides to sublet to anyone who can fork over enough cash.
WhereAreWe is online now  
Nov 6th, 2014, 04:24 PM
  #22  
 
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For people not so familiar with them, co-ops seem incomprehensible.

Think of a hotel. It is a corporation that owns a building that consists of rooms and other facilities. The kind of room and bed determines cost. You pay, but never own the room, only the right to use it on a temporary basis in prescribed ways. There may be fees for extra things. You may not use the room for more than a certain number of registered occupants. The hotel makes the rules.

In actuality, a bit like a hotel, a co-op is a corporation that owns a building that consists of apartments. In a co-op, you own a share of the corporation, so are allowed to use a space in prescribed ways as long as you own the share and pay fees. The size, location, etc. of the apartment you use (occupy) determines the cost of your share. You never own the apartment, only a share of the co-op, which sets the rules.

Condos, you own the apartment and own in common grounds and facilities.

Fee simple row house, you own land and house, lot line to lot line.
Sassafrass is offline  
Nov 6th, 2014, 04:24 PM
  #23  
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Just to clarify all of the house rules are provided to potential owners at least a week before the interview with the co-ops' committee (made up of 5 members, both board members and other tenants) and the potential owners have to sign that they have read and understood them before the interview.

Also as part of the interview, which takes more than an hour, the key sections of the rules are reviewed. Everyone who moves in knows the rules and that the continuation of the lease is subject to following them. This is simple contract law - and believe me our attorneys have insured that the rules are crystal clear and purchasers have no way of claiming they didn't understand them.

Not because we are trying to make life difficult for people. But because we are looking to become neighbors of people who WANT to live in a building with these rules. No one wants an unhappy tenant.
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Nov 6th, 2014, 05:55 PM
  #24  
 
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NYTraveler,
Do you think it is confusing to people when the term owner is used rather than tenant-shareholder, which seems more accurate? Most people think they have, or should have, a right to do pretty much what ever they want with a place they own, but understand and accept the rules of property they do not own.

It is hard for people outside of places with co-ops to understand why anyone would buy only the right to live somewhere, rather owning the concrete property.
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Nov 6th, 2014, 08:01 PM
  #25  
 
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Neo, I agree wholeheartedly. What is the difference between an Air BnB guest and the cousin from Australia whom you've never met before but are allowing to stay with you, if cousin is buying groceries or taking you out to dinner or just leaving $20 on the counter to say thanks? From a neighbor's perspective, there's no difference: he's a stranger to you, and he's paying you for the use of a room in your apartment.

So let's say I have a lot of long lost cousins who love to visit NYC--who's to say I'm lying? Does the board want to force me to lie, or would it be better to allow me to rent out a room occasionally without subterfuge, as long as I am there to supervise the arrangement?



They should, but they don't, so here, too, I agree with Neo. I am on my condo board and am constantly amazed that most--most!--residents don't seem to understand basic aspects of their ownership. My friend's co-op experience in NYC was a disaster in large part because she assumed she had rights to her own unit that she simply did not have.
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Nov 6th, 2014, 09:28 PM
  #26  
 
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Coops are not unique to new York. Until the 1960's, it was the typical way to buy an apartment in most cities. But then condominium ownership was developed, and many coops converted as buyers realized condominiums were a much better form of ownership.

We all understand that the Op feels it is quite normal to ask residents to spy on each other and that purchasers are warned. However, when people push others over the edge with silly or damaging rules (forcing a sale because someone has a roommate move in is both silly AND damaging), eventually someone may fight back. Besides costing the coop a lot of money, they could possibly lose the ability to set unlimited restrictions.

No contract is beyond litigation. Those deeds with "whites only" or "no children" were perfectly binding contracts, but they were overturned anyway. There are often unintended consequences to making unconscionable rules.
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Nov 6th, 2014, 09:55 PM
  #27  
 
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Oh DebitNM, I had forgotten about the beefy linebacker ice skater! Now wishing I hadn't wasted time typing reasonable replies!

For those of you who'd enjoy a good laugh or a real WTF moment, this was the last "situation" in this same coop:

http://www.fodors.com/community/fodo...s-neighbor.cfm
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Nov 7th, 2014, 04:58 AM
  #28  
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lcuy -

NO ONE mentioned forcing a sale because an owner had a roommate move in. Almost all co-ops allow this as long as the roommate passes the usual tenant checks. And yes, adult children are allowed to move in with parents if a situation requires it - again with a basic criminal check. (Yes, we did turn down one adult child who had an extensive criminal record - including multiple convictions for sale of drugs.)

With Air BnB we are talking strictly about short-term transients - who may stay for one or two nights - or up to a week. And tenants may sublet to many different people - ours apparently rented to at least 7 sets of strangers within a year.

I will not argue the benefits of co-op living. Some people like it and some don't. The ones that don't shouldn't move into a co-op and then proceed to break the rules - to the detriment of safe and secure use of their residence by all the other tenants. There are many other living options and they should pick one that matches their needs.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 06:02 AM
  #29  
 
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File under, "Reasons to continue to rent".
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Nov 7th, 2014, 07:14 AM
  #30  
 
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What is really weird is that subject of the chubby skater was considered a topic of conversation at a board meeting IN CASE it indicated mental instability for the mother.

Whoosh!

Talking about going overboard with the Mrs. Kravitz stuff.
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Nov 7th, 2014, 09:34 AM
  #31  
 
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<(Yes, we did turn down one adult child who had an extensive criminal record - including multiple convictions for sale of drugs.)>

I would never, ever wish to live somewhere where my child could not join me. The only other living arrangement where this can happen is Section 8 housing--where people live with restrictions because they have no other choice.

Which brings me to the issue of choice: sure, a person can always move. Except they can't, always. If a resident is renting a room on Air BnB, I think it's safe to assume he needs the money. The board could ask him if there's anything the co-op could do to help; instead, they choose to spy and threaten and restrict.

lcuy, your last post was very well said. Now I'm off to read about the chubby skater, which I somehow missed the first time.
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Nov 7th, 2014, 09:38 AM
  #32  
 
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Ah, now I see it's in the Lounge and has 148 replies--never mind! lol
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Nov 7th, 2014, 10:00 AM
  #33  
 
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I think it's safe to assume he needs the money. The board could ask him if there's anything the co-op could do to help; instead, they choose to spy and threaten and restrict.>>

Are you serious? This is ridiculous. The coop has a right to say people who bought into it can't rent rooms out over the internet short term. I would agree with that if I lived in such a building. In NY, it seems many buildings have common entrances, also, so if someone has entry to the building, they are inside it. I felt the same way (and complained to the landlord) when I lived in a renovated townhouse on Capitol Hill (one apt top floor, me on ground and one guy in the English basement)--and I found out the guy in the English basement was keeping a key to the building entrance (the entire building could be accessed from a common stairwell) just hanging on a nail by his front door! Anyone could have gotten in, it was like those people keeping a key under the doormat. Only with AirBnB you know you are letting people into the building.

I wouldn't presume the person "needs" the money at all, they just WANT the money. Big difference. And what on earth is the coop supposed to do if someone wants more money, give them money?
Christina is online now  
Nov 7th, 2014, 10:10 AM
  #34  
 
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They do. My point is that they can enforce their draconian rules, or try to fulfill the part of a board's mandate that charges them with ensuring good living conditions for ALL residents--be neighborly, in other words, and see if there's a mutually acceptable resolution to the problem. Kindness is an option.


Well, that's the difference between you and me, then.
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Nov 7th, 2014, 10:35 AM
  #35  
 
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One minor point that has not been made is that in Manhattan, coops are generally much less expensive than condos. And people who want to live in pre-WW II apartments are much more likely to find these in coops, rather than condos.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 7th, 2014, 11:41 AM
  #36  
 
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Like what, hold a bake sale? Allow him to keep subletting to vacationers even though it is against the rules and they clearly don't want their building to turn into a short-term vacation rental property? What exactly could the co-op do to help?

It is very interesting that you suggest the board intervene and pre-emptively ask if there is something they could do to help this resident, because maybe he 'needs the money' -the implication being that without the extra money he may not be able to pay his bills. On the 'figure skater' thread the OP was thoroughly blasted for wondering if a tenant was going to move and thereby stop paying her bills. Different situation but at their essence, both involve someone who may in the future not pay some part of their bills due. In one case it's suggested the board intervene and ask if they can help, and in another case the board is told to stop being nosy and mind their own business until that resident actually fails to pay her bills.

Same OP, two opposite approaches being suggested. Perhaps the real issue is that people don't like the OP and will offer up a differing opinion simply to oppose her. If one of those beloved and well-liked posters had mentioned someone in her building was doing an illegal BnB operation and the board had to put a stop to it, would he/she get flak or support?
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Nov 7th, 2014, 11:55 AM
  #37  
 
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Look, all I'm saying is, there's a hard way and a soft way. Everyone still has to be neighbors when the dust settles, which is why, as a condo board member, I advocate the soft way every time. Tell the guy, you can't rent out a room any more; if this causes economic hardship for you, please tell us, because we may be able to help. Helping could mean setting up a payment plan. That is something my board considered when one owner fell behind on her monthly fee. Of course we had the right to simply file a lien, and we were prepared to do so to protect the other owners, but we decided to spare a couple of weeks to see if we could work it out another way.
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Nov 7th, 2014, 11:59 AM
  #38  
 
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Btw, I didn't read the skater thread, so I won't take responsibility for offering advice that is consistent with it. I'm speaking just for myself, it should go without saying.
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