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Re: unusual co-op problem

Posted by Fred Lappert on December 27, 2001 at 16:06:37:

In Reply to: unusual co-op problem posted by Ivette on December 27, 2001 at 10:55:50:

HDFC are low-income coops, but coops nonetheless and come with their own rules -- sometimes that includes a primnary residence requirement. The idea is that those who are low-income benefit from the coop; if one has a separate residence, then arguably they don't need the special benefits of the HDFC. But yours is an occasional problem that has similarities to residence requirements in rent regulated units. If your sister intends to return and is just in Atlanta for medical treatment, then this should be provable. You are allowed to stay in her unit (as a family member, roommate, whatever) for a reasonable time until your apartment is repaired (but it appears to be over a year). Again, your situation should be able to be documented. The real issue isn't that you are there, but that she isn't. If your sister is legally a tenant of the coop corporation, then she should be able to utilize Section 226-b of the real property law allowing sublets (although you should check to make sure this provision applies) for up to two years. Her medical treatments should not count against her and there is probably case law on that somewhere. Forget about the other issues. Concentrate on any threats to your sister's status. She should check to see if the HDFC has a primary residency requirement (some don't). It's really not a problem until you get legal papers. Tell the coop president that you heard her once and lay off beyond that. But make the effort to sort it out.

: My sister owns an HDFC co-op apt. in Harlem. She resides in Atlanta and is recovering from substance abuse and has kept up the maintenance payments. My family and I had a fire in 2000 and have been staying in her apt. Recently, the President of the co-op informed me that my sister is in violation of the by-laws, since she is not maintaing this apt as her primary residence- there are 14 units. Let me note that the President of the co-op runs the bldg by herself, although there is a board. She is not on the up and up with running the bldg. We have not found our own place yet, and she can't move back until we move out. The president of the co-op lives on the 4th floor, we on the 3rd. The president of the co-op gets information on my sister's comings and goings from a tenant in the bldg who is behind on her rent. We (my sister and I) have never been late on the maintenance, and we are not noisy tenants.

: -Does my sister have any protections under the law?

: -Although my family and I are there temporarily, can the President of the co-op harrass us about being there? (she knows that we had fire). Does anyone have any leads on this?

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