Interior repairs in cooperative or condominium apartments aren’t as cut and dry as in a rental property. Unlike a rental, where most repairs would fall onto the landlord, there is a clear delineation of responsibilities for a shareholder / unit owner and the building.
Flip Taxes are a tool in Cooperative buildings all throughout New York City. Essentially, they’re a tax (or a fee) that the Cooperative collects at the closing of an apartment that is transferring hands between outgoing and incoming Shareholders.
In January 2014, NYC enacted a new rule for those properties that had a retaining wall that is greater than 10-feet high and located on a public right of way. Local Law 37 of 2008 now dictates that all of those properties that fall into that category have their retaining walls inspected every five (5) years to determine if they are Safe, Safe with a Repair and Maintenance or Unsafe.
If you’re familiar with Local Law 11 for the facade, then you’ll be familiar with this as well. Depending on where your building is located, you will need to file in the year that is attributed to your borough.
2016: Staten Island
The DOB provides civil penalties of $1,000 per year for failure to file, plus $250 per month penalty until the property owner is in compliance. Failure to repair an unsafe condition carries a $1,000 per month fine until corrected.
We would recommend that all properties that are now required to inspect and file their properties talk to a local engineer that is qualified to perform the inspection and file on your behalf.
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?
New York State, as of December 3, 2014, is requiring that all current subleases acknowledge if there are or aren’t sprinklers in their respective units with a new Fire Sprinkler Acknowledgement Form (EBMG can provide you with a sample Acknowledgement, below). We are now going to include an Acknowledgement Form in all Cooperative sales and sublease applications (sublease only for Condos) for the new tenants to sign and will also be sending out an acknowledgement form to all residents that currently have a lease so that we have them on file.
This new code is for all leased premises, so it does apply to new leases, renewal leases and all Shareholders in a Cooperative with a Proprietary Lease.
Sample Acknowledgement Form (download)
If your building is concerned that Shareholders or Unit Owners will possibly default on their maintenance or common charges during the period of the sublease, there is a simple Rider that the building can attach to the existing sublease application to ensure that the building is made whole in the case of a delinquency in payment.
The Rider, which we have provided for in the link at the bottom of this article, states that in the case of a delinquency by the Shareholder or the Unit Owner, the subtenant, upon written notice from the Board will pay their rent directly to the Cooperative or Condominium until such time that the delinquency is taken care of.
This Rider, with a signature by the Shareholder and Subtenant will enable the Board to collect fees that are due more quickly and all parties are aware of their responsibility in the case of a default.
Sample Rider For Coops / Condos (Word Doc)
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.