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

What You Need To Ask When Hiring A Property Management Company

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Jun 12, 2019 4:54:17 PM

Do you own property and are looking for the right property management company? Here are some things to ask before hiring a property management company.

In New York, a property manager needs to be a New York State licensed real estate agent. Beware of property managers who do not have any sort of state license to practice real estate. Ask how many properties that the property manager is managing and what type of properties (duplex, small building, condos etc.) because the management of the property varies depending on what type.

Most management companies are paid based on the amount of rental income the property generates. However, there could be extra charges like tenant finder’s fees, maintenance markups, emergency on all services, maintenance reserves, evictions, court costs and other charges. Ask your potential property manager to clearly outline the fee structure in writing.

With income property, your financial data is really important to see what areas you can improve and how to make more money. A property manager needs to be able to explain everything on your reports in a clear and concise manner. Clarify when and how each report will be delivered to you.

A professional property manager will have a system for screening potential tenants. Make sure you understand what is done in the screening and who makes the final determination about the potential tenant renting the apartment.

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Every property will need maintenance at some point. Find out who does the required maintenance at your property. Your property manager needs to understand what needs to be done in regards to the type of work, the correct licenses and certified contractors for the work and if there needs to be permits. Keep accurate records of what has been done and by whom.

Ask about how the rent is collected. Most property management companies have a policy on rent collection. Each lease should outline exactly when rent is due, the amount and late fees. The lease should state when the tenant is in default and when the eviction process can begin for nonpayment. Property managers need to have sample documents like leases, property management agreements, move in/move out condition reports, property owner financial reports, rental applications and common correspondence. In regards to the property management agreement, understand the terms of the agreement, including length of the term, renewal of the agreement, and how to end the agreement if either party is not happy with the partnership. Have an attorney review the agreement before signing it.

Finally, ask about references. Speak to people who have worked with the property manager and ask them to tell you both good things and bad things (if there are any). Be careful of property managers who cannot provide references.

These factors will help you in finding the right property manager for your investment property to grow and thrive.

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 All Area Realty Services for decades, All Area can be trusted with taking care of your building and tenants. 

Topics: Co-Op Board, Property Management, Condo Board Association, property manager

The Difference Between A Landlord & A Property Manager

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Jun 5, 2019 1:19:42 PM

iStock-855667636Welcome to NYC real estate where the options are endless! Should you pay a broker’s fee? Should you live in a new building? Should you live in a landlord operated building or a building operated by management? There are many things to look for when deciding on moving into a building operated by a management company as opposed to one run by the landlord.

A landlord owned and run building is where the landlord does the day to day management of the building. A building operated by a property management company is one where the landlord hires the property management company to run the day to day operations and to maintain the building. Landlord operated buildings tend to be smaller. If you want to be able to bargain, consider renting directly from landlord only managed building.

Landlords and property managers are similar because both are responsible for maintaining and running a building. Other duties include vetting tenants, resolving maintenance requests, collecting rent, upkeep of the property, and tracking property expenses.

Some differences between landlords and property management companies are when dealing with a landlord, it is a more personal relationship. While this can be beneficial if the landlord is trustworthy and cares about his tenants and building. It is detrimental when the landlord is delinquent and does not maintain the building. When you have a property management company, you are one of many and therefore, there is not a personal relationship, but property management companies are more diligent in resolving any maintenance issues you might have.

Whatever you decide, be aware that both landlords and property management companies must obey the local laws. In NYC, there are laws on heating, hot and cold water and overall safety and habitability of buildings. For more information on the basic living conditions that must be provided, look at NYC’s warranty of habitability guidelines

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: Co-Op Board, Property Management, Rentals, Co-Op Building, property manager

Vacant Lots Around New York City Are Getting A Make Over: Affordable Housing

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on May 21, 2019 1:45:29 PM

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

Weighing The Differences Between A Co-op & Condominium?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on May 14, 2019 3:56:24 PM

 

New York City is like no place on earth and this is especially true when speaking about the real estate market. Most apartments in NYC are either condos or co-ops, but there are more co-ops than condos. However, there are more condos for sale than co-ops.

There are many differences between a co-op and a condo. The major difference is  that when you buy a co-op, you are buying shares in a corporation (your building) and when you buy a condo, you get your apartment and a percentage of the common areas. For co-ops, your shares depend on the size of your apartment and these shares allow you to occupy a unit in the building. At a co-op closing, you will receive a stock certificate and a proprietary lease. At a condo closing, you will receive a deed.

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Most buildings in older neighborhoods are co-ops and the newer buildings are condos. Prewar buildings are generally co-ops. Most co-ops and condos have doormen and supers. Some buildings will have more amenities. Also, the downpayment for a condo is less than a downpayment for a co-op.  

Another huge difference between a condo and a co-op is the amount of closing costs that a purchaser will pay. Since a condo is considered real property, there are a lot more fees paid at closing. When buying a co-op, the shares are considered to be personal property and therefore less money is paid at closing.

Each month, an owner needs to pay a fee for the upkeep of the building. If you own a condo, this fee is called common charges. A condo owner pays taxes as well. If you own a co-op, the fee is called maintenance.  Maintenance and common charges can change if there are any major expenses (new roof, new lobby) that come up. The board decides how much the fee will be raised and it is rare for the fee to decrease.

iStock-1086276184Co-op board approval is an arduous and rigorous process for the potential buyer and he/she can be rejected and lose the apartment. Condo boards are generally less demanding of the potential buyer. Condos may request a package on the buyer but there is no interview and the building only has the right of first refusal (they either have to approve you or the condo has to buy the apartment). In general, co-ops have many rules and some of these rules may dissuade buyers. Co-ops want residents to stay for long periods while condos are not as concerned about that.

The question remains, which type of apartment is more preferable and the answer is it depends. Generally, co-ops are more for people who want to remain in their apartment for a long time. Co-ops are great if you want to know your neighbors but be prepared to be analyzed and prodded. However, this process makes for a stable and secure investment.  

If you prefer being left to your own devices and value flexibility, then buying a condo might be the best choice for you. Keep in mind, that this freedom comes with a price and condos are normally more expensive than co-ops.

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: Buying a Co-Op, Buying a Condo

Renovating Your Apartment? Do You Know About The Possible Liabilities?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on May 9, 2019 4:02:25 PM

 

Are you thinking of renovating your apartment? Make sure to check what your liability is before you start work on any project. Be aware that if your contractor has insurance, it does not mean you will not be liable for something that happens. To protect yourself, you should take out your own insurance. Check your policy for these factors to make sure you are protected.

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Insuring a building for construction is not easy. There are some policies that include language that excludes claims arising from construction and renovation. Find an advisor that will help you find a policy that will limit your risk while enhancing your protection.

Most contractors have their own insurance but do not take comfort in this fact. Many contractors’ policies include language that put the owners at greater risk.  New York has strict labor laws and if a worker is injured on your property and your insurance policy includes injury exclusions, then you are exposed to significant liability. Review your contractor’s entire insurance policy to protect yourself by knowing if there are gaps in the policy that will not protect the owner.

Some insurance policies allow you to shift pure risk from yourself to the insurer in exchange for paying the premium. This is the classic way to reduce your risk. However, there are other ways to shift risk by arrange for you to be added as an additional insured on your contractor’s policy. To ensure you are properly transferring risk, have a contract with all parties that indemnifies you as the owner and holds you harmless and outlines what coverage and limits the contractor must have. Even if you get additional insured status and an indemnification clause, it does not mean that you will be fully protected. You should conduct an upfront risk review and analysis before the work starts to fill in any gaps in your risk protection.

You might want to get extended coverage because most commercial general liability policies expire at the end of the project but not all risk and liability end at the completion of the project. Some construction defects do not emerge until years later. Always seek a policy with extended completed operations coverage, which provides protection into the future in case there are unseen defects. Check for extended coverage that match your state’s statute of limitations.

Remember to check for the proper insurance that covers you to the utmost. A number of contractors do not carry proper insurance coverage and often have exclusionary wording. So protect yourself and do your research on insurance before starting a renovation project.

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, Renovations

Co-Ops With Professional Services or Business Units

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Apr 25, 2019 4:31:39 PM

 

Times are changing and NYC co-ops need to change with the times. Some co-ops sold shares to doctors or other professionals for ground floor space. Most of these offices have been around for years but now these doctors and other professionals are reaching retirement age and want to sell their shares to potential buyers. This creates problems when the co-op board does not want to change.

Co-ops prefer selling to individuals as opposed to selling shares to a limited liability company. Many boards are resistant to selling to a LLC, even if the space is used for a professional office. These days, most medical professionals do not open practices in his or her own name, instead a LLC is formed to restrict liability.

iStock-478524467The most important thing to change the co-op board’s opinion is to educate them and to change the application process and the required paperwork. Most times, these entities do not have a lot of assets and therefore, the co-op board can require that an individual grantor be responsible if the LLC does not pay the maintenance. Also, the board should require additional documents such as an agreement between the entity and the co-op stipulating the use of the space, authorized signer document from the state, and tax returns from the entity, guarantor and the individual. This helps to protect the co-op in case the LLC stops paying.  The co-op board should also determine if the entity will be a good tenant.

Changing the way that co-op boards think is beneficial because they will be able to get more per square foot and more flip tax. The board should educate themselves by learning about LLCs and how these types of sales should be handled. There are many commercial spaces in NYC and a partnership with a co-op and a LLC is a win-win with both parties. Boards should not wait to learn more until there is a potential sale. They should have everything in place before the potential sale because time is money and if all these safeguards are in place before the sale, then the sale will go smoothly and quickly. 

All Area 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.  If you serve on a condo or co-op board, get in touch with us and find out how we can help you manage your building.

 

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

Have You Been Accused Of Violating The Rules Of Your Condo or Co-Op?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Apr 9, 2019 4:01:45 PM

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Have you been accused of “engaging in objectionable conduct” by your co-op? What are your remedies and how can you respond to your condo or co-op board?

Normally, if a landlord claims a tenant is engaging in objectionable conduct, then a case is brought in housing court and the judge decides. However, if your co-op board accuses you of objectionable conduct, there is no impartial arbiter because the same people are the judge and the jury.  This occurs because most proprietary leases state that a shareholder’s lease can be terminated if that shareholder engages in objectionable conduct (vandalizing the building, attacking people, dealing drugs out of the apartment, etc.). There are some fuzzy areas and co-op boards are granted an unusual amount of discretion.  Once you are accused, the board or shareholders vote on how to proceed.

The tenant will be given notice and has a chance to cure the objectionable conduct. If the tenant does not cure, then the next step is having the board or shareholders vote. Depending on the lease terms, the co-op can terminate a lease based on a two-thirds vote from the board or the lease can terminate based on a full shareholder vote.

If your lease gets terminated by a vote, there is little recourse due to a court case that set a legal precedent that makes it difficult to fight an eviction. The court decided that due to the business judgment rule, courts cannot review a co-op board’s decision unless there was some kind of impropriety, such as discrimination based on the protected classes under New York City human rights law or self-dealing by a board member.

If this is not the case for you, speak to the board and ask for leniency and attempt to address the issue of the objectionable conduct accusation. If you do not speak to them and get evicted, your apartment will be put up for auction and the board will use the proceeds to pay off outstanding maintenance fees, the shareholder’s bank and lastly the shareholder.

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 All Area Realty Services and find out why our over 30 years of experience and loyal clients make us experts.

 

Does Your Co-Op or Condo Have Roof Deck Rules?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Apr 4, 2019 3:14:19 PM

Spring is here along with flowers and beautiful outdoor temperatures. There is nothing more enticing to a New Yorker than a roof deck when the weather is nice. However, most co-ops have rules about roof decks. Some buildings do not allow any type of party on the roof, while others will allow parties but with strict rules.  How can you keep party noise to a minimum especially with the warm weather approaching?

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Most co-ops and condos have a long list of rules posted on the door leading to the roof and the boards are quite diligent to make sure those rules are followed. Having the rules posted, makes it easy for everyone to follow such as having quiet hours, where no one is allowed on the roof before a certain hour and after a certain hour to keep the noise down.

Another option for keeping noise to a minimum is a guest cap on the amount of people allowed on the roof deck at once. This can help if a party is getting too loud due to the amount of people invited.

If the rules are not being followed and you know the person throwing the party, just speak to that person about your noise concern. You never know, you might be invited to the next party. However, if talking to the person does not solve the problem, speak to your board to intervene.

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 of experience and loyal clients make 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. 

 

A Board President Resigns & Your Property Management Company Doesn't Renew Their Contract...Now What?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Mar 28, 2019 4:42:11 PM

 

What happens to a co-op when the board president resigns and the property management company doesn't renew their contract? What can a building manager do to right things when everything is going badly?

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More often than not, a manager will fight to rebuild the working relationship. When an issue arises, the property management company should sit down with the board to work out any differences. This allows an open discussion and for action to be taken.  That being said, it will not always be a good working relationship and a property manager needs to assess whether it is profitable enough to warrant the extra stress.  Also, some of the board members may never see eye to eye and the property manager plays referee at the detriment of not getting anything accomplished.

When the co-op board deteriorates, so does the building. The property management company needs to remind the board of its leadership role, but if those reminders are not followed, then the board-management relationship can be severed. If the board has been making bad decisions due to a few members, it is up to the property manager to try to realign the situation. At times, the property manager can work with the board to develop a cohesive objective. If a common denominator can be found then the board, property manager and building can move in a positive direction.

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 of experience and loyal clients make 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: Property Management, Co-Op Building

The Gist of Rent Controlled Apartments in New York

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Mar 20, 2019 4:02:38 PM

Most New Yorkers are renters. In New York City, there are more than 3.2 million units with about 2.2 million being rentals. This is about 63% of New York’s housing stock. More than half of these rentals are subject to some kind of regulation. However, it is not easy to get a rent-regulated apartment.

The most common rent-regulated units are rent stabilized apartments. They have guidelines which restrict increases until the apartment hits market value, which is determined to be $2,774.76 a month.  However, the vacancy rate for a rent stabilized unit is about 1 percent for postwar units and about 2.5 percent for prewar units. Market-rate rentals are about 6 percent.

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Rent-controlled apartments are very rare. Tenants who live in a rent-controlled apartments, receive the most protection because the leases strictly limit rent increases and make it difficult to evict tenants. These units were created due to the housing shortage after World War II. These units are no longer available to new tenants.

At this time, there are nearly 22,000 rent-controlled units in NYC. If you do not live in one already, then chances are that you will not get one. When a rent-controlled unit becomes available, the unit will be converted either to a rent-stabilized or a market rate apartment. 

New York City has about a third of owner-occupied homes which shows that owning a home is a dream for most New Yorkers.

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: Property Management, Rentals