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I deal with a number of coop apartment owners, boards, managing agents and one of the major causes of conflict is a lack of cooperation, communication and a feeling of being powerless by the owners of cooperative apartments.

I have encountered coop boards who give the impression they are reside in an “ivory tower”, are untouchable, whose actions are not to be questioned. This paired with the failure of the board to listen to their constituents, understandably results in frustration, tension, conflict and ultimately lawsuits.

Alternatively, some apartment owners maintain an underlying agenda to instigate conflict with board members and other apartment owners. Commonly the apartment owner who likes to go to “war” is a long time apartment owner or board member who wishes it was like the old days. This is especially prevalent where there is a drastic change in board membership or the composite of apartment ownership in the building. Old timers got used to a sense of power when serving on the board or where the former board members were weak. A new sheriff is in town where recently elected board members are in control of their responsibilities and surroundings.

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