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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Board, Property Management, Co-Op Building

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

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