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News / 10.15.21 /Eric P. Blaha,Jeffrey D. Buss,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Thomas W. SmithandMark L. Manewitz

Smith Buss & Jacobs 2021 selections by Super Lawyers

Eric Blaha, Jeffrey Buss, Kenneth Jacobs, Mark Manewitz & Thomas Smith have each been selected to the 2020 New York Metro Super Lawyers list. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating …

Blog / 09.08.21 /Eric P. BlahaandMichael Coppa

Cooperative Disclosure Law Now In Effect In Westchester County. Will Other Counties Follow?

The Westchester County Board of Legislators recently amended Local Law 2018-11 to impose new timetables and guidelines on Co-op Boards when developing application forms for potential purchasers, reviewing completed purchase applications, and accepting or denying applicants. The law became effective August 1, 2021, and implementation became mandatory August 16, 2021. Although this law applies only …

Blog / 03.24.21 /Eric P. Blaha

Boards and Management: Waiting for “The Other Shoe to Drop” After Mandatory “Reasonable Accommodation” Disclosures

Human rights laws and fair housing laws have been in effect for decades, providing equal access and opportunity for people with disabilities to use and enjoy housing, amenities and services. Yet Co-op and Condo Boards and Management may want to brace themselves for the potential onslaught of requests for reasonable modifications and accommodations from people …

Blog / 02.22.21 /Eric P. Blaha

State Incentives Reduce Sticker Shock of Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations

GM recently announced that it will eliminate fossil fuel vehicles by 2035. It seems inevitable that multifamily property owners, including co-op and condo boards, will need to make arrangements to install electric vehicle charging stations to meet anticipated demand by resident owners long before then. As part of NY’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions …

Blog / 02.03.21 /Eric P. Blaha,Jeffrey D. Buss,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

Covid-19: DHCR Allows Co-ops to Impose Mask Mandates; Employers May Require Vaccinations from Employees; Condo Lien Foreclosures Not Barred by Latest Moratorium

DHCR Grants Powers to Co-ops to Enforce COVID Rules. DHCR has issued regulations allowing “Limited Profit and Limited Dividend” housing projects (such as Mitchell-Lama co-ops and many HDFC’s) to pass rules requiring residents to wear masks in public areas if they cannot maintain social distancing. Building owners are authorized to [“shall”] deny admittance to any …

Blog / 01.19.21 /Eric P. Blaha,Jeffrey D. Buss,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

Covid-19: New Rules Evictions and Foreclosures Still Limited News on Insurance Costs and Taxes

PPP UPDATE Co-ops STILL Eligible. Condos and HOA’s May be Challenged. Co-ops are eligible for PPP Loans even as first-time borrowers. Based on the statutory language in the new Stimulus bill, though, Condos and HOA’s do not qualify because (unlike Co-ops) they were not specifically included. Hopefully that omission will be corrected or explained away, …

Blog / 12.23.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Jeffrey D. Buss,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

Covid-19: Christmas Presents for Co-ops – Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Amended to Allow Loans to Cooperatives

The Omnibus Spending Bill newly passed by Congress includes a provision specifically making housing cooperatives eligible for PPP loans. No matter what the bill ultimately looks like when it becomes law, we expect that provision to remain. As a result, cooperatives can now apply for PPP loans without fear of rejection. The amendments also apply …

Blog / 10.13.20 /Eric P. Blaha

Co-Ops & Condos fitness facilities re-opening questions

Watch Eric Blaha answer some FAQ from Co-Ops & Condos regarding the re-opening of fitness centers. SBJ YouTube FAQ Video October 13, 2020 featuring Eric Blaha

News / 08.13.20 /Eric P. BlahaandKenneth R. Jacobs

Webinar: Conducting Online Meetings – should the practice be continued?

Ken Jacobs & Eric Blaha were panelists on the webinar hosted by Hudson Valley CAI “HOAs-Discontinue Online Meetings and Voting?” held August 13th. Review the presentation materials here or watch the webinar recording here: Hudson Valley CAI “HOAs – Discontinue Online Meetings and Voting?” For more information contact: Eric Blaha at eblaha@sbjlaw.com or Ken Jacobs …

Blog / 07.03.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Jeffrey D. Buss,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

LATEST COVID-19 DEVELOPMENTS: NEW LAWS REGARDING EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES; PPP PROGRAM EXTENDED; Q&A ON REOPENING ISSUES

NEW LAWS REGARDING EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES; PPP PROGRAM EXTENDED; Q&A ON REOPENING ISSUES MORATORIUM ON RESIDENTIAL NON-PAYMENT EVICTIONS EXTENDED INDEFINITELY.  Last night Governor Cuomo signed the “Tenant Safe Harbor Act”, which bans issuance of a warrant of eviction against a residential tenant or other lawful occupant who has suffered a “financial hardship” during the “COVID-19 …

Blog / 05.28.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Jeffrey D. Buss,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

COVID-19: Guidelines for Reopening Buildings

Guidelines for Reopening Buildings The pressure to relax the guidelines for access to condominium and cooperative buildings, including their common facilities, has been growing. Boards need to develop a plan for handling the increased risks that come with increased traffic within the premises and social interaction among owners. The following assumes that you have guidelines …

News / 05.14.20 /Eric P. BlahaandThomas W. Smith

Habitat LIVE: Zoom Annual Meetings

Tom Smith joins Habitat LIVE to discuss the protocol developed by Smith Buss Jacobs to run annual meetings and board elections in the current era of social distancing.

Blog / 05.11.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Jeffrey D. Buss,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

Coronavirus: EXECUTIVE ORDER RE SECURITY DEPOSITS AND EVICTIONS; PPP SAFE HARBOR EXTENSION; SAFE CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES; ARE YOU PREPARED FOR LOOSENED RESTRICTIONS?

Executive Order Allows Use of Security Deposits for Rent, Extends Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures. On May 7th Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.28, which provides in part that (i) residential landlords and tenants can agree with each other to use security deposits to pay rent arrears; (ii) requires landlords to use a security deposit …

Blog / 05.05.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Jeffrey D. Buss,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

Coronavirus: PPP UPDATE; GLIMMERS OF HOPE FOR “BUSINESS INTERRUPTION” COVERAGE?

More Fun with PPP. The scramble by cooperatives and condominiums for a definitive decision about eligibility for Paycheck Protection Program loans has generated further confusion. The list of Frequently Asked Questions published by the SBA on April 24th included this one: “35. Question: Are agricultural and other forms of cooperatives eligible to receive PPP loans? …

Blog / 04.23.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

Coronavirus: The latest on PPP Eligibility for Co-ops and Condos; Handling Visitation Issues during the Lockdown; Sales and Closings in the Virtual Market

Latest on PPP Eligibility for Co-ops and Condos. The SBA still hasn’t changed its official position under its “Interim Rule” that cooperatives are not eligible for the PPP. However, we have spoken with the managers for at least two cooperatives (one in NYC and one in Virginia, which also treats its co-ops as business corporations) …

Blog / 04.16.20 /Eric P. BlahaandKenneth R. Jacobs

Coronavirus: CONDUCTING EFFECTIVE “VIRTUAL” ANNUAL MEETINGS

Spring Annual Meeting Season is Here! But how can associations run effective meetings without owners being physically present to participate? Even though “social distancing” seems to be slowing the spread of COVID-19, we expect that Governor Cuomo will extend the portions of Executive Order 202.8 that suspend longstanding legal requirements that ownership meetings must be …

Blog / 04.08.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

Coronavirus: CO-OP AND CONDO ELIGIBILITY FOR PPP UNDER REVIEW IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

On April 7th, one of our professional colleagues sent a well-worded request to the New York District Office for an “interpretation” of the SBA rules that initially denied eligibility to cooperatives and condominiums for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). We are advised that their letter has been “kicked upstairs” to SBA headquarters in …

Blog / 04.04.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

Coronavirus: CO-OP ELIGIBILITY FOR PPP LOANS QUESTIONED BY SBA. DOES A PPP LOAN MAKE SENSE FOR YOU?

A. SBA Questions Co-op Eligibility. In our earlier E-blast, we suggested that the SBA might take the position that Co-ops might not be eligible for PPP loans. So far that appears to be the case. The SBA appears to be basing its position on portions of its “Standard Operating Procedure” handbook for loans to businesses, …

Blog / 04.03.20 /Eric P. Blaha,Kenneth R. Jacobs,Emanuela Lupu-Ferrante,Thomas W. SmithandDomenick J. Tammaro

Coronavirus: PPP FEVER- NEW APPLICATION FORMS!

PPP applications were made available on Tuesday night. By Wednesday, approved SBA lenders were overwhelmed with requests for assistance. This morning, Treasury issued new application forms that are completely different from the old ones! [CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION] Meanwhile, we are getting the following feedback from lenders and asset managers: 1. They will give first …

Blog / 02.25.20 /Eric P. Blaha

NYS’s Latest “Guidance” Raises New Concerns Under the Tenant Protection Act

For real estate owners, managers and brokers seeking to make sense of (and engage in damage control from) the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (“TPA”) passed nearly 8 months ago, the clarity provided by the NY Department of State in its latest “Guidance for Real Estate Professionals” issued on January 31, 2020, …

Blog / 11.15.19 /Eric P. Blaha

New Law Allowing Remote Shareholder Attendance and Electronic Voting May Change … Everything!

Low attendance at Co-op annual or special shareholder meetings can result in a lack of a quorum and can delay or even prevent boards of directors from taking actions that require shareholder approval.  Thus, co-op boards and shareholders alike may welcome a new law authorizing boards to permit remote shareholder attendance and electronic voting at …

Blog / 10.17.19 /Eric P. Blaha

Are Boards Always Protected by the “Business Judgment” Rule?

New board  members  in New York quickly learn that most of their decisions are protected under the “business judgment rule,” which states a court should defer to a co-op [or condo] board’s determination so long as the board is acting “for the purposes of the cooperative, within the scope of its authority, and in good …