In: property management
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 Registrations are required to be renewed by September 1st of each year, so if your building is outdated, now is the time to update it before it becomes a deeper issue.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.
Certificates of Insurance are one of the most important aspects of information that we can collect from any vendor that is working in a building. Whether they’re hired by the building, a unit owner / shareholder or by a subtenant, all companies that enter into any of our buildings are required to first show proof of insurance.
At the very bottom of this post we have included a pro-forma Certificate of Insurance Requirements that we use within many of our buildings. This includes the standard amounts of insurance that our portfolio of buildings require. They include General Liability, Workmen’s Comp and Auto policies. Each time we collect a certificate we always note that the management company (Excel Bradshaw Management Group, LLC) and the entity that owns the building be named as Additional Insured and as Certificate Holders. This is to protect the building and the managing agent from any damage to the common area, damage to personal spaces and injury to workmen, residents and visitors.
There are a variety of times that the Certificate of Insurance will be required. Those times range from building wide work, personal alterations and decorations to move-ins and move-outs. Lock down those insurance certificates and not only will the management and Board be protected, but so will the assets of all of those unit owners and shareholders.
Pro-Forma Certificate Requirements: Click Here
June 18, 2014
Bed Bugs are a very scary element in any building. Not only can the wreak havoc on the resident that will be most affected by it, but left untreated they can drain a building’s operating account faster than almost anything else.
We always implore all residents in every building to immediately notify Management if they think that they may have a bed bug issue in their unit. We’ll immediately arrange for an inspection of the premises by a trained professional (canine inspection or visual inspection).
If there is a positive for an infestation, we’ll make sure to start the inspection process in all units that are above, below and on either side of the positive unit to try and note where the problem has spread to and to stop the spread with proper treatment.
If the resident is in a Cooperative or a rental building, the “landlord” should be footing the bill for the treatment while the resident is responsible for the costs to prep their apartment (dry cleaning, laundering, cleaning, etc.) The one way to force the tenant to pay for the bed bugs treatment is to pin down that particular unit as the only unit infected in the building (and talk to an attorney about this before you go to charge).
Residents that test positive should never throw away their untreated belongings in the building trash, drag furniture or uncovered mattresses through the building or in any other way increase the chance that the bed bugs will spread. Mattresses that are left on the curb for pickup after treatment (or any time) must be properly covered or the building will receive a fine (in NYC).
The apartment will need to be completely prepped prior to treatment because an apartment that is not fully prepped stands a better chance of not being fully exterminated. The exterminators will use a variety of treatments which include steaming, freezing and dusting, so there are many different treatment options that will be utilized.
Getting on top of this problem from the very first sign will help any building weather through the bed bug storm. Bed bugs can live up to a year without food, so knowing that they’re potentially within the common elements of the building and have the ability to travel should make every building prepare for the worst and have a bed bug plan in place.
Downloadable Bed Bug Disclosure Form: Click Here
Downloadable Bed Bug Prep Sheet: Click Here
Downloadable NYC Bed Bug Pamphlet: Click Here
A lot of building owners and Boards have one thing in common; they’re often-times getting involved in the minutiae that they hire their property management professionals to handle. Whether it’s giving the staff direction on the day-to-day or getting directly involved in tenant affairs, there is potential for a large amount of confusion and misdirection for any and all building staff.
This question and answer came from the forums on Habitat Magazine (http://www.habitatmag.com). The question was pertaining to a Shareholder who had taken on a roommate and wanted to know that if they left the roommate in the apartment without the Shareholder being present, can this be considered a sublet, even if the Cooperative Corporation doesn’t have a “sublet policy” in place.