Owner Sub-glossary

Glossary | Broker | Investor | Legal | Mortgage | Owner | Renter

Amenities are services offered to owners or tenants above and beyond heat, hot water, and portage, or garbage removal.

An apartment house is a multi-family, residential-only building; an apartment, abbreviated as apt, is one unit.

An application to purchase is a collection of forms and supporting documents, or the board package, submitted to a co-operative or condominium management company, for a proposed transfer, to be approved by a board of directors.

Appreciation is a property’s increase in value.

Appurtenance is the collective rights and privileges that move with ownership, specifically the propriety lease in a Manhattan co-operative-ownership apartment house.

An asking price is the amount an owner will accept for a property.

An assessment is a charge to owners for capital improvements, including major repairs, roof or brickwork, and the updating of public spaces.

An attended or manned elevator is operated manually by house staffs, and is considered to be a high-security amenity.

An awning is a semi-permanent, traditionally dark-green canvas at a building’s entrance, offering residents and visitors protection against the elements to and from the curb.


A board of directors is an elected, decision-making council governing the operation of a co-ownership apartment house.

Board of directors’ approval is the process, and positive result, wherein a co-operative apartment house requires a buyer to submit an application to purchase.

Brownstone, abbreviated as brnstn, is a dark-stone building block used in Manhattan row-house construction in the late 19th century.

Capital gain is realized profit.

A capital improvement increases a property’s value, and includes an assessment for renovations or replacement cost of mechanical equipment; it is deductible from the capital gain for tax purposes; both building assessment and renovation costs are capital improvements.

Common areas are those paid for and used by all of the owners within or surrounding an apartment house.

Common charges, abbreviated as c. c., comprise the apportioned costs of operating a condominium apartment house.

A concierge acts as a clerk, accepting parcels and offering security protection by monitoring visitors, unlike a doorman.

A condominium ownership indicates that each unit’s title is privately held, and that the apartment hous’s common areas are co-owned.

A condop combines co-operative-share ownership with a condominium management style, including allowance for subletting and no board of directors’ approval being necessary in order to transfer shares.

Conversion connotes usage change, which requires interdepartmental approval, not limited to the Attorney General’s Office and the New York City Building Department.

A co-operative apartment house is a privately held corporation in which stockholders occupy their units according to the terms of a proprietary lease.

Co-operative ownership entails ownership of shares in a corporation controlling a multiple-dwelling residence, as well as occupancy according to a proprietary lease.

Co-ownership takes place when one property is held by two or more individuals, in accordance with a separate document, however proportionally.

Co-ownershipapartment-house types are co-operative, condominium, and condop.

A deductible expense is an investment property’s operating expenses that when subtracted from rental income equals net income.

A doorman, abbreviated as dm., is a Manhattan fixture at full-service-apartment- house entrances, dressed in livery, and responsible for assisting occupants and their guests to and from the curb, in hailing a taxi, and in opening the front door.

A down payment is the cash portion of the purchase price; the remainder is the amount financed, determined by both the lender and the house rules and policies.

Equity is a property’s market value less liabilities—closing costs, the mortgage satisfaction total, and taxes.

Financing allowed, abbreviated as fin., is a co-operative apartment house’s, arbitrary, but binding purchase-price percentage that may be mortgaged.


A flip tax is exacted on each transfer, and is held in a reserve fund for capital improvements.

A full-service building, abbreviated as F/S, is one that employs a full-time doorman, live-in superintendent, and a daytime porter to maintain and clean and to remove garbage.

A general agent manages an owner’s property.

A guarantor is a relative who assumes responsibility for maintenance, rent, or mortgage payments.


A health club, abbreviated as HC, is an exercise facility within a residential apartment house.


House rules and policies are regulations pertaining to residing in a multiple-dwelling structure.

An improvement is a physical change that increases property value.

A keyed elevator is used in non-doorman loft buildings for access to unshared floors.

A loft is a living space—generally built-out in former commercial or light-manufacturing industrial structures with ceilings more than 17 feet, or approximately five meters, high—converted from one large, adaptable, open area into a multiple-room residence.


Maintenance, abbreviated as mt, is the per-share monthly charge for the operatation of a co-operative-ownership apartment house.


A managing agent is an apartment-house property overseer, independent of the board of directors and usually representing a management company or firm, contracted with the expressed duty of collecting fees, enforcing policies, organizing daily operations, and providing long-term maintenance.


A multiple dwelling is a structure shared by three or more residents.


No board of directors’ approval indicates that a sponsor converting from rental to co-ownership—not an individual owner—is selling a unit previously occupied by a renter.


Pets allowed denotes a regulation among the house rules and policies, regarding dogs, cats, and birds as house pets.


A pied-à-terre is a dwelling which is not the owner or renter’s primary residence.


The Plat Book is a compilation of property maps, or plats, on public recorded.


A playroom, abbreviated as plyrm, is a communal area for co-owners’ or tenants’ children and their friends.


Pointing is the mortar fill between stone masonry and bricks; re-pointing is the repairing of its gradual damage due to natural causes.


Post-war connotes apartment houses built between the late 1940s, when grand-scale housing construction began, and the early1970s when nonstop residential-housing construction stopped altogether; the slowdown resulted in the end of the 21-floor-luxury-apartment-house era, and in the rise to prominence of the 40-floor residential tower.


Pre-war, abbreviated as PW, connotes an apartment house erected before hostilities broke out in Europe during the mid-1930s; furthermore, the pre-war designation includes a subset, from a prior luxury-apartment-house boom between 1903 and 1917, also when hostilities broke out in Europe.


One’s primary residence is the one in which taxes and voter registration are filed.


A proprietary lease provides the terms and conditions, attached to corporate shares, which entitle a co-operative owner to occupy a particular unit in its apartment house.


The prospectus, offering plan, and amendments is a bundle of general descriptions and an outline of specifications, prepared as required by the Attorney General’s Office in order to sell co-ownership units.


Realized gain is net profit; recognized gain is taxable profit.


A reserve fund is capital held by a board of directors for unforeseen expenses; a fund grows by levied flip-tax revenues and, to a far lesser extent, the general ownership’s monthly fees—because a cash shortfall requires an assessment.


R.E.T. is the abbreviation for real-estate taxes, and applies only to condominium ownership.


Right of first refusal provides that a condominium board of directors may authorize a unit to be purchased—at contract price, on behalf of the co-owners—rather than approve a specific applicant.


Risk factor is potential loss.


A row house is one among homes in an unbroken line, sharing two common walls—as opposed to a detached house without a party wall; although technically correct, the term is lackluster compared with town house and brownstone—and is rarely applied to single-family Manhattan houses.


Service refers to an apartment house’s attended positions, in particular the door, elevators, and additional appurtenances provided.


Shares are a co-operative apartment house’s allocation of co-ownership responsibility, which corresponds to a unit’s size, position in the building, and unique features, such as private outdoor space, and serve to define its expense-portion allocation.


Staging is the cosmetic preparation of a property that is to be shown for sale; a professional stager may be engaged to ensure that the property’s best features are highlighted and its flaws downplayed.


Tax abatements, or temporary tax credit, are an inducement offered to developers to encourage building activity, which is passed along to purchasers.


The tax-deductible portion of co-operative fees comprises items prepaid by the corporation, for real-estate taxes and interest on an underlying mortgage.


Tenements are the bundled ownership rights in real property; also, the dark, poorly ventilated, and shabbily constructed apartment buildings whose construction was banned in 1901.


A town house, abbreviated as TH, is differentiated from a row house as being wider than one standard—25-foot—city lot, and by the extensive custom details to the façade and the sumptuous materials employed throughout the interior.


A unit is a single apartment in a residential building.


Unsold shares remain in the conversion sponsor’s possession with two specific rights attached: subletting is allowed, and—for one time only—no board of directors’ approval is necessary for the shares to be conveyed.


Utilities included indicate that gas, electricity, and/or cable television is included within the rent, maintenance, or common charges.