Is your co-op or condo building in trouble and you don't even know it? Co-op and condo lawyer Stuart Saft compiles a handy list (useful for prospective buyers too) of 17 warning signs in the July/August issue of Habitat Magazine (not yet online).
A few are kind of obvious (annual meetings are disrupted by angry owners, dirty/moldy/vermin-infested common areas, multiple lawsuits resulting from an "overly aggressive board, disturbed owners, a fee-hungry lawyer"), but others are not necessarily so, such as:
Board meetings take more than two hours a month ("either the board is dealing with too many issues or nothing is being accomplished")
Many owners are breaking the rules ("could be a sign that the residents know that the board is weak...or worse, the board members themselves are violating the rules")
Some owners are treated differently than others ("there is nothing that creates more dissension in a building")
Sales prices are more than 10% lower than neighboring buildings ("find out why and do something about it")
Every year, audited financial statements delayed more than 4 months past end of the year ("the problem may not be [understaffed] accountants completing the audit, but their concerns over what they found or their inability to have their questions answered")
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