New York based property management firm, All Area Realty Services blog. Find tips for Co-Op Boards & Residential Building Management.

7 Responsibilities of a Property Manager

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Dec 11, 2018 1:43:48 PM

A property management is often hired by a co-op or condo board to manage the day-to-day operations of a building. A property manager's responsibilities will vary depending on the needs of the board they were hired by, but their core mission is always the same, to ensure that the properties they are entrusted to manage, operate smoothly. Listed below are 7 of the most common responsibilities of a property manager.

1. Rent Responsibility 

Handling rent issues is one of the main responsibilities of a property manager. This includes: 

  • Setting Rent: The property manager will set the proper rent level based on the market where the building is located and comparable properties in the area. 
  • Collecting Rent: To ensure optimal cash flow they will set a date to collect rent each month and enforce late fees. 
  • Adjusting Rent: A property manager has knowledge of state and municipal laws pertaining to rent increases and decreases. They can set a rent increase by a fixed percentage each year while still adhering to these laws. 

2. Tenant Responsibilities 

Another core responsibility of a property manager is managing the tenants. A property manager will be involved in all areas, including: 

  • Finding Tenants: Filling vacancies is another responsibility of a property manager. They know where to place advertisements and what to include in the advertisements to attract the quality tenants you want. 
  • Screening Tenants: To decrease your chances of being accused of discrimination, a property manager will have a consistent screening process, that will include credit checks and criminal background checks. An experienced property manager will have the insight necessary to select the quality tenant you want.
  • Handling Leases: This can include, but is not limited to setting the lease terms and determining the amount of security deposit that will be required. 
  • Handling Complaints/Emergencies: A property manager will handle maintenance requests, noise complaints, and they will have the contacts necessary to handle emergency situations. 
  • Handling Move Outs: After a unit owner moves out, the manager will inspect the unit, check for damages, and determine how much of the security deposit will be returned to the tenant. A manager is also responsible for cleaning the unit and repairing damages. 
  • Dealing With Evictions: If a tenant is not paying rent or has infringed upon the terms of the lease, a property manager will know how to properly file and move ahead with an eviction. 

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3. Maintenance and Repairs 

A property manager will ensure that the building is habitable and safe at all times. They are responsible for regular maintenance and for handling emergency repairs. 

  • Property Maintenance: A property manager's duties include performing preventive property maintenance. They will hire someone to exterminate, check for leaks, landscape, shovel snow, and remove trash. 
  • Repairs: A manager has a large network of trusted plumbers, electricians carpenters and other contractors to ensure repairs are handled properly and quickly. 

4. Knowledge of Landlord-Tenant Law

A manager will have a thorough understanding of statewide and national laws regarding the proper ways to: 

  • Screen a tenant
  • Handle security deposits 
  • Terminate a lease
  • Evict a tenant
  • Comply with property safety standards iStock-696694334

5. Supervising Responsibilities 

  • Other Employees: A property manager is responsible for making sure that all other employees of the building are doing their jobs. Setting the salaries of other employees and firing them can also fall under the duties of a property manager. 
  • Vacant Properties: A manager can even be hired to look after a vacant property. The property manager will perform routine checks for vandalism, perform routine maintenance, and make sure contractors are completing their work on schedule. 

6. Managing the Budget/Maintaining Records 

Managing the building’s budget and maintaining all important records can be another responsibility for a property manager. 

  • Managing Budget: A manager is required to only operate within the budget of the building. There is only one exemption, in an emergency situation where the unit owners or the investment property are in danger, the property manager will hold the right to use their judgment to call for repairs without concern for the budget. 
  • Maintaining Records: The property manager will keep records regarding all income and expenses; a list of all inspections, signed leases, maintenance requests, all complaints, repair records, costs of repairs, and records of rent collection. 

7. Responsible for Taxes

Based on your preference, the property manager can either file the taxes for the building or assist you in filing the taxes. 

These are just seven possible responsibilities of a property manager, and as mentioned above their duties can be created around the areas your building needs the most help with. At All Area Realty Services there is a wide variety of management contracts to befit any building, so if you find you are on the market for a new property manager contact All Area Realty Services to schedule a consultation. 

All Area Realty Services knows what it takes to run buildings smoothly and efficiently while keeping both tenants and owners happy.  With over 30 years of experience, and many clients with us for decades, you can trust All Area Realty Services with taking care of your building and tenants. 

Topics: Property Management, Co-Op Board

The House Rules of a Condo and Co-Op 

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Dec 5, 2018 2:38:53 PM

Are you interested in living in a co-op or condo in the city? If yes, then it is important to know that these buildings have a specific set of policies, called house rules. House rules are designed to guarantee harmony amongst neighbors by governing the standards of everyday behavior. These rules are different depending on the co-op or condo you are interested in, and it's important to know and understand these rules before signing any contracts. 

Where Can You Find the House Rules? 

Ideally, the house rules will be listed in one place. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The house rules can be listed in:

  • The bylaws of a co-op 
  • A co-op’s proprietary lease 
  • A condo's declaration of covenants 
  • The conditions and restriction (CC&R) of a condo

To find the exact location of the house rules of a co-op or condo ask the listing agent.  

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Possible House Rules 

House rules can govern your conduct in common areas such as elevators and hallways, and in your own apartment. Here are a few examples of possible house rules: 

  • The public halls and stairways of the building shall not be obstructed or used for any reason other than ingress to and egress from the apartments in the building. 
  • Children are prohibited from playing in the public halls, stairways or elevators. 
  • No disruptive noises or objectionable odors may be produced upon or emanate from any building
  • Each Unit Owner shall keep his unit in a proper state of preservation and cleanliness. 
  • Each Unit Owner must obtain extermination services for the Units at such intervals necessary to maintain the Units free of rest, mice, roaches, and other vermin. 

The Enforcement 

If you ever have an issue with a neighbor it is best if it is resolved civilly and quickly. If the co-op board is involved it may have the right to impose a fine. Worst case scenario if the issue is ongoing with repeated violations the board could ask you to leave the building under terms of a proprietary lease. 

Co-Op Versus Condo

A co-op’s board has more power over its shareholders than a condo over its unit owners, so their house rules are generally stricter. However, this does not mean you can overlook a condos house rules. It is still important to know and comprehend a condo’s house rules before you put in a bid for a unit.

What House Rules Cannot Cover

House rules can’t be used to discriminate against an individual or a group of people. If you want to rent or buy a unit you are protected by the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act will protect you from being discriminated against due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or the presence of children. 

House rules may sound restrictive, but it is important to realize they are also protecting your rights as a neighbor. House rules are protecting your right to a clean and peaceful living environment. Every building has a different set of policies, so remember to always be familiar with the house rules before committing to any co-op or condo. 

All Area Realty Services knows what it takes to run buildings smoothly and efficiently while keeping both tenants and owners happy.  With over 30 years of experience, and many clients with us for decades, you can trust All Area Realty Services with taking care of your building and tenants. 

Topics: Property Management, Co-Op Board, condo

When Should You Hire a Property Management Company?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Nov 26, 2018 2:11:04 PM

iStock-640177478One of the biggest decisions you will make as a co-op board is whether you should hire a property management company. Some boards manage their buildings efficiently on their own, while others need more assistance. The factors discussed below will help you and your fellow board members decide if hiring a management company is the right decision to protect your investment. 

What Does a Property Management Company Do? 

Some duties a property management company can fulfill are:

  • Dealing directly with prospects and tenants 
  • Marketing available properties 
  • Collecting rent
  • Handling maintenance and repair issues
  • Responding to tenant complaints
  • Pursuing evictions 

In addition to these duties, a management company such as All Area Realty Services, uses their expert experience and knowledge to guide you through protecting and maximizing your investment. 

When Should You Hire a Property Management Company? iStock-841723220

Hiring a property management company is not right for every co-op board. Hiring a management company has advantages and disadvantages depending on your board's unique needs. Use the following listed factors to determine if hiring a management company is the right decision for your board. 

You should consider hiring a property management company if:

There are a lot of units in the building. The more units you have the more you will benefit from a management company. 

  • You’re not interested in the day-to-day aspects of management. If you find being hands-on in management mundane or stressful, consider hiring a management company. 
  • You don’t have the time to devote to the demands of managing the building. If you already have a full-time job you may not have the time to devote managing the building. In many cases, managing can be a full-time job in itself. 
  • You can afford the cost. 
  • You are overwhelmed with management tasks. If the daily tasks of management are becoming stressful and overwhelming it may be time to hire help. 
  • You don’t want to be an employer. A management company is an independent contractor, so you don't have to worry about the burden of being an employer.  

How to Find a Good Property Management Company 

Finding a trusted management company can seem overwhelming at first, but here are a few tips to selecting the right one: 

  • Ask for recommendations from colleagues and your local apartment association.
  • Search professional directories on the Internet. 
  • Interview companies thoroughly making sure all your questions are answered.

Handing over the reins to your investment isn’t an easy decision to make. But if you resonated with any of the factors listed above it may be time to hire a property management company. A management company can help give you the maximum return on your real estate investment and alleviate any undue stress. 

 

Topics: Co-Op Building, Property Management, Co-Op Board

Do You Know Your Rights As A Co-op Owner?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Nov 20, 2018 4:57:31 PM

So you’ve worked hard and agreed to their rules, and now you’re a co-op owner.  There are a multitude of NYC laws and guidelines that protect you as a tenant. If you find yourself running into problems as a co-op owner it is important to learn your rights to discover what you can do to protect them. Here is everything you need to know. 

What determines your rights?

The rules at your co-op are derived by three types of legalities. In order, they are your proprietary lease, the by-laws of the building, and laws that protect you from illegal leases or by-laws. There are state laws, local laws, and even federal laws to protect you. Together these three legalities work together to balance each other out and create a fair living experience for you. 

Proprietary lease 

This is provided to you when you buy your co-op, and it informs you of the terms in which you will have to abide by in your building.  This will include:

  • Maintenance fees
  • Pet allowance
  • Other terms that are unique to each building 

By-laws

The by-laws of the co-op outline the relationship between the board and unit owners such as yourself. The by-laws will include: 

  • Who can serve on the board
  • How members are elected
  • How owners can request information
  • The responsibilities and powers of the elected board

State, local, and federal laws

These laws are the final say in the co-op living laws. If a proprietary lease or by-law contradicts a state or federal law it is not legally binding. 

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Common questions regarding co-op tenant rights

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions. Take some time to read them and see if your building is infringing on your tenant rights. 

Q: Am I responsible for all building and unit maintenance? 

A: You are responsible for the maintenance of the interior of your unit. This will include:

  • Walls 
  • Ceilings
  • Windows 
  • Floors
  • Frames
  • Painting and decorating
  • Repairing and replacing plumbing 
  • Gas and heat fixtures
  • Any appliances 

The building is responsible for any gas, steam, water, or other pipes within the interior of your unit. 

Q: Are there temperature regulations the building is required to abide by? 

A: There are no laws, unfortunately, that requires your co-op to install air conditioning or use an existing unit in communal areas. But the units are protected by the warranty of habitability, so shared areas should be heated when necessary. 

Q: Can a neighbor be evicted? 

A: Yes, it is possible for an owner to be evicted. If they are disruptive, unable to abide by the building’s rules, or are breaking federal laws. 

If you’d like to potentially have a shareholder evicted you will need:

  • A precedent that isn’t just a personal disagreement. 
  • Incidents backed with documentation such as staff logs, security footage, witnesses, etc. 
  • To fall back on the Business Judgement Rule which basically states that if an unruly shareholder claims the board has singled them out, their argument will be tossed out if the board has a clean slate. 

Q: Can I have pets?

A: This depends on your individual co-op's rules. Often even buildings that allow pets still have strict guidelines. Speak with your co-op board if your lease isn’t specific. 

Q: How can I protect my investment? 

A: When looking to buy a co-op it is important to look for one that you feel you will profit from when selling. However, there are situations that can take you off course.

For example, if your unit is a corner unit with plenty of windows or a top floor unit with amazing views your co-op has development rights. This means they can add on to the building, leading to annoying construction. 

If annoying or noisy construction is a problem of yours, you may be able to take legal action based on what's outlined in your proprietary lease. This does not guarantee that you will be able to prevent construction that could lower the value of your unit though. 

Q: Can my co-op board require renters insurance? 

A: Yes, they can, but this is a good thing. Without renters insurance, you’re putting yourself at risk for a financial disaster. Renters insurance covers your unit in case of a fire, theft, and other circumstances. 

Q: Can I have a roommate?

A: Yes, you can have a roommate as a co-op owner. Under the “Roommate Law”, you can have one additional occupant in addition to immediate family, but you have to be currently living in the unit at the same time. Also, You only have to give the board notice within 30 days of them moving. 

It should be noted that if you’re collecting rent from your roommate this could be considered subletting which isn’t usually allowed in co-ops. 

Q: Can I make renovations on my unit?

A: All renovation work no matter how small requires approval by a co-op board. Your co-op does have the right to refuse approval for renovations and even include a fee for the approved renovations. 

Buying a co-op does not mean you’re giving up all rights as a tenant. Although, legal guidelines can be confusing at times, stay diligent and learn all your rights. There is a right and legal answer out there for you, so don’t give up hope. The key is knowing your rights because that will ensure they are never infringed upon. 

All Area Realty Services knows what it takes to run buildings smoothly and efficiently while keeping both tenants and owners happy.  With over 30 years of experience, and many clients with us for decades, you can trust All Area Realty Services with taking care of your building and tenants. 

Topics: Property Management, Co-Op Board

A Co-Op Board Fights Sublets with Airbnb Records

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Nov 15, 2018 1:17:37 PM

In recent news, a co-op board filed a lawsuit to terminate a tenant's proprietary lease due to illegal subletting. The co-op building's property manager caught some suspicious looking visitors coming and going from the accused resident’s apartment. He notified the board immediately, and with some digging, they found the tenant was subletting the space on Airbnb. Eventually, due to the resident’s unwavering denial, the co-op board had to subpoena Airbnb’s records for indisputable proof. To this day the case is still ongoing in court. Here are three steps you can take to prevent a similar scenario from happening in your building.

Preventative Measures

If resident’s renting out their apartment, on major concern is that there needs to be policies in place that make Airbnb-ing more difficult. Some examples are:

  • A rule prohibiting guests from staying in an apartment without the tenant-shareholder.
  • Prohibiting doormen from holding keys for guests.
  • Prohibiting the doormen from allowing guests in who haven’t been approved.
  • A rule prohibiting guests from entering who aren’t accompanied by the apartment owner.
  • Creating a system where guests have to register with the building before entering. 

These rules if enacted make it harder for residents to have a constant flow of strange guests entering and leaving the building. 

First Warnings 

If a unit owner has found a way around the rules and is using the apartment as a short-term rental, the first step is to send a letter to the resident demanding they stop. This letter does not have to be a formal warning and can come from the board or your property manager. Although a lawyer is not necessary at this point, but a lawyer could also send the warning letter. 

If the resident ignores the first warning and persists, the next step is to check your by-laws. These will hold all the provisions against short-term rentals and rules informing you how to notarize the resident that they are in violation. You should have a formal warning written up and signed by the co-op board president. A formal notification such as this will put your board in proper legal standing, if legal action becomes necessary. 

It is important to note that in co-ops the board is also required to notify the tenant-shareholder’s lender. This may seem like an annoying extra hoop to have to jump through, but it actually could work in your favor. The lender may also start urging the tenant to stop subletting the apartment, giving the tenant extra pressure to cease their activities. 

For condos the by-laws may give the board the right to fine a resident for violating the rules of the building. This could prove to be a helpful step in preventing legal action. 

Taking Legal Action

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After you send a formal warning the owner or shareholder has 30 days to end their illegal activities. If they continue to rent out the apartment, your next step is to check the by-laws or proprietary lease for your building's policies on recovering legal fees from a resident

A co-op has the option to start the process of a “Pullman Case” to evict the shareholder on “objectionable conduct.” A condo has to go straight to the New York Supreme Court to request an action for declaratory judgment against the accused resident. This option is also available to co-ops, but unlike condos, they also have the choice of housing court

In court you'll need to state that by violating the rules, the owner is challenging the authority of the co-op board to enforce rules. Next, ask the court to declare that the board has the right to enforce the rule and permanently prohibit the owner or shareholder from violating the rules in the future. As long as you come prepared with evidence you should win the case. 

All in all legal action should be your last resort, as it can potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention the stress and hassle of the process. The benefit of going to court is that if the resident fails to comply they can be held in contempt of court. Again, this should be a last resort. Hopefully, if you’re dealing with a resident who is renting out their apartment on Airbnb, or any other source, they will cease their disruptive activity after receiving their first warning. 

If you serve on a co-op board or condo board and need professional property management services, contact All Area Realty Services and find out why our over 30 years experience and loyal clients makes us experts.

All Area Realty Services is New York City’s leading real estate management company specializing in full-service property management for cooperative and condominium boards in the Manhattan area. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Co-Op Board Lawsuit, Co-Op Building, Condo Board Association, Co-Op Board, Property Management

A Right Of First Refusal Explained by All Area Realty Services

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Nov 7, 2018 3:29:14 PM

In a condominium, unlike a co-op, the board doesn’t have a large amount of leeway when approving or rejecting a proposed sale. A Right of First Refusal is a way for the board to step into a proposed deal on a condominium on behalf of all unit owners, instead of allowing the deal to go through. 

When would a condo board use the Right of First Refusal?

The vast majority of the time the board will waive their Right of First Refusal and allow the sale/leasing of the property to progress. A couple of examples of when it would be in their interest to use their right are:

Example 1:

If there is a proposed sale between two family members at an extremely discounted price.

In this scenario, the building's board could buy the apartment to keep for staff, they could flip it at a higher price, or they could lease it out to a renter. The board would want to intervene in this scenario because if an apartment sells at a value much lower than the market value, it will affect the value of the whole building. 

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Example 2:

If the proposed sale is with such an objectionable purchaser that allowing them into the building could disturb the overall peace in the building or if they have a proven record of financial misdeeds. 

In this scenario, the board could again use their Right of First Refusal to prevent the purchaser from entering the building as an owner. 

How to discover if a condominium has a Right of First Refusal.

To find out if a condo has a Right of First Refusal you should refer to that buildings Offering Plan. It is important to investigate and discover if the building holds the right because not all condominiums do. Even some of the condos that do, only have the Right of First Refusal on their commercial units, if it is a mixed-use building. 

The truth is that the vast majority of condominium sales do go through undisturbed. However, it is important to always arm yourself with all the information before a major purchase, like that of a condo. A condominium could or could not have a Right to First Refusal, so it is important to look at the buildings Offering Plan to ensure that your purchase goes through smoothly and with the outcome you’ve hoped for.

If you serve on a co-op board or condo board and need professional property management services, contact All Area Realty Services and find out why our over 30 years experience and loyal clients makes us experts.

All Area Realty Services is New York City’s leading real estate management company specializing in full-service property management for cooperative and condominium boards in the Manhattan area. 

Topics: Co-Op Board, Co-Op Building, Co-op Insurance, Condo Board Association, Co-Op Board Lawsuit, Buying a Condo

What It’s Really Like Serving on a Co-Op Board

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Nov 2, 2018 5:14:02 PM

As all co-op board members will tell you, serving on a building's board brings with it a responsibility to make decisions in the best interest of the entire building. The responsibilities of a board member can be demanding and time-consuming. Board members, more often than not, end up giving a substantial amount of their personal time to the demands of the position. That being said there are some alluring reasons to become a co-op board member, such as protecting one’s investment firsthand. Here are some more insights into being a board member.

How Much Time is Devoted to Duties?

If you’re on the board of a self-managed building the demands of the position can be great. Any problems that arise in the building must be handled by the board. This means that 30 to 40 percent of your personal time will most likely be devoted to waiting for contractors, interviewing contractors, or meeting with the other board members. 

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Running a co-op building is a full-time job. Some board members even record devoting a minimum of 40 hours per week to their duties as a board member. The truth is the time devoted to duties is variable depending on how available you as a board member would like to be. The more available you are though the more you get out of the process. Board members are there because they enjoy the job and the process, even with the time demands. 

It should be noted that hiring a property manager can greatly cut back on the time you devote to your duties. A property manager would take the weight off your shoulders and allow you to enjoy the position as a board member. 

Common Challenges 

Ever board is unique, but there are three challenges that almost all boards face. 

1. Financial Issues

This is a leading concern for any co-op board. Some boards have an in-house financial professional. While others have to look outside the co-op or condo for financial guidance. Controlling spending can be difficult, but having a treasurer on the board that has a background understanding of finances will help greatly. 

2. Starting Committees and Keeping Residents Involved

The best way to combat this issue is to keep all board members involved and encourage other shareholders to start committees that can make small, effective changes. It is important to have a system that allows for collaboration between staff members, board members, and shareholders on all committees. 

3. Dealing With Demanding Residents 

It can be difficult when dealing with residents that want something that just isn’t within budget or the board's power, and they won't take no for an answer. A board needs to remember this demanding resident is their neighbor, and to keep the communication open and peaceful. It is hard but a board has to stay impartial and treat every shareholder the same. Even the more difficult ones. 

Building Relationships

Building relationships with fellow board members and residents are key to preventing any major issues. You can build a great relationship by:

  • Having a newsletter
  • Contact through regular emails
  • Having a regularly updated website
  • Knowing every resident and board member's name
  • Introducing yourself to residents 

Even building a relationship with boards members of another co-op can help prevent major issues down the road by mutually sharing feedback and advice. 

Even though challenges and responsibilities are a part of every board, many board members feel it is a very rewarding position. They find the rewards may be intangible, but that doesn’t take away from the impact they have. On the other hand, some members find it too demanding and may only hold the position for one term. In the end, the most important fact is that every co-op and condo needs a helpful board that will protect everyone’s investment and keeps the building flourishing. 

Topics: Co-Op Building, Condo Board Association, Co-Op Board

A Co-Op Board President Speaks About Working With All Area Realty Services

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Oct 24, 2018 3:36:51 PM

I look back on my years as a president of my co-op board, before working with All Area Realty Services, with less than fond memories. Before hiring All Area as our property management firm, my job as a board president was a difficult and thankless job. All Area brought my board and I a sense of relief, and here are the 5 biggest ways they helped.

All Area Realty Services Helped Us Enter The Digital Age

All Area made my job easier by turning my board from a paperwork swamped office to a paperless uncluttered, efficient office. They took control of this transition alleviating me of stress or worry. By making us paperless All Area made it possible for shareholders and buyers to receive forms by email or from a website, fill them out on their computer, save a copy, and email the whole thin to All Area. Once All Area received all the paperwork they would forward the forms to each board member. This is not only great for the environment, but it also helped my board and I avoid major headaches that we once had to manage. 

They Helped Us Keep Our House Rules Updated

All Area helped not only the building staff stay on top of the house rules, but also reminded us when it was time to perhaps take an updated look at the rules. For example, one of our house rules was about how to properly dispose of household chemicals that we no longer used, and All Area helped by bringing this unnecessary rule to our eyes. It showed me that they take enforcing the rules seriously, and review our rules efficiently. They also helped guide us through updating the language used in our rules. They helped us simplify each rule so its intent was made obvious. 

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All Area Realty Services Opened Up Lines Of Communication

In my years of experience as a president of a board, I have realized that to many of the shareholders the inner workings of the board are a big mystery. This can make the board's decisions seem arbitrary. Understanding that we cannot open up the meeting to everyone, All Area helped make things more transparent for better communication. All Area did this by creating a newsletter that was created quarterly that included pressing neighborhood issues and a summary of the board meetings. Our shareholder’s really appreciated this new open communication. 

All Area Realty Services  Helped Us Take Advantage Of The Internet

All Area created a password-protected page dedicated to our building. This opened a venue for ongoing discussions of building issues and complaints.  

By Being An Amazing Property Management Company

The unfortunate truth I have discovered as a board president is that not all property managers are good at their jobs. Some have difficulty managing building staff, they communicate poorly with residents, or they don't know their jobs as well as they should. 

When we hired All Area, they were a breath of fresh air in the search for professional property management. Not only did they help with the four points above, but they also properly carried out the decisions we made as a board. They were kind and communicated our decisions in a professional manner to our building. 

If you are a part of a board, exasperated and overwhelmed by the search for the proper management. Don’t feel you have no other choice but to stick with bad management and overwork yourselves. There is another choice and that is All Area Realty Services. 

All Area is New York City’s leading real estate management company specializing in full-service professional property management for cooperative and condominium boards in the Manhattan area.  

Topics: Co-Op Building, Condo Board Association, Co-Op Board

Are Co-Ops A Thing Of The Past?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Oct 16, 2018 3:03:36 PM

Although co-ops represent some of the most desired addresses in New York they are also known for a harsh history where prospective owners had to pass notoriously difficult boards, meet rigorous income standards, and abide by inflexible “house rules” when it came to renovations and resale. Due to this infamous history co-op sales have been dropping and more prospective buyers have been looking to buy condos. So the question is does this mean co-ops are becoming a thing of the past? 

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In the prior year co-op sales priced $5 million and up fell nearly 20%, and in co-ops priced $20 million and up sales declined 25%. This is all despite the fact that co-ops compose 70% of Manhattan’s owned housing units. 

Condos Are Rising in Popularity 

There are a few pros to condos in comparison to co-ops that it is enticing to prospective buyers. These are:

  • Condos have a more immediate buying process.
  • They are generally full-service buildings with gyms, high-tech amenities, and on-site daycare services.
  • Condos allow more freedom to sell or rent the space.

Co-Ops are finding it hard to compete with these enticing pros condos have. 

The 5 Valuable Benefits Co-Ops Still Offer

  1. The bright side to the fall out in sales of co-ops is that there are great deals out there for qualifying patience buyers. 
  2. Co-ops, on average, are more affordable compared to their condo counterparts. 
  3. Co-ops still count for some of the most prized real estate in New York making them a better long-term investment. 
  4. There are never foreclosures in co-ops because everyone is in equal financial standing. 
  5. Co-ops have more tools to raise needed funds and to handle delinquent apartment owners. 

The truth is that real estate is cyclical. Even though sales have dropped recently for co-ops it does not mean it is the end. Co-ops still offer comparable benefits to condos, and they represent the most luxury housing in the city. Co-ops will never truly go out of fashion. 

All Area Realty Services is New York City’s leading real estate management company specializing in full-service property management for cooperative and condominium boards in the Manhattan area. Contact us today if you're looking for a professional property management company. 

 

Topics: Co-Op Board, Co-Op Building, Buying a Co-Op, Buying a Condo

Handling Lawsuits As A Co-Op or Condo Board

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Oct 2, 2018 4:14:43 PM

Lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming, and can quickly turn into a financial burden. And unfortunately in some cases it is the only option for resolution.

The Basics

The most common lawsuits include noise complaints between neighbors, construction defects in units, and attempts to collect delinquent payments from residents. If you are the defendant the lawsuit will begin with you being served with a complaint. You will have 20 days to answer the complaint with either an answer or to file a motion to dismiss. You can seek to dismiss the complaint on two grounds: you can say that suit is not strong enough for “a cause of action” or you can try to dismiss by virtue of an “affirmative matter.” 

Also, keep in mind most cases are settled before the going to trial, or the completion of a trial. 

iStock-660743394Don’t Go Through a Lawsuit Alone 

If you attempt to resolve the dispute yourself it could ultimately create more legal challenges. You could find yourself in the trap of selective enforcement. Inconsistent rule enforcement could not only get you in trouble, but empty threats can result in issues as well. In the first phase of a lawsuit, the involvement of your attorney is crucial in steering you to a successful path to resolution.

Although all lawsuits are public record if you have an attorney all of your discussions will be protected by the attorney/client privilege. If you discuss the lawsuit or seek advice to anyone else you will not have this confidentially protection and could have personal information about the lawsuit leaked. 

It is important to note that if you’re covered by general liability insurance or Directors & Officers coverage you could have your defense provided by your carrier.  

How Much Will a Lawsuit Cost 

Predicting the cost of a lawsuit is difficult. The more actions necessary to take place during a lawsuit and the longer it is all run up the price. If you come into the situation with reasonable expectations, a willingness to compromise and communicate you can really save yourself a lot of time and money. 

Alternatives 

You can try to meet with the other party and resolve the issue amongst yourselves. However, as mentioned above this is a gamble and could end up costing you even more money in the end. At the very least an attorney should be present as a mediator. 

The Consequences of Constant Litigation iStock-478524467

A long history of litigation may hurt your standing with prospective buyers and lenders. Prospective buyers may question the building’s financial stability, if the board is ruling effectively, or if the residents have hostile relations with the board. Also, lenders may take the constant litigation into consideration when underwriting their loans. 

Lawsuits can be expensive and time-consuming experiences. However, if you keep all the points above in mind it can help to cheapen and shorten the time span of your lawsuit. 

If you serve on a co-op board and need professional property management services, contact All Area Realty Services and find out why our over 30 years experience and loyal clients makes us experts.

All Area Realty Services is New York City’s leading real estate management company specializing in full-service property management for cooperative and condominium boards in the Manhattan area. 

Topics: Co-Op Board, Co-Op Building, Co-op Insurance, Condo Board Association, Co-Op Board Lawsuit