Electrical work in the coop apartment

Asked by Cuirious, 11224 Fri Jan 15, 2010

Is it legal for the coop management to request all the electrical works in the apartment to be performed by their local electrical company? Is not it considered a monopoly? Do I have to obey this rule?

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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Jan 16, 2010
Check your by-laws, proprietary lease, and or contact management--they do have rules as to who can do the work, especially if the work could affect the entire complex.

1 vote
The owner's of the property have every right to mandate who does what work on their property. I would always look over the lease and see if there's anything legally binding that states they have final say. If they don't explicitly say that in writing, and it's just a suggestion, then you're probably okay going with someone else. But I would be careful, and make sure you know for sure. http://www.copperheadelectric.ca/
Flag Wed Oct 14, 2015
It's true. They might be able to dictate who you use if it was written in the bylaws. But it's worth your time to check, just in case. In some states, landlords aren't allowed to decide on electricians or other contractors. http://www.nicholaselectric.com
Flag Tue Apr 28, 2015
I agree that you should check your by-laws. If I were you, I would also call your landlord. They should know what you can do and how you can solve your problem. This should help you with all of your needs! I would definitely start here. http://www.rdselectric.com/index.php
Flag Fri Mar 20, 2015
Barbara Ann…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sat Jan 16, 2010
I assume that you are not yet an owner in this co-op; otherwise you would hopefully be familiar with all building policies. The House Rules is a good place to start; there will also be parts of the proprietary lease (the document that allows you to occupy your apartment) that deal with some of these items. Once you have an accepted offer on a co-op property. all of these documents, plus more, are forwarded to your attorney, who will review them as part of the due diligence process. Once this is done, if there is anything with which you are not comfortable, you are under no obligation to sign the contract, and can just walk awayy from the purchase at that time.

All co-ops and most condos do have this type of rule; most require that a licensed, bonded, and insured electrician be used for all such work (and some do actually specify the firm); this is necessary for the building's insurance policy. Condos do generally have fewer rules overall, so you may be better off looking to buy a condo versus a co-op.

Good luck!
1 vote
I agree with Tom, they shouldn't be making all of you use the same electricity. There would be no way to split up the bills, and a lot of problems would ensue to do that. I would have an electrician out to help you out. Make sure that you check the bylaws first though. http://www.central-electric.com
Flag Sat Mar 14, 2015
I don't think it's illegal for them to have all the apartments use the same electrician. It probably saves them from a lot of trouble when they only have to work with one electrician. I wouldn't worry too much about it, because it's probably similar to the price of other electricians. http://www.mikecounsilelectric.com
Flag Mon Feb 2, 2015
Kodylawrence6, Home Buyer, Indianapolis, IN
Thu May 14, 2015
Why type of electrical work are you looking to get done? My sister had some work done in her apartment not too long ago but I am not sure what it was for exactly. I do believe that she spoke with the complex manager regarding finding a contractor for the job. http://www.trustedelec.com.au
0 votes
Jackson Will…, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Thu Apr 23, 2015
It depends on what you agreed to in your lease. If you agreed to that in their rules, than yes you do have to follow it. If you didn't agree to this rule, you can fight it, but I would guess that it will be difficult. When apartment complexes have contracts like this it's really hard to convince them to break those contracts. I would suggest doing what you can to help yourself as much as possible, but don't break any rules while doing that.
0 votes
Kelsey Compa…, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Tue Mar 3, 2015
That seems like a controversial situation. I would assume that who ever is provided the payments for the electrical work would be the one who gets to decide to go with. It might be a good company though so you may just want to look into options and then go from there to see what would be the best one. http://electricalchristiansburgva.com/Industrial-Equipment-I…
0 votes
Kelsey Compa…, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Thu Feb 5, 2015
My apartment could really use some electrical work on it. I wonder how long the repairs would take. This is a great question and I wonder how it would work at my complex. http://www.safewayelectricco.com/electrician-in-ontario-ca.html
0 votes
Gerald Vonbe…, Home Buyer, Jackson Springs, NC
Fri Jan 9, 2015
You should probably check your lease and the local by-laws. It's possible that you will be required to use their electrician. That being said, I've never really heard of a situation like yours before. It also depends on the type of electrical work being done. If it's electrical work that could affect the whole complex, they might want you to only use an electrician that they trust. http://www.globalelectric.ca/electrical.html
0 votes
Mark Leach, Home Buyer, Pine Bluff, AR
Thu Jan 8, 2015
Definitely review your leasing agreement, local bylaws, and contact management. It will definitely state what you can and cannot do there regarding electrical work. It is tough for me to say because it literally can vary from state to state, county to county, even city to city.
Mark leach | http://www.martinelectricinc.com
0 votes
Mary Jane Pr…, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Tue Oct 28, 2014
I think that working in the electrical field would be really scary. I would always be really afraid of being electrocuted. I think that working with the electricity for apartment complexes would be extra difficult. I wonder how electricians are able to do that much electric work so quickly.

Mary Jane | http://www.mrsunshineelectric.com
0 votes
Mike Lintro, Home Buyer, Provo, UT
Sat Oct 4, 2014
It isn't a monopoly. The owner may get some deal or agreement that the electrician does all the work for his apartments. Its as if he had one always employed. that's not a monopoly. http://www.advantageelectricians.com/minneapolis-electricians
0 votes
Barbara Ann…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sat Jan 16, 2010
I'd have to disagree with you on that point, Tim. Co-operative corporation ownership is still by far the dominant form of homeownership in NYC and it isn't going anywhere. Indeed, it has often been stated that the reason NYC has bypassed so many of the foreclosure woes that have beset this country is the prevalence of co-ops. Banks may have been throwing money at anyone, but co-ops' financial standards insured that unqualified buyers were not able to purchase in their buildings.

And unlike condo common charges, a percentage of co-op maintenance is usally tax deductible, bringing the two very much in line.

Furthermore, the liberal rental policy of condo buildings can be a large disadvantage if you are concerned about who your neighbors are. Condo owners can rent out their apartments virtually at will, whereas co-op subtenants have to be approved by the board and the term of the sublease is usually limited.

So it really all depends on what you, as a buyer, are looking for. Condos are better for some people and co-ops for others. Anyone's best bet in this siutation is to have a discussion about the pros and cons of both forms of ownership with a real estate broker.
0 votes
Tim Honeycutt, Home Buyer, Bloomfield, NJ
Sat Jan 16, 2010
It is important to understand the nature of a co-op situation. You actually do not own your apartment. You own shares in the entire building with rights to occupy your apartment. In essence, everyone owns the walls in your apartment and ergo have rights to decide what goes in those walls. Also they have the right to determine/approve any plans you have to remodel. As to the electrical work you want done, whether you agree or not, you have also legally contracted with this electrical company via your Co-op board. And when that Co-Op board decides to make a major infrastructure improvement like replacing the windows in your apartment, they have the rights to do that and charge you a surcharge in your maintenance fee regardless of your ability to pay. You can also be held financially liable for any law suits against your Co-op. Such as a trip and fall on the sidewalk outside.

I am surprised that your real estate agent did not at some point explain this to you. And if you have already purchased, somewhere you were handed a copy of the propectus on the Co-op which should include all the information you require on your co-op board.

Co-Ops can be less expensive to purchase, but once you add in the potential for liabilities, the fact that your neighbors have decision making power in your apartment, and the ever skyrocketing maintenance fees, in the long run they are probably not a good financial plan.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Fri Jan 15, 2010
No, that has nothing to do with a monopoly. It is so very legal for a co-op to maintain an approved list of contractors, and very wise, I might add.

Not only do you have to obey this rule, you actually have to obey all of the rules. If you don't like the rules, you should sell and join a co-op where you do like the rules.
0 votes
Alisha Chen, , Irvine, CA
Fri Jan 15, 2010

Some of the management require a certain company to do work especially when it is an attached condo/ apartment or town home. The reason is that there were cases in the past where homeowners want to save money and so they get cheap labor. However, if the job is not done right, any thing that arise for example fire, would not only effect you, but others who share the same walls with you. If they have written regulation on this, then all residents there need to abide to that. I know it may cost more, but usually they require that for safety reasons.

Alisha Chen
0 votes
Cuirious, Home Buyer, 11224
Fri Jan 15, 2010
Thanks Lynn. But where can I find building guidelines?
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Fri Jan 15, 2010
You need confer with guidelines of building if those are rules you need to comply with regulations established.
0 votes
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