It is very important that each applicant for membership in The Towers understands that The Towers is organized as a Cooperative, and, as such, is unlike other retirement communities in many respects. Buyers have an initial buy-in purchase price for the shares that are assigned to a specific unit as well as a monthly maintenance fee which covers many services and amenities the Cooperative offers.
Purpose – Gracious Independent Living
The Towers is designed and arranged for independent living. The Co-Op does not provide assisted living, dementia or nursing home care.
Ownership – Residents own shares in the Co-Op
The ownership of the 353 units is in the form of shares of stock, each with a $1 par value. Ownership begins with the signing of a Proprietary Lease and continues until the shareholder sells the shares. During this time, the shareholder is responsible for any fees and taxes assessed through the Proprietary Lease by a governmental real estate taxing unit. As is true of any other real estate, responsibility for all fees and taxes continue during the entire period of ownership, even if the shareholder moves to another location before the sale of their shares is consummated.
Governance – Members Make the Co-Op Work
The governing body consists of nine Resident Members on the Board of Directors who are selected annually by a majority vote of the members. In fulfilling its responsibilities, the Board is assisted by five standing committees. Because the members are fully responsible for the Co-Op’s governance, The Towers encourages its members to serve on its governing body or advisory committees or to contribute in some other productive way. By-laws form the governing document for the members.
Monthly Maintenance Fee – Increases are Capped and Member Controlled
The monthly maintenance fee varies with the size of the unit and is recalculated annually. It is based on the estimated cash (the cash Requirements) needed to pay for operating The Towers. The Towers by-laws limit the increase in annual Cash Requirements to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index, CPI (W). Any additional increase above the CPI (W) must be approved by a majority vote of the members. For your information, the Consumer Price Index is used by the Federal Government to measure population spending patterns and to make cost of living adjustments to various Federal Benefits.
Insurance – Residents have Certain Responsibilities
Residents have a lease obligation to repair the interior walls, floors and floor coverings, and ceilings, as well as utility fixtures and equipment (e.g., sinks, toilets), electrical lighting fixtures, plumbing inside the unit, and heating and air-conditioning fixtures and equipment (except for heat pumps, which the Co-Op covers). To avoid significant out-of-pocket expenses required to meet this repair obligation, Residents should obtain property damage insurance coverage in an amount adequate to make necessary repairs. If the interior of a Resident’s unit is water damaged, for example, the Resident must rely on his or her individual insurance coverage for restoration repairs. The lease makes it clear that the Co-Op is not required to carry insurance coverage for items to be covered by Resident insurance and to be repaired by the Resident.
In addition, Residents should have insurance coverage in an amount sufficient to allow for replacement of all personal property in their Unit (e.g., furniture, furnishings, clothing, appliances, and basically everything you bring into your unit). Loss of use insurance coverage should also be considered to cover those unusual expenses incurred if a Resident is required to vacate the unit due to damage and repairs. Such insurance covers hotel lodging, meals, laundry, etc.
In situations where a Resident’s own negligence (or the negligence of other persons residing in the unit or visiting such as a friend or relative) causes damage to another unit or units or to Co-Op property, the Resident is liable for the costs to repair such damage. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that all Residents carry liability insurance coverage. If a Resident has a vehicle or vehicles, automobile liability insurance coverage should also be maintained.