Re-evaluation and vigilance is key for cutting costs

May 26, 2009 01:22PM

Co-op and condo boards are looking to cut costs because of the recession. Carol Carson, board president of a 16-unit walk-up building in Sunset Park, said maintenance fees should be raised so money can be added to a reserve fund which would be used for emergency repairs, but other residents disagree because they cannot afford the increases. Instead, Silvana Vlacich, president of a 132-unit co-op in Murray Hill, said that flexibility and re-evaluation is key for saving money. “My advice is to do your homework on every aspect of your building,” Vlacich said. “If you’re not getting service from your professionals, or if your staff is not performing, you’ve got to fix it. Re-evaluate everything you’re doing.” Attorney Ronald Sher, a partner at Himmelfarb & Sher, also stresses the necessity of vigilance. “Boards have to make sure that shareholders and unit owners are current in their monthly payments,” he said. “Plenty of boards wait months before they refer arrears to counsel, but boards are going to suffer hardships if they do that now.”