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")
Dealing with problem condo owners (sponsored)