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

Considering A Property Management Company?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Jun 27, 2019 2:40:14 PM

Are you looking to hire a property manager? What are a property manager’s responsibilities? Their responsibilities vary based on the type of property they are managing, the amount they are paid and the terms of the management contract.

A property manager’s has the responsibility to collect rent from tenants. They will set up a system for collecting rent, which includes the date rent, is due and collecting late fees if the tenants are late with payment. A property manager may determine the correct rent to be charging to get more tenants to your property and to increase your returns. They may also adjust the rent if they feel it is necessary.

Another responsibility is to manage the tenants. This includes finding and screening potential tenants, managing the day-to-day complaints, maintenance issues and tenant move outs. In order to find tenants, property managers will advertise by having an ad that will attract tenants. Once there is a tenant, the property manager should have a screening process that includes credit checks and background checks. A great property manager will have the experience and knowledge about finding and attracting the right tenants. They set the lease term and determine the amount of security deposit required. Once a tenant decides to move out, the property manager needs to inspect the unit to check for damages and to determine what portion of the security deposit to return.

The property manager is responsible for maintaining the property. This includes regular maintenance, emergency repairs and upkeep of the grounds. They hire contractors if they cannot handle the repairs themselves.

A property manager should be well versed in landlord tenant law. This is important when dealing iStock-841723220with screening a tenant, handling security deposits, terminating a lease, evicting a tenant and complying with property safety standards.

Property managers are responsible for managing the other employees at the building and making sure they are doing their jobs properly. A property manager may be hired to watch vacant properties to ensure there are no vandals and to perform routine maintenance.

The property manager is responsible for the budget of the building and must operate within the budget. They also keep the records for the property, which includes all income and expenses, inspections, signed leases, maintenance requests, records of repairs, costs of repairs, rent collection and insurance costs.

Lastly, a property manager needs to be able to assist the owner with understanding how to file the taxes and then the property manager may also file the taxes for the 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

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

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

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

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: Co-Op Board, Property Management

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