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Re: What are the specifics here

Posted by Steve on May 12, 1999 at 12:38:49:

In Reply to: Re: What are the specifics here posted by MikeW on May 12, 1999 at 11:51:56:

Thanks Mike. I was working with a lawyer but I didn't feel he was really interested in these "small potatoes". He does feel that I have a strong case though. My most recent letter to the co-op's attorney, prompted the landlord to respond. He said he wanted to talk 'face - to - face' on this to come to a quick resolution. Prior to this, only his attorney sent letters. I found this interesting and felt that his attorney might have told him to work something out with me because I indeed do have a case. I called the landlord and he wanted to give me another $500. I am looking for another $2000 - not $500. I am supposed to be thinking about this and getting back with him. By accepting the $500 I kinda feel like I would be accepting defeat. Maybe I've taken this whole thing personally but I see this happening all the time over there. Most members don't fight this and just walk away happy they got anything. It is difficult to fight, I guess because we don't know our rights (we're not renters). I believe we will need to go to court as well. I'm trying to get prepared for this and that's why I am looking for info on my rights. I don't necessarily want to spend anymore money on attorney fees so I'm trying to research this myself. Thanks for the reply. If you - or anyone else can provide additional advise, please do so.

: I have no idea what Michigan law is like, but this sounds like something that would have to be resolved in court, or at least with the threat of court action. I would at least call a lawyer, but it's also very likely that the amount in question is to small to mount a major legal action to try and reclaim the money. One thing you might try to do is find some other former tenants/shareholder of the coop, and see if they all got hit with the same thing. If so, you may be able to show their is a pattern of fraud here and get a lawyer to do a class action on contingency.

: : The co-op is in Michigan. It is a subsidized low to middle income housing project. Members pay "Occupancy charges" each month to cover the annual expenses of the community. Equity is accrued each year and is supposed to be given to the member when they move out. The problem is that they use this money to refurbish the units without notifying you as to what needs to be done. I sent letters asking what my responsibilities were but they did not respond. They just made repairs and sent us the difference. I think there is a violation of rights here and I'm looking for information that will help me understand my rights. We painted the unit before moving out. They claimed that the job was not good enough and charged us to paint it again. We cleaned the unit and they charged us for this as well. If you need more info, let me know. I really need help with this.

: : : What are the specifics of this coop? It doesn't sound like any type of coop I've heard of before. Is this in NYC or NY State? If so, is it Mitchell Lama, or some sort of subsidized middle income housing? Did you own the unit (actually, own shares to be specific), or were you renting from an owner?

: : : : I lived in a co-op townhouse for 15 years. Approximately $3000 of equity was built up during this time. Prior to moving out, requests were made (in writing) to the management and Board of Directors as to our obligations for painting & repairs. They would not respond with any specifics. We decided to paint the unit because we were warned they would charge us $850 for this. After about 4 months, they sent us the remainder of our equity. They deducted $850 for painting, and we were also charged for repairs and cleaning! The Landlord said, as co-op members, we are not protected by the "Landlord/Tenant" acts. Where can I get information about my rights as a co-op member? Most everything I have found relates to renters only. Can you point me in the right direction to find rights specific to Michigan?

: : : : Thank you,
: : : : Steve Melcher

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