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

Can A Co-Op Charge Renovation Fees?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Sep 27, 2018 4:08:46 PM

The short answer here is yes, and unfortunately as New Yorkers,  you already have to endure a ton of charges if you are going to renovate your apartment.

Why would you have to pay co-op renovation fees? 

These fees are meant to compensate for ancillary costs during renovations. The building may have to spend extra money or soothe complaints and concerns from your neighbors. Maybe the building will have to hire additional staff or pay over time due to the renovations. Neighbors, who have no choice in the matter, may have to tolerate dust, excessive noise, and the overall stress that living next to construction induces. The renovations could also cause traffic and back up on the service elevator from workers carrying materials up and down. These are just a few examples of potential reasons for ancillary costs.


How often will the fees be charged? 

The fees could be a flat rate, monthly rate, weekly rate, or charged on a sliding scale that increases over time. The manner in which the fees will be charged to you is decided by the building.

Other Potential Charges During Renovations: 

  • Cleaning fees from the co-op
  • Late fees from the co-op
  • A security deposit
  • A bill if the building’s architect or engineer reviews the plans
  • A bill from the managing agent
  • Charges from an inspector
  • City permits, if they are required

To protect yourself make sure that all co-op charges are detailed in every resident’s alteration agreement. If you’re planning renovations have a lawyer overlook this agreement before signing it.

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

How to Get Your Co-op Board to Approve Your Next Renovation

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Mar 6, 2018 3:12:31 PM

With a purchase of a co-op property, often many new homeowners do not understand the different ownership style this property has. With a co-op property, the building co-op technically owns the entire building and the homeowner just leases the space they call home. This means the co-op board must approve any changes you want to make to your property. 

While this can seem like a nuisance, it could secretly be a blessing for all parties involved. For instance, if your neighbor decides they want to embark in a large renovation, they must ask permission of the co-op board and get approval before doing so. And only if the co-op board approves, you'll just be faced with a few months of noise and disturbance.

In the event that you are not planning a renovation, but are looking to make a simpler repair, it would be a good idea to find out who is responsible for co-op repairs and what repairs do or don't need co-op board approval. This will save you a lot of time. 

For those homeowners who are not worried about ticking off a few neighbors for a better kitchen, or maybe new wooden floors, they may be wondering how to get their co-op board to approve their next renovation. We're going to outline that below. 


Renovation Blueprint

The first task in your renovation plans will be to have an architect draw up a blueprint of what you would like to have renovated. 

For smaller renovation projects, the co-op will most likely let you use the building's preferred architect. Even though the co-op is providing you with an architect, you’ll still need to pay for the bid which could range anywhere from $2,000+. If you would like to save a little, ask the architect if they would be willing to give you a discount since they’re the main person on the project. It doesn't hurt to ask! 

For larger renovations, you may need to outsource the architect’s responsibilities by hiring someone outside of the preferred list of vendors the co-op may have.

Getting Co-Op Board Approval

Your renovation may require city permits, which will need to obtained and presented to your co-op board. If you need a list of what renovations require these permits, you can find out more here. It is important you take those costs, procedures, and time for approval into consideration. Once you are ready to submit your plans and you have all permits in place, it’s a good idea to ask for permission through e-mail. This will allow you to attach any relevant blueprints and documentation that may help persuade the co-op board in favor of your project, as well as keep a time stamped record of all communications and documents shared. 

It is also common that you be asked to sign an alteration agreement, which outlines provisions to your specific renovation project. 

Another common aspect of renovations is for the co-op to put time limits and restrictions on the hours of the day the construction crew can be in the building. This ensures no other neighbor is disturbed during “quite hours”. And also keep in mind that many buildings will only allow one renovation taking place at a time. 

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

DIY Upgrades For Your Investment Property to Feel Like a Luxury Rental

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Oct 11, 2017 1:52:15 PM

Is your real estate investment apartment in need of a renovation or an upgrade that does not cost you an arm or a leg? When deciding to renovate your rental property, the costs can add up and become expensive pretty fast especially when hiring someone to do the renovations. However, there are some DIY upgrades that will let you stay within budget and turn the rental apartment into a luxury rental. Here are some tips on updating your apartment yourself.


iStock-482118856.jpgThis is the heart of the apartment; tenants cook, eat and hang out with friends and family in it. New or repainted kitchen cabinets can automatically make the room look more lavish at a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire kitchen.  Another quick and cheap DIY upgrade is updating the backsplash in the kitchen. Tiles can have a visual impact without breaking the bank. You can buy the tiles on sale and install them yourself. If you do not have experience with tiles, you can buy peel and stick subway tiles. These will save time and money while giving the kitchen an overall luxurious look.


Whenever you walk into an apartment that has outdated light fixtures, it makes the apartment feel iStock-490401790.jpgdark and unwelcoming.  This is an easy fix and has an immediate impact on the feel of the apartment. Swap out the outdated light fixtures for more updated ones. This can be inexpensive and you can stay within your budget while changing the overall feel of the rental apartment.

Clean the Property

This is one of the most important DIY improvements. No tenant wants to walk into a dirty apartment nor will the tenant be likely to sign a lease if the apartment is dirty. A deep cleaning can literally make the rental shine to prospective tenants. Hire a professional to come in and to clean the hard to reach spots or the overlooked areas like baseboards, window treatments, ceiling fans and appliances.

You can make a small budget go a long way by using these simple DIY tips to turn your rental apartment into a luxury rental. With the upgrades, you can start attracting renters, who can spend more.


Topics: Property Management, Renovations

Co-op Repairs & What Needs Board Approval & What Does Not?

Posted by All Area Realty Services Team on Aug 1, 2017 4:05:58 PM

Certain cosmetic upgrades (like painting) may not require board permission but it is best to check in with management before starting any work in your unit.

Contact the co-op's managing agent, who can provide the building's alteration agreement, which should outline what kind of jobs require approval, licensing and insurance iStock-479622822.jpgrequirements for your contractor, potential fees, security deposits, work schedules, requirements for use of the building's service elevator, requirements to file with the Department of Buildings, and other pertinent information.

If you're still unsure about your planned upgrades, write a letter to the board describing the proposed work and ask the board whether any consent would be required.

Depending on your building, you may not need permission for cosmetic work that does not involve major systems like electrical or plumbing, but some co-ops have a decoration agreement. The decoration agreement does not require board approval for paint and floor work and minor cosmetic things but it does require that the contractor is licensed and insured and that the insurance names the co-op as one of the insured. For smaller jobs, the work is usually approved by the managing agent and then coordinated with the building. This small-scale approval process should not take more than a few days.

Ask the managing agent, if you are still unsure about your planned work, and they should provide you with all the information you need.



Topics: Renovations