In: Staten Island Property Management
New York City has some very specific snow removal rules for buildings within its boroughs. We’re concerned about snow removal from a few different standpoints; we want to sure ensure the safety of the residents, employees and passerby’s and we also want to limit the liability and potential exposure to lawsuit of our client buildings.
New York City’s Department of Sanitation requires that snow be removed no later than four (4) hours after the end of the snow fall or not later than 11:00AM, if the snow ended after 9:00PM the night before.
In addition, if the snow can’t be removed due to packed ice or other conditions, the building is allowed to place down cat litter, snow melt or a similar product for traction. Once the snow has melted or is readily able to be removed, we recommend that it is done so right away.
Snow is not permitted to be shoveled into the streets at any time. That practice is illegal. In addition, do not place snow on top of a fire hydrant. Those hydrants do need to be kept clear at all times.
Failure to abide by the rules can subject the building to a fine in the amount of $100 – $350 per infraction.
Keeping the sidewalks clear of snow and ice during and after a snowstorm will be of great benefit to the employees, residents and the general public.
Related Post: What are the Winter Heating Requirements?
Update for 2017: Click Here For NEW Regulations
In New York City, the winter heating season is from October 1st – May 31st of any given winter. The heating requirements are going to be significantly different from the other times of the year and we’re going to break it down for you so that you can easily understand the requirements.
Each day is split into two different times; there are the Daytime requirements, which last from 6AM – 10PM and there are the Nighttime requirements, lasting from 10PM – 6AM.
The following heat settings are in place during these two times:
Daytime (6AM – 10PM): When the temperature dips below 55 degrees outside, the internal temperature of any given apartment must be kept at or above 68 degrees.
Night (10pm – 6AM): When the temperature falls below 40 degrees outside, it is mandated that the interior temperature of an apartment must be kept at or above 55 degrees.
55 Degrees of an interior temperature sure does sound chilly, so most coop and condo buildings in NYC will keep their indoor temperature settings a little higher. This could be by altering the cycle of heat that the boiler is moving through, or it could be adjusting their complete system if that boiler works off of sensors within the apartment, as was discussed in the building.
If you feel as though you are not being provided with adequate heat (if this is a routine occurrence, and not a result of emergency boiler work or for major work such as a complete boiler replacement), it would behoove the tenants to call Management, and if they do not respond, to alert 311 so that they can step in on what may be a systematic issue.
September 5, 2014
In NYC Cooperative buildings (and others throughout the country as well) Shareholders are often looking to refinance their apartment either through a new mortgage or for secondary financing such as a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) or a second mortgage.
When a Board is looking over their options for approving or not approving this financing for the Shareholder, they should be looking at more than the overall amount of the financing. They should also take a hard look at what that loan will do to the Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio of the apartment. If the Co-op, for instance, has a maximum of 80% financing, if the new LTV exceeds that amount, they may want to reconsider the approval. (more…)
A simple task that is now available to update online at http://www.nyc.gov/hpd, this yearly property registration is required from residential buildings that are greater than three units or 1-2 unit residences where the owner does not reside on premises. The forms tell the City of New York who the owner, agent and responsible parties are for all residential buildings in the case of an emergency (or a violation). Registrations are required to be renewed by September 1st of each year, so if your building is outdated, now is the time to update it before it becomes a deeper issue.
In Property Management there are two types of property managers; the dedicated (full-time, on-site manager) and a portfolio manager. While many of the duties of either type of manager will be similar, there are some stark contrasts between the two.
A dedicated manager is a property manager that is responsible for only one client. Oftentimes, particularly if the property is large enough, the property manager will be on-site to deal with residents, staff and board issues as they pop up. The building, in turn is absorbing the complete cost of the salary + benefits of all management staff members that are assigned to their building full-time. This could include bookkeeping staff, assistant property managers and property managers. The management company, separately, will usually be handling the back-office or financial needs from their home base. A benefit of a dedicated property manager is that the manager assigned to the building will have a laser focus on the building and will not be involved in other issues throughout the portfolio of the management company.
A portfolio manager is exactly what it sounds like. Handling a portfolio of buildings, they could range in number from 2 to 8 properties, depending on the size and time requirements of the buildings that they are managing. Some managers may manage a very large building and then a small or medium-sized building whereas another may manage 8 smaller buildings. It really comes down to the expectation of time spent on each property.
In interviews, we’ll often be asked how many buildings the manager that is up for the particular job is currently handling. It’s a delicate balance when managing a portfolio of properties. Clients who retain a property manager that is working on a portfolio are typically not paying for a full-time property manager so this manager will be responsible for dealing with multiple buildings and boards at the same time.
Either way that a building should retain a property management companies services, they’ll always receive the same amount of attention and care from our staff and back-office and will receive the same financial and oversight services. Either way, it’s a win-win.
In this newest video, Mark Levine of Excel Bradshaw Management Group walks you through the new 2014 New York City Administrative Code Section 27-2051.1, which deals with emergency preparedness and notifications for residential buildings.
Buildings are now required to post specific information about relevant weather events, utility outages that will last more than 24 hours, evacuation details, emergency contact numbers and building specific numbers and contact information in the event of an emergency. The information is to be posted in 11-point type or larger.
We would recommend emailing to all residents in addition to posting in the lobby and/or sliding under doors.
EBMG Template For Memo: https://ebmg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/EMERGENCY-NOTIFICATION-TEMPLATE.docx
Schechter & Brucker Original Memo: https://ebmg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/emergency_preparedness_memo.pdf
NYC Office of Emergency Management: http://www.nyc.gov/oem
Find Your Flood Zone: http://www.floodzonenyc.com/
In Condominiums and Cooperatives, one of the factors that will play into whether your Unit Owners, Shareholders or the building as a whole can easily get financing is the percentage of investor-owned units. Investor-owned, in this case, is a unit that is sublet out. If a building has greater than 15% of their units sublet out by the respective owners / shareholders, the banks will take notice and may give an issue when trying to obtain financing.
There are some buildings that don’t allow subletting at all, but most will at least make it difficult or onerous to do so. A sublet fee based on a per share basis, a flat fee or a sliding scale for different years can be put into place to create soft income for the building. The theory is that the person who is subletting out their unit is making money on the transaction, so why not also create a fee within the building.
In NYC Cooperative buildings (or in all locations, really) adding someone to a stock certificate may seem like something that should be easily approved, but it is often a lengthy process.
The Cooperative Board of Directors is charged with protecting the interests of all of the Shareholders in the buildings, so when someone is being attached to the shares of a particular apartment, it is their fiduciary responsibility to ensure that this person will be able to financially afford to pay for the monthly maintenance, along with all other debts in their lives.
Even if this person has been living with the Shareholder for a lengthy period of time, most Boards will consider this transaction similar to a new purchase of an apartment and will ask for detailed reports on the financial activity of the new person applying.
These processes can also be costly. There are costs for application processing, Board review and then ultimately, the closing of a new stock certificate and proprietary lease.
Sometimes a Board of Directors in a Cooperative can overstep their bounds. Whether it’s from a lack of knowledge of what they can or can’t do or just a lax outlook on adhering to the building’s documents, Boards need to keep their limits in mind when making changes.
Recently, someone posed the question to the Habitat Magazine (http://www.habitatmag.com) forums asking if the Board can change the terms of the Proprietary Lease, to allow for Shareholders to now be responsible for the upkeep and replacement of windows. This was, according to the poster, done without the approval of the Shareholders at large.
The Proprietary Lease usually calls for a supermajority of Shareholders (either 66.6% or 75%, depending on the documents) to approve any changes to the Proprietary Lease or Bylaws. If there wasn’t a special meeting for this purpose or if it was not included on the agenda of the Annual Meeting, then the Board most likely made this change illegally.
We always advise our Boards to follow the law with regards to handling building documents to ensure that the rules and policies set forth are enforceable to the end.
From time to time a Unit Owner or a Shareholder will place an illegal sublet into their unit without the prior written authorization of the Board of Managers or the Board of Directors in that particular building. One Board Member had inquired if they could take it upon themselves to remove the sublet directly or if they needed to go to bat with the Shareholder in question, first.