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

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

Are You Thinking of Hiring a Property Manager?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Mar 5, 2019 4:34:07 PM

 

Do you need to hire a property manager? Many property owners, condo boards, and co-op boards may be hesitant to hire one because a bad property manager can have long lasting effects, including financial, on your building.  However, hiring a great property management company is a great asset. Here’s some important characteristics to look for when considering a property management company.

Experience is extremely important. Ask how many properties they have under management and for how long.  Also ask if they have turned around troubled properties. An experienced property management firm will have thorough knowledge of local laws, regulations and standard operating procedures.

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A property manager should care for your property as if it was his or her own. Property managers should have a good understanding of the difference between internal rate of return and net present value and be able to calculate cap rates and cash on cash returns. This helps to see the big picture and to make informed and expertly guided decisions - together.

Persistence is an important trait because there will be delays with contractors, unruly tenants to deal with, and buyers who may have unrealistic expectations. When interviewing, look for a property management company that listens and has great customer service skills.

Having a successful property, is truly a balancing act. At times, the property manager will need to aggressively track down late payments and hold a contractor to task. Your property manager should always take on challenges on your behalf. 

A property manager will need to be extremely professional because he or she needs to get along with board members, residents, contractors and others. Look for someone who speaks professionally, treats others with respect, and does not shy away from responsibility AND accountability.

Communication skills, written and oral, are important because the property manager needs to convey what’s occurring at the property. Clear communication helps reduce disputes and ensures that the property runs like a well-oiled machine. Since there are so many moving parts, a property manager needs to be extremely organized.  Property managers need to be well versed in technology because new technologies are being introduced all the time.

How a property management company deals with problems is important because there are things that can go wrong. The more flexible the property manager is, the more he or she will react properly to any unforeseen situation.  They should be willing to think outside the box and be committed to ongoing improvement in how they service your property.

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

Looking For Good Board Members For Your Co-Op Board?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Feb 25, 2019 11:20:52 AM

Many board members serve on their co-op board because of civic duty and wanting to make sure that one’s home and its surroundings are a nice place to live and a good investment. Boards need to be mindful because potential candidates can be scared away from serving due to past legal issues.

A major factor for a person to want to serve on the board is to help improve the value of  the building. By serving on the board, a person can guide the co-op to make better investments and improvements. Most monthly board meetings average an hour and a half but if there are pressing issues, the meeting can take longer. The meeting usually starts by making sure everyone is up to date on maintenance fees, who is in arrears, what the cash flow is like and look at if all the bills been paid.

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Board members do not have an easy job between difficult tenants and running the affairs of the co-op. The difficulties of serving on a board reflect the size of the operations they are overseeing. Most co-ops have a lot of money and are big corporations. Boards also oversee the building’s managing agent and need to make sure that all environmental and safety regulations are being followed. This is important because the board is making sure that the people running the place are not letting things slide.

Most people do not run for the board because they know it is a lot of time to commit and some people are ungrateful and will complain endlessly. When a neighbor finds out that you’re involved with the board, he or she will bring up grievances and will not stop until the grievances are fixed.

The biggest responsibility is to make sure that the co-op does not run afoul of laws that protect the owners from discrimination, human rights violations, sexual harassment and errors in judgment. A board can ask applicants their occupations, if they are older than 18 but cannot bar them from buying solely based on their occupation. If you are on your board, make sure that it is documented who has what responsibility.

Most co-ops and condos carry building insurance, which insures against property damage and liability. Most policies cover legal fees and some cover non-monetary damage suits relating to employment and discrimination.

Most boards run smoothly and efficiently because of the quality of the members of the board. People will work together to make the building as great as possible.

All Area Realty Services knows what it takes to manage buildings professionally and efficiently, and just as important - keeping residents happy.  With over 30 years of experience, and many of our clients with us for decades, you can trust All Area Realty Services with taking care of your building.   

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

Tips On How To Stop A Difficult Neighbor From Ruining Your Sale

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Feb 7, 2019 3:58:50 PM

A family resides in the great community of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, but their neighbor, however, is anything but pleasant. He often terrorizes them by closing them in when using their shared driveway. Now that this family has put their house up for sale, their neighbor seems to be intimidating the realtors and they just can't handle it. So, what happens next? 

We all experience mishaps or confrontations with our neighbors. This can make living next door pretty uncomfortable. Here's some advice on making it past your rude neighbors - to sell your home with minimal difficulty.

iStock-498714252In the situation above, the neighbor's shenanigans could potentially harm him in several ways. Firstly, he should have financial interest in behaving properly. If this family sells their home for less than what is the valued worth, houses on that same block could drop in value as well. This valid argument should be discussed in detail and should be enough to end any bad behavior. 

If that doesn't work, stay positive and find out what appeases him; afterward, try to recruit him in a sales effort. We've heard stories of sellers offering a small fee to neighbors who are on their best behavior, which can include cleaning up their property, or coming by an open house to meet potential buyers and talk up the neighborhood. 

You're trying to build a great first impression for potential buyers, and the New York City Real Estate market can be tough as it is, so you'll have to do everything you can do to make your property and neighborhood shine. 

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 experience and loyal clients makes us experts.

 

 

 

 

Considering Hiring A Professional Property Management Company?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Jan 24, 2019 5:32:52 PM

 

Property management is the operation, control and oversight of real estate. It is a demanding profession because there are many facets such as managing the accounts and finances of different buildings and participating in or initiating litigation with tenants, contractors and insurance agencies. A property manager needs to be informed on applicable municipal, county, state and federal Fair Housing laws and practices.

Also, the property manager is the liaison between the board, the property owners, residents and personnel. Good communication is an essential and crucial skill for a property manager. Just as important is understanding the processes and systems used to manage the property, including acquisition, control, accountability, responsibility, maintenance, and disposition.

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Property managers need to have good listening skills because some owners just need to speak to someone regarding their apartment. Also, a property manager should be organized, honest and responsive.  Another trait is business savvy because you are running a business (the co-op) and need to negotiate with all vendors to get the best price to be most efficient for your property otherwise you are wasting co-op money.

Property management is a fairly new profession. America developed fairly big cities and the real estate industry formed and property management was not far behind. Many investors bought land and property and hired others to manage and maintain it. After the Depression, the size and scope of property management rapidly developed to become what we know today.

There are a few ways to start in property management. In New York City, there are very active chapters of professional organizations, which provide opportunities for education, continuing education and accreditation. Having a business and financial administration background corresponds well to property management. New York City’s property managers do not have to have a license but if they collect rent and handle tenants, then they need a real estate broker’s license.

Most days, a property manager will pick up checks, review projects and work with vendors. These seemingly mundane tasks are required to keep everything running smoothly at the buildings they manage. However, a property manager’s job is never dull and he or she needs to be prepared for whatever is thrown at them. For example, a massive storm can hit and flood buildings and the property manager needs to take care of the residents and deal with the insurance company. At times, a property manager will have to go to housing court to testify at a hearing because a tenant failed to pay rent or breached a provision of the lease. Property managers have a wide range of duties from physical to administrative but the most important duty is working with board members to provide the best environment for all residents.

Property managers have a tough job but if you love what you do, it makes the tough things easier and loving your job makes for a successful property manager. When you help people, you are making a positive change in the world around them.

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, Property Management, Co-Op Building

Thinking About Serving On Your Co-Op or Condo Board? Here Is What To Expect

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Jan 10, 2019 11:25:16 AM

Help Wanted: Looking for long hours, huge financial responsibility and good listener for no pay and no benefits. Who would be interested in a job like this? You would be surprised because this is a job listing for co-op and condo boards and thousands of people have served gratis. Since serving on a co-op or condo board is long hours and many responsibilities, many people think that board members should be paid.

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There are arguments for and against paying board members. One argument for paying is that board members make huge financial decisions regarding the building and invest numerous hours of personal time.  An argument against paying board members is that it should be considered doing your civic duty to make sure that your community runs the best that it can and at the most, they should get a thank you holiday dinner at the end of the year.

There are no laws prohibiting paying board members. However, most condo by-laws include a provision which states that no board member shall receive any compensation for being on the board. Bylaws could be changed by an amendment, which requires a vote from the unit-owners. 

Co-ops have proprietary leases and these might or might not have a provision restricting payment to the board. Some leases prohibit payment unless the shareholders vote to pay the board members. Others do not include this restriction. A note to the board, you should always put a vote to the shareholders before agreeing that board members must be paid because if the majority does not agree then it could be a breach of your duty as a board member. iStock-960885394

In smaller buildings, it could be beneficial for the board to be paid because they are taking care of the finances and the building can save money by not hiring a management company. Compensation could be doled out according to the amount of time a board member needs to accomplish the job. If the co-op or condo decides not to pay the board, they could offer an incentive such as free parking or a maintenance reduction. However, this could be a slippery slope and some board members might feel that they do more work than others and should be paid more. Also, another downside is that by being paid, certain board members might want to hold on to the position, which could create favoritism or a spoils system.

New York City seems to favor volunteer boards and paid boards are quite rare. Therefore, if you are looking to join your condo or co-op board, you most likely will not get paid.

All Area Realty Services knows what it takes to manage buildings professionally and efficiently, and just as important - keeping residents happy.  With over 30 years of experience, and many of our clients with us for decades, you can trust All Area Realty Services with taking care of your building.  

 

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

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
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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: Co-Op Board, Property Management