I can’t pay my maintenance fee. What resources are available to me?

First, be sure to communicate this immediately and clearly to your board of directors. You can ask for a payment agreement, which can give you extra time to come up with your maintenance fee.

There are a couple benefits that may help you. The Human Resource Administration (HRA) offers a “One Shot Deal” emergency assistance program that helps people who can’t meet an expense due to an unexpected situation or event. 

Elderly and disabled shareholders may also be eligible for SCRIE (Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption) and DRIE (Disability Rent Increase Exemption) if they income-qualify and their current maintenance takes up a big enough part of their monthly income.  Be sure to apply for SCRIE through HPD if you’re a shareholder.  The Basic STAR or Enhanced STAR programs offer either a tax credit or exemption for eligible shareholders and the Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption (SCHE) is available for qualifying seniors who are shareholders in HDFCs which do not have the DAMP Tax Cap.  

Some lesser known resources could include your church, local political representative’s office, Hebrew Free Loan Society, and the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union. 

I want to sell my apartment. How do I do that?

Start by giving your board of directors official notice of your intent to sell.

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Can I add a relative to my share?

The short answer is probably. Your HDFC board cannot unreasonably deny your request if it meets certain criteria.

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My board isn’t having meetings and refuses to allow me to view books and records. What do I do?

Your HDFC’s bylaws specify the board’s responsibility to hold meetings and release records.

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No one new wants to run for the board. What do we do?

Board turnover is essential for a healthy co-op. It prevents burnout for long-time board members, and ensures lots of people have the skills to keep the co-op running.

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What repairs am I responsible for as a shareholder?

As a general guideline, shareholders are responsible for repairs within their apartments, while the co-op as an entity is responsible for building systems like heating; common spaces like lobbies; and tenants’ apartments.

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Why does the Board keep raising the maintenance?

Regular maintenance fee increases are essential to your co-op’s financial heath. A 2% annual increase is mandatory in most HDFCs with Regulatory Agreements.

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Our HDFC is in financial trouble. What are our options?

The first step is to understand what’s causing the financial hardship. Be sure to pinpoint the issue and make a plan for long-term financial viability.

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How do I deal with a noisy neighbor?

Communication is a key first step. Make sure you put your issue in writing and deliver it to the board. Once you officially make a complaint, the board has a fiduciary duty to address it.

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We need to evict a shareholder. How do we do that?

Eviction is a last step after you’ve communicated with the resident, met with them, offered payment agreements, and referred them to resources.

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Why do I have to give my HDFC money back when I sell?

For HDFCs to remain physically and financially viable in the long term, they must build up a healthy reserve account.

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