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Building Surveys

At some point your building manager or your Board of Directors may decide that it is time to conduct a comprehensive roof-to-cellar survey of your building to determine the overall physical shape of the structure and obtain a detailed analysis of all of its components along with a full scaled estimate of costs associated with any needed or recommended repairs or renovations.

The idea of embracing the concept of a full-building survey may too often be daunting or appear unnecessary to some (You know them: penny wise but pound foolish types) and so the idea of embracing the concept of a full-building survey to prudently assess your building’s needs may end up rejected.  (“Why repair the roof?  Let’s just wait until it needs to be replaced”).

On December 15, 2017, the Association of Riverdale Cooperatives and Condominiums was pleased to present engineers from RAND Engineering and Architecture, DPC  to its membership to discuss building surveys .

To illustrate the potential value of building surveys and to ease any unwarranted concerns, we are pleased to present a typical building survey report provided to you from RAND, for your perusal and edification.

This extraordinarily comprehensive report should be read only as reflective of the many aspects of a building survey that may be available to you, as determined by your Board, your management and your budget.

Your actual requirements will naturally vary significantly and the resultant survey report may be much shorter.  Engineers should be contracted to work within your budget and according to your agreed upon needs.  For a full sample report,  click here .

To view photographs that typically accompany such reports, click here.



ARC By-laws

As a member of the Association of Riverdale Cooperatives and Condominiums,ConstitutionAndBylawsGraphic you know that you and your interests as a property owner are represented among your elected officials and you know that ARC is your best source for information about both perennial and current information regarding co-op and condo ownership.  You also have the right to know who we are legally.

So, here is your copy of the 2014 Revision of ARC Bylaws




Revised Shareholder Agreement and Proprietary Lease

LeaseHow long has it been since you, your Board of Directors or your shareholders reviewed and updated your proprietary lease?  Most of us are still using a document that was written 40 years ago and designed to address issues that existed 40 years ago – before most co-ops and condos in Riverdale even existed.  Today, laws have changed dramatically, technology has significantly advanced and co-ops and condos have decades of experience behind them.  Issues such as Board indemnification, damage and repair, late fees, user charges for garages and gyms, transfer fees, subletting and other uses of apartments, alterations, house rules enforcement, apartment insurance etc. all cause regular angst that can be avoided!

A new lease form has been developed (Did you know?) that makes the old form obsolete.  It addresses many of the issues noted above and also clarifies the right of the Board to be protected by the Business Judgment Rule, to make rules and regulations and to impose fees and fines to enforce rules; clarifies responsibility areas within the building and within apartments; clarifies resident conduct that can be deemed objectionable, and much more.  All of this is newly addressed in a binding legal document that is simply and effectively designed to minimize unwanted conflict among shareholders and between the Board and shareholders.  After years of experience, research and collaboration, ARC General Counsel Marc Luxemburg developed a new lease form for the Council of New York Cooperatives.  It suggests many revisions to the old form that may be of value to certain co-ops.  The new document may be used in total or in part, and is designed to serve as a springboard for Boards of Directors to reference and to discuss with their building attorneys before presenting to shareholders.

We are pleased to present ARC members with a copy of the New Proprietary Lease Form.


Recent Legal Decisions

How many times have you, your fellow Board members and your manager debated about the possible legal consequences of any given action (or lack of action)?  Did you make decisions in the dark?  
Why not consult recent legal decisions made by local magistrates on the very same issues?  

ARC’s General Counsel, Marc Luxemburg presents an annual review of the current state of co-op and condo law in New York City.  The notes he prepares for his presentations can be extraordinarily useful and are available only to our members, here:  

Legal Decisions of 2009 – Marc Luxemburglegalimage1

Legal Decisions of 2010 – Marc Luxemburg

Legal Decisions of 2011 – Marc Luxemburg

Legal Decisions of 2012 – Marc Luxemburg

Legal Decisions of 2013 – Marc Luxemburg

Legal Decisions of 2014 – Marc Luxemburg

Legal Decisions of 2015 – Marc Luxemburg

Legal Decisions of 2016 – Marc Luxemburg

Legal Decisions of 2017 – Marc Luxemburg



Energy and Cost Saving, March 7, 2016

We were extremely fortunate to have been able to offer our membership a number of important, informative and money-saving presentations.  Here are copies of the information that was distributed at the seminar (click on a logo):














Emergency Strike Preparation

Do you have an emergency plan for your family?

Do you have an evacuation plan for your apartment?

Do you carry insurance on yourself ?  your automobile?  your property?

Why bother,  if you don’t use them?

Well the same thing is true for your building, in the event of a strike by its employees.  You should be ready just in case there ever is an emergency situation caused by the absence of building personnel.

All things might happen in their absence and you, the Board and your shareholders should be prepared.  We have a model preparedness guide for you.  Many buildings used it a couple of years ago when we were threatened by a possible strike of 32BJ — which was thankfully averted.  Now, during quiet moments, is the time to prepare your plan.

ARC Strike Preparation – Stephen J. Budihas



Dependable Contractors

realtor_contractorsMost of us depend upon our building managers to obtain all of the services that we require.  Others become very much involved in the selection of contractors, owing to the disparate costs involved and past experiences with less-than-stellar companies and individuals.  

Over the past several years, ARC has been collecting recommendations from Riverdale co-op and condo boards.  We have the resultant list of Recommended Vendors available to you here, and all of the contractors included in the listing know that we have recommended them to you and they have been asked by ARC to make appropriate considerations when dealing with our members.

(Be certain to mention that you are a member of ARC!)



 Board meeting graphic

Looking for new building management?

The selection of a a management company and a building manager may well be the most important responsibility of a Board of Directors.

Some boards rely on their managers to guide them through the morass of ever-changing legal guidelines.  Others rely on them to resolve shareholders’ concerns, oversee building operations, ensure compliance with government dicta, ensure corporate solvency, supervise building staff and be responsive to the will of the Board.  Most likely, the building manager assumes most of these responsibilities and it is therefore absolutely critical that every manager be closely observed and regularly evaluated by boards.

Too often managers become lax or do not satisfactorily fulfill all of their duties.  That’s when it is time to look for another management agency.

In Riverdale there are many building managers and most of them are looking for additional buildings to manage.  For your convenience, here is ARC’s Building Managers List



Oil to Gas Conversion

When considering a conversion from gas to oil many important questions surface.  The most prominent among them, and the most difficult for the average Board member or building manager to respond to are:

“How do we calculate whether there will be a cost differential?”getting money back


“How may we compare the heat derived from oil to the heat derived from natural gas?”

These answers are to often the subject of uninformed debate, but simply require the application of certain formulae.  We are grateful to our friends at Hess Oil for providing us with the methods for calculating the correct answers to these important questions, which can be found here: Oil to Gas Conversion Worksheet.



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