Why is there a Board of Directors and what do they do?
A cooperative is an established corporation functioning within the parameters of New York State's Business Corporate Law. As such, a corporation must have a board of directors and appoint officers to perform business functions. Simply stated, the board of directors is entrusted to perform as fiduciaries of the corporation by establishing: an annual operating budget, maintaining and using funds for purposes of keeping the grounds and buildings in good repair, and maintain quality of life standards. The Board of Directors are elected by the shareholders.
Why are there House Rules?
When the coop corporation is formed the sponsor includes a set of house rules which are basically common sense guidelines designed to make 'living in close quarters' pleasant for all residents. One of the basics in coop living is that all residents are entitled to have their unit be 'habitable'. Therefore the house rules contain limits on noise, pets, driving and parking while on the grounds, and generally, issues that could impact living conditions. Over the years, as situations arise the Board of Directors can change or update the House Rules as needed. All shareholders are made aware of the House Rules as they are presented for review and acknowledgment at the closing when a unit is purchased. A copy of the House Rules is on this website and available in hardcopy form at the maintenance office.
What is the proprietary lease and why is it so important?
The proprietary lease is effectively the contract between the shareholder and the coop corporation. It contains the terms that define the responsibilities of the shareholder and those of the coop corporation. Within the cooperative environment it is the single most important governing document. Other governing documents are the house rules and the by-laws. The by-laws govern the corporate aspects and procedures of the cooperative.
I want to sell my unit, what is the procedure?
Once you have an applicant to purchase, you should contact the maintenance office and request a resale application. The applicant must fill this out completely and submit it for review. The application process must be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors before a sale can completed.
Why must there be an approval by the board? After all, I'm selling "my unit."
The coop corporation is actually the owner of the land and the buildings. Your ownership is technically an ownership of shares of the corporation. The Board of Directors are legally bound to serve in the best interest of the corporation. One way of doing this is to establish qualifications for purchasing. By making sure that prospective purchasers are financially capable of ownership, we are doing our best to prevent foreclosures and loss of value of the overall property.
How long does the process take?
There is not a specific time period in which it takes to go from application to closing. There are various factors that effect this and the time period can vary. The best way to expedite this process is to encourage the prospective purchaser to completely fill out the full application, supplying all of the requested information.
What repairs are my responsibility and what is the coop's responsibility?
This question is specifically answered with the proprietary lease. Generally, the shareholder is responsible for the interior of the unit including floors, walls and ceilings as well as fixtures protruding from the walls (such as plumbing faucets and shower bodies). The shareholder is also responsible for electrical wiring from the breaker panel to the outlets, switches and fixtures. A shareholder is responsible for any damage caused by the shareholders neglect, for example an overflowing sink or a tub/shower grouting that is in disrepair.
The coop corporation is responsible for: water supply and common waste lines, electrical service up to the point of the breaker panel, but not including it, the main exterior door (not storm doors), all windows and sliding rear doors. The building heating systems, building structure, building exteriors and the grounds.
The preceding is a general description only, there is much more detailed information in the proprietary lease that governs responsiblity of repairs. In cases, where the proprietary lease differs from the statements listed here, the terms of the proprietary lease shall take precedence.
What does my maintenance pay for?
The monthly maintenance charges are used to keep Birchwood Glen operating. The maintenance that is collected each month is used to to pay the following. The underlying mortgage on the property, energy costs, property taxes, management fees, payroll, refuse removal, landscaping, waste treatment plant operations, general repairs and supplies, cable service bulk billing, property insurance, maintenance office operating expenses and exterminating service.
All text, photographs, accounts and descriptions are the property of Birchwood Glen Owners Corporation and are not to be reproduced without the express written consent of the owner.