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Real Estate: New York/Probl with a coop shareholder


We are a small seven-unit coop in NY having serious problems with a shareholder (regarding behavior, not finances-they pay their maintenance on time) and would like to know if we can legally buy them out or force them to sell and leave for good. Can you please give us some piece of advice or recommend a website where we can get informed about our options?

Hi Pat,

I believe I can help you or at least give you some guidance.  First, I suggest obtaining a copy of the bylaws for the cooperative to see what remedies are already in place for such situations.  Usually, cooperative bylaws will have very specific remedies that favor the cooperative as a whole, and would allow for forced buy outs, removals, etc so long as it is all market, and in some cases after a period to cure for the member has passed.  

If you don't know where the bylaws are, then you can have your management company find it for you.  If you don't have a management company for you, you may need an attorney to locate the formation documents you filed.

Regardless of the bylaws, the general rule for most coops is that you can make changes to the bylaws or make new rules so long as you vote it democratically by the unit owners and their shares.  A majority will do it.  Even a consensus might be enough.  But if 6 of the 7 owners are upset, it should not be hard.  Make the change, then have an attorney do the rest by giving proper notice, etc.

Understand that the owner may put up a fight, which may lead to some legal costs, but probably will not have much of a case.

Hope this helps,


Real Estate: New York

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Mark Shemel


I believe I can answer questions in the following sub categories with respect to New York City: Residential Brokerage, Landlord Tenant disputes, Any type of lease questions, any definition pertaining to residential real estate, any questions about property management, most questions about development, construction codes, and housing laws, questions about Section 8, HPD and government sponsored housing. Also corporate and short term housing questions.


I am currently the President of Think Properties NYC, a residential brokerage firm in New York City. I am also President of National Property Management Group. We manage over 1000 Residential Units and 50 retail/commercial units, generally as tax payers or part of mixed use buildings. We handle project management, marketing, and rentals/sales of new construction properties as well.

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Boutique Brokerage Firm Alliance (President)

New York Times, Real Estate Weekly, Wikipedia, Wiki-answers

Undergrad: Union College Degree: Bachelors Degree, Double Major Economics/French Graduate: New York University Degree: Masters of Science, Masters in Real Estate Development Licensed Real Estate Broker in State of New York

Awards and Honors
Undergrad: Phi Beta Kappa, National Honor Society, Magna Cum Laude

Past/Present Clients
Oakwood Worldwide, JP Morgan Chase (for Relocation), and several other firms.

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