Co-op board bashing is something of a sport in New York City, so when we ran across this StreetEasy conversation (“Co-op boards: How much power do they really have?”), we prepared ourselves for some horror stories.
But among the tales of self-dealing, banana republics and just plain stupidity, we stumbled over an impassioned defense by a very satisfied customer. It kind of made us want to salute something—and find out what building he (or she) is talking about, because it sounds like a pretty nifty place to live….
"I like that if a resident has a vicious dog that terrifies children, barks all day and lunges at other pets, there's a board to address it and the shareholders don't have to.
I like that if an applicant runs a bondage porn website a board is likely going to ensure he won't be my neighbor.
I like that a board can monitor renovations and insure that dust doesn't escape into public halls, that the contractors clean up everyday and work only during specified hours and that the reno doesn't take more than 3-4 months.
I like that there are virtually no subletters in the building and appreciate the sense of community and safety that comes from that.
I love that a note left in the board's box gets a call within hours and any problems--big or small--begin to get addressed immediately.
And finally, since my home is my largest investment, I like to guard it zealously. I like that the building can be discerning about who it is that I share my investment with in terms of who is permitted to be a fellow shareholder. I like that the board imposes financial requirements and sifts financial data to decide who should be allowed to live with us. That's a strong plus to me--not a minus."
The commenter left us with some final words of wisdom:
"Coops aren't for cowboys. They're made for people who work and play well with others."