Archive for April, 2013


Pet Owners and New York City Apartments

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Pet friendly buildings, no pets allowed and all variations in between face pet owners when looking for a new apartment.  Some pet-friendly co-ops and rental buildings place restrictions on number, size and breed of pet.  What’s a pet owner to do?

Some pet owners will offer large sums of money to cover potential damages to flooring  and lobby carpets.   Some large dog owners will fudge the pet’s weight and breed to gain entrance to a building.  Some co-op boards require interviews and references for the pet (see our article Board Interview for Pets ).  Pet-friendly co-ops and rental buildings have many restrictions on pets.  Many pet-owners are devoted to a certain breed, and choosing a different (smaller) breed is hardly a compromise in their eyes.

During the market slump when many landlords were desperate to fill vacancies, you could move an elephant into your apartment.  Now that the market is tight, landlords are choosier.    Restrictions on pets have become the norm, especially with large dogs and certain breeds like Dobermans and Rottweilers.   In almost all cases approval is required for more than two animals. 

Buildings generally have rules for many reasons.  People are frightened of animals, especially big scary looking pets; there are concerns about property damage; barking disturbs the peace of other residents; jumping and nipping make people uncomfortable; and multiple cats can cause unpleasant odors.   Add to that that there are millions of people with fears, phobias and allergies, and it’s little wonder that pets are becoming even more of an issue.

There are generally exceptions to the rules.  Service dogs for people with disabilities can be allowed with proper documentation.  If the pet owner can provide proof the animal is trained as a service animal and documentation from a licensed medical professional, they might get a waiver. 

 To a pet owner, the pet is part of the family.  Finding a place for them can be frustrating and heartbreaking often causing the owner to pass on an otherwise great place for the humans to live. Nearly half the apartments that would be otherwise acceptable will be taken out of consideration if you have pets.  Patience, persistence and compromise are required when looking for an apartment when apartment hunting with Fluffy or Fido.


Based on New York Times article.

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Legal Question of the week: Lost Co-op Stock and Lease

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Q:  I am selling my co-op.  I have turned my apartment upside down and inside out, inspecting every scrap of paper and I cannot find my Stock and Proprietary Lease for the apartment.  I’ve contacted the managing agent who is requiring me to not only execute a Lost Stock and Lease Affidavit, which I understand is common, but they also are requiring me to post a bond.  Is this common practice?

A:  No, it is not common practice for a co-op to require a shareholder to post a bond if the shareholder loses their stock and lease.  While the co-op has a right to request a bond, generally, the co-op simply requires the shareholder (or the party who lost the stock and lease) to execute a Lost Stock and Lease Affidavit.   Lost Stock and Lease Affidavit generally states that the shareholder (i) is unable to locate the stock and lease, and (ii) is required to indemnify the managing agent and co-op for any loss that the co-op incurs as a result of the loss of the stock and lease.  The shareholder (or the party who lost the stock and lease) will likely incur a fee in connection with the Lost Stock and Lease Affidavit.

 Important tip:  One of the first questions your real estate broker should ask a seller of a co-op apartment who has the original stock and lease.  If the shareholder has a loan, then it is likely that the original stock and lease will be in the possession of the lender.  If the stock and lease is lost,, the managing agent for the co-op should be contacted immediately so as to determine the co-op’s procedures concerning lost stock and leases.


Based on REBNY article by Neil B. Garfinkel, REBY Residential Counsel Partner-in-charge of real estate and banking practices at Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP   

This post is provided as informational proposes only and should not be construed as legal, accounting or tax advice by the RealEstateGeezer. You should seek advice from a qualified professional.

Categories : Build Your Team, Co-op
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In the News April 12, 2013

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4/2/13  The Year of the Frustrated Buyer Awaits Manhattan Real Estate Market:  Without a lot of apartments for sale right now, signs are pointing to a seller’s market in Manhattan, some real estate experts said. See the full article at   

4/5/13  City to put out more RFPs for micro-apartments:  The city will be putting out more requests for proposals for micro-apartment sites, the New York Observer reported. “We are considering RFPs for two or three micro-unit developments later this year.  See the full article at The Real Deal 

4/11/13  Central park Playground to Get $1.2M Makeover:  Starting in July, the Central Park Conservancy  will begin a project to fully remake a playground in the park, located at the East 79th and Fifth Avenue “to ensure accessibility for all park visitors”.  See the full article at   

4/15/13  Proposed UES medical complex wooing community with park renovation:  A proposed million-square-foot medical and college complex on the Upper East Side is gaining community support with a promise to build new park space in the neighborhood. People are increasingly rallying behind the project due to its pledge to overhaul Andrew Haswell Green Park between 59th Street and 63rd Street on the river   See the full article at The Real Deal

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How’s the Market – March 2013

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While Quarterly Sales Reports show closed activity for the previous quarter, monthly Contract Signed reports are the ‘crystal ball’ of closed sales to come.  Granted, all contracts signed for any given month may not close in the next month, and some may not close at all but most (over 95%) will become closed sales which will become part of the next Quarterly Sales Report.

In the following charts and graphs you can see how the market stacks up against last month and this month last year.

AV_&_Med_SP&DOM-03-2013 Disc_AP_03-2013



The following charts show the Contract Signed data for 1st Quarter 2013 as compared to 4th Quarter 2012 and 1 Quarter 2012.


AV_&_Med_SP&DOM_1QTR_2013 Disc_AP_1QTR_2013 S_by_Region_1QTR2013


Douglas Elliman released the First Quarter report for Manhattan Residential Co-op and Condo sales market.  The Manhattan Sales Quarterly Survey of Co-op & Condo Sales for 1Q-2013 reported here  and summarized below was prepared by Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.


The current state of the Manhattan housing market is best defined by the acute shortage of inventory. “1QTR2013_Manhattan_Sales


  • Supply continued as listing inventory dropped 34.4% from the same period a year ago, the steepest drop in the 12 years this metric has been recorded.
  • Median sales price rose 5.9% from the same period last year to $820,555. With the exception of the second and third quarters of 2010, which were skewed higher by the federal homeowners tax credit program, this marked the metric’s highest increase since the credit crunch began.
  • The number of sales increased 6.3% to 2,457 as consumers fought tight credit conditions to take advantage of low mortgage rates and more still were incentivized by the rise in rental prices over the past two years.
  • Days on market, the number of days from the last price change to the contract price, fell by nearly 3 weeks to 132 days, just below the 136-day average over the past decade.
  • Listing discount, the percent difference between the list price at time of contract and the contract price, fell to 4.3% from 6.3% in the prior year quarter.

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