Your Building's Superintendent

Examining the Super's Role and Performance

By Barbara Dershowitz

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If you had to name the single most valuable individual to your co-op or condo, who would it be? Certainly, your board president, managing agent, corporate counsel and accountant are key players. But boards and residents should never underestimate the importance of a competent, conscientious superintendent. The condition of your building's mechanical systems, how well maintained its public areas are and even aspects of its financial condition can all be traced to how well your superintendent performs. Knowing how to gauge your super's performance and how to improve it for the future will go a long way toward making your property the best it can be.

The Super's Role

The role of the superintendent demands an ever-increasing level of professionalism and competence in a wide variety of areas. "The super must be conversant with every mechanical and technical system in the building, work diplomatically to solve problems in the building, be responsive to residents and be able to work as a team member with the board and the managing agent," says Steve Kessler, director of management at Andrews Building Corp. in Manhattan.

"He should be cost-conscious and honest when it comes to working with vendors and contractors, proactive when it comes to heading off problems, and he should have all the appropriate training and licenses in such areas as boilers, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and fire safety," adds Pat Goldwater, vice president of Aptek Management in Manhattan. "He also should be on the premises or immediately available 24 hours a day, seven days a week," she adds.

In fact, the Housing Maintenance Code of Union 32B/J, the union that covers building workers such as superintendents, clearly states that in residential buildings of ten or more units, the super must live either on-site or within 200 feet of the building. "And," says Jerry Picaso, principal of the Manhattan-based management company Gerard J. Picaso, "he should be able to effectively manage the handymen, the porters and all other building staff members." Despite all these "shoulds," it's interesting to note that no specific description of a superintendent's job responsibilities is included in the Union 32B/J contract.

"It does sometimes say what the super can't do," points out Donald Maher, a partner with the law firm of Maher & Brown and a labor and employment expert. "For instance, supers can't collect rent. But in general, job duties are not described."

Who decides what your superintendent is supposed to do? "The super, managing agent and board have pretty much free range in constructing a job description as long as it's consistent with the collective bargaining agreement," says Maher. "However, I don't know that I would always recommend that there be a written job description because later on if you ask someone to do something that isn't explicitly in there, you can get, "˜That's not my job.' Nevertheless, from the perspective of management, it is better to have a clear understanding of what is expected of the superintendent." To ameliorate the apparent negatives of a written job description, Maher advises that any such document contain a catch-all phrase, such as, "Plus any other directive issued by (whomever)."

Managing agents Kessler, Goldwater and Picaso all strongly advocate written job descriptions, pointing out the necessity of specifying job duties so that they can be referred to if disputes arise and also so that they can be used to quantify and measure performance. The board, the managing agent and the super should all collaborate on the creation of a job description, and should agree that it is fair and reasonable and that it will be used as the minimum standard of job performance. Goldwater suggests that the job description contain clear directives regarding whether or not and under what circumstances a super can perform private work for residents, so that no misunderstandings occur.

An Even Better Super

In terms of job training, Union 32B/J provides many classes, as do several area educational institutions. However, while most of these courses are technical in nature and many lead to eligibility for licenses appropriate to a superintendent's position, there are few, if any, courses that train superintendents in the necessary people skills they need to be top-notch in their profession.

"Many of the guys who came up through the ranks have had no training in supervision, management or interpersonal communication," observes Maher, "and they can be a little rough around the edges."

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In response, several management companies have instituted in-house superintendent training programs that include such topics as staff supervision and how to get along with residents. "But not everyone can be trained in those areas," observes Kessler. "In most cases, you either have it or you don't." The best superintendents have not only technical skills but also understand how to supervise and manage people, how to communicate productively with the board, management and residents, and how to deal honestly and effectively with the myriad vendors and contractors who service the building.

Super or Resident Manager?

"In smaller buildings," says Picaso, "you typically find supers performing all the duties commonly associated with a superintendent as well as those of a handyman and a porter, such as doing repairs and taking out the trash. In slightly larger buildings, the super may have a porter but he still does hands-on repairs. In still larger buildings, where there's a staff of handymen and porters, the superintendent's job of necessity becomes more managerial."

"Resident managers are generally not covered by any labor agreement, nor is there any definition in the labor agreement as to what they are," says Maher, who explains that the law defines resident managers as supervisors who have the authority to perform such functions as hiring, firing, setting terms and conditions of employment, approving overtime, and assigning and supervising the work of others.

The Staff Hierarchy

Where your super stands in the hierarchy of your building's management, and how he is perceived and treated by the board, by management and by residents, are important issues to address. Universally, it is the job of the board to set policy, the job of the managing agent to implement that policy and supervise the super, and the super's job to supervise the building staff and report back to management. Often, however, boards that want their superintendents to feel a greater sense of responsibility and loyalty to the building demonstrate a higher level of respect for their work as evidenced, for instance, by their invited participation in at least part of the monthly board meeting and in the annual meeting.

"That certainly would give the super a sense of being in the loop," says Picaso. Kessler advises that, whether or not the super is invited to the monthly board meetings, he should definitely be included in the appropriate aspects of large capital projects since the super is - or ideally, should be - a building's first line of defense when it comes to such projects.

"It's important that the board, management and the super be on the same wavelength," adds Elliot Meisel, a partner with the Manhattan law firm Brill & Meisel. "Many of the more successful boards are those that keep their directives and policy decisions to a minimum and allow their managing agent and the super to work out polices and procedure that benefit the building."

Disciplinary Action

When a super fails to perform up to standard, there are mechanisms to remedy the situation. In buildings where the superintendent is not a member of the union, the board can terminate him at will, assuming legitimate cause. Where the superintendent is a union member, a program of progressive discipline exists that goes from a documented verbal warning to a one-, two-, or three-day suspension with or without pay to discharge, again assuming legitimate cause.

In both non-union and union situations, when a superintendent commits a criminal act or poses a demonstrable danger by his presence, he can be fired immediately. And in any disciplinary situation, it is imperative that both the board and management maintain accurate and ongoing documentation of the disciplinary actions taken for their own purposes and also for their protection in the event the super brings suit against them or initiates an arbitration proceeding.

Respect for Crucial Services

Clear communication about the building's chain of command and its expectations are key to good job performance. Providing decent living conditions, the tools necessary to get the job done (including a beeper or a cell phone for instant communication) and respect for the crucial services the super provides, are also instrumental in creating a productive working relationship.

"People need to be educated to the fact that the super has studied to do his job and that he has the ability to potentially save the building tens of thousands of dollars," says Goldwater.

Stuart Sandhouse, board president of a 143-unit co-op in Manhattan, agrees. "You've got to get your super involved in the decision-making process and make him a part of the team," says Sandhouse, "because he's the one who knows the building better than anyone. He's to be listened to and respected for his knowledge and the contribution he makes to the building. Take him seriously and take good care of him. He's a very valuable resource, and good superintendents are not easy to come by."

Ms. Dershowitz is Contributing Editor for The Cooperator.

Comments

Rodz_pr@verizon.net

Very Interested article. True that many super's are hired without the proper qualifications and requirements. One of the things I have discovered about super's and or residential managers is that they lack leadership skills and personnel management. As a Retired Marine I have taken note of this. I am a Lobby Man in a Coop. I have worked for 3 super's and the one I work for, now though he knows he is 7/24. but never there. The point of contact for the tenants is the super, in my building the point of contact is the doorman. who then calls the super to relay the message, which at times the super lies and tells the tenant he never got the message. Which discredits the doorman. I am certain this happens else where. Some supers are hired with out meeting the requirements and that is because the agents doing the hiring also lacks the skills in recruting or the job is bought. To often I hear the tenants complaint about the super. An example a tenant asked me to unclug her toilet, my reply was I need to inform the super so he can do the job and the tenant ask me not to because he does not know what he is doing. The same tenant one day asked me to call the super to check his meter, we went to the basement and the tenant asked the super, look at my meter and tell me what is wrong with it, and he said nothing, then the tenant asked me, I had no choice but to tell him that someone is stealing his electricity because of a cable attached to it. It was embarrasing. So I ask myself how can someone get hire to fill in the position as a super. The tenant is right. Another example is supervision of the staff, they lack the ability to lead and set the example for the staff to follow. They lack the ability to take responsibility for there actions and except responsibility. When anything happens, instead of being honest and correcting the problem, they place the blame on someone else. When it comes to the tenants, they show more favortizm toward the board members then the rest of the tenants. And here is where they also lack the people skills, not only with the staff. Lots of super fail to realize that the employees are the back bone of the operation of the building therefore they too have to be treated with respect and also trained in building operations in the event that the super cannot be reached. and this is one of the problems that we have where I work. My super knows that I have experience in leadership and also building operation. Because my resume states that I too operated buildings in the Marine Corps as logistic chief. and that I am more qualified then he is. Therefore I become a threat for him and does not which for me to get involve in any emergency situation when he is not around. He knows that I have all my license which I have obtained thru 32bj. Not that I lacked the experience because I too as a kid learned from my father the landlord/super before I joined the corps. Back to your article. I think that the main problem is the hiring process. First, individual needs to be sreen more thouroughly. If he/she lacks the requirements, they should not be hired. This also tells me that these jobs are bought and paid for. I liked your article, because you to realize the problems with super. The truth is they are 7/24 and have to be able to respond immediately and be able to make timely and sound decision and alot of super lack leadership skills.

Bill Kilpatrick

The role of the superintendent is more important than the board members. The board members go off to work and are away from the building as much as 14 hours a day while the superintendent is there much of the 24 hours a day other than his time off and vacation. The superintendent runs the daily operations and when board members get involve with those operations that is when the staff takes cover because they are made aware that the superintendent is the boss and they follow his rules but when board members start to direct the staff it sends a sign that the superintendent is not doing his job. When it comes to managers not all managers are real managers many of them come from in house such as a relative or friend of a manager but I feel that the best managers are produced from someone who was a handyman or superintendent I feel these managers make the best managers since they worked the field as they say in order to run a building you must learn how to clean it first, So when a manager who was once a worker with in the field can relate to the staff at a clear level of understanding the workers issues. When you have a manager who is from the books these are the worst ones it's like a plumber dealing with a designer the designer wants the sink in a location that the plumber knows for a fact it will never work there due to the location of the pipe chase but still the designer wants the the sink in that location, So it's important to have the right manager working the building so that the building can run smoothly. Board mebers should never direct staff at any time. Work related issues should be sent through the manager never over step the superintendent of the building.

apt dweller

There should be a directory of superintendant's contact info, in the event that there is a problem in the building so that the super can be contacted to help out with things. From Package deliveries to problems with machinery in the building the super's number should be accessible so that he can be contacted in the event of an emergency.

A Super

I sit here and think to myself what this article say is so true. I as a superintendent know my building, mytenents and the everyday people that walk around my building, who works in what store. I can even tell you what tenents leave at what time, when they come back and what they are like. I even know who their friends are and what eacperson does for a living. That's my tenents. I know all my management, I know the boss, I know what needs to be fixed, I know what is broken and was not fixed properly and I know where the management skimps on repairs I even know all laws. I know a lot about my job. But here in Canada even if we know all this we aren't protected like us workers are. The only thing protected is are vacation pay by any labour board and government official. But here's the thing, most tenents don't appreciate when you clean, take the garbage and the majority of things. They don't realize that this is not our property but the people they rented off. As a super it is difficult in the long run being 24/7 and hearing everyone complain and so on. Most super's are underpayed overworked and people don't see it this way. I am glad I read this and maybe I will find the 100000 job and maybe a little peace wil come when I am on the toilet and someone knocks on my door and I think @#$% I can't even go to the washroom!

nycsuper

As for doormen as Rodz_Pr comments, Us supers have to deal 24/7 with guys like him. Doormen who don't know how to keep their mouth shut. Over socializing, gossiping, and undermining the super is a problem in all buildings. The problem is that they have a dead end job. 8 hours of sitting on there buts. Get a life...

unknown

I've read a couple of these articles and i can't believe what i'm reading , first of all super's are not appreciated the way they should be.super's run the show.i know people who are par time superintendents through out the five borough's full time and part time.the super's in the city have union and have a good pay,but the parttime super's that work out of the city,they get paid monthly for maintenance work ,but the work they do is weekly ,garbage get 's thrown twice a week, the building get' s moped everyweek and the street get's sweep almost everyday,but there getting paid monthly.no union and the landlord expects someone to be home 9-5 babysitting the premises but there not getting paid for it.also their expected to lot's more with no extra pay. regardless of full or partime every superintendent job should offer union ,401k etc.it's a job .for the part time superintendents they should get paid weekly even though (part time) means maintenance ,than their job should only consist of maintenance work and manager's should expect any thing else,like being on call 24/7 why should u ur not getting paid for it,also u tenants think the super is their personal assistant.especially the buildings with par time super's and no doormen,handymen,porter's,the landlord's take advantage of the partime superintendent's i think it's illegal and i would like to know is there any law against this i know alot of people who do this and don't say anything about it because they don't know how the law works and have no info regard's to this matter. it's wrong.

an unknown user

As for nycsuper's comment to rodz_pr...Who you kidding?? Doormen are out on the front lines facing the people and their problems, whether everyday problems, or their buildings problems, and also helping them. When there is a low time, they sit..Supers are hidden in their apts, or a work shop, until they are called upon, not dealing with this....Supers can watch soap operas or do anything in the luxury of their homes. It must be nice Mr. nycsuper to have that added luxury of your doormen being your front shield. And you wonder why some doormen undermine the super? Wake up, tool.

Lisa

I enjoyed your article very much and as a Superintendent for the past 14 years at the same location I wish I could make the constant changing Board of Directors how important the position of Superintendent

June

I will try to make it nice and short about my life as a super. I have work as a super for some time know and it is not easy. My experience for different Mgr or buildings have not been good at all but am still working as a super. Example, the super is not there for tenants to try to talk down to him. I can honestly say i have not gotten paid what i deserve. Last super job, 62 unit building and only got paid $2000 a month. 24/7 the joke is on me because no benefits, no raise and yes i give the tenant a kind of attitude, but they cant say i have not been there for them. And i want to work even harder but what about me. And also the problem can be in mgr, they don't want to spend on the building. I will leave you with this to think about because at the end i know i am a hard worker who has not been compensated, why don't you try sticking around your job 24/7 to only get 1 or 2 week vacation, take care and good bye.

Dave.v

after reading all the articles here and relating myself I find it disturbing to note that persons working in residential buildings and condos are completely taken for granted, under paid and are in fact the closest thing to slavery I have ever seen!. persons whom have not worked in this field Have NO clue to the unbelievable stress, incredible work load, little to no time off, the inhuman treatment from tenants and management. it is no wonder That I have met so many supers and resident managers that are alcoholics, drug users or taking perscription medicine just to maintain their everyday lives. a vast majority of the workforce in the USA and Canada have no Idea what 24/7 means! when you work your 9-5 and get to spend time with your family, do your shopping and or have social gatherings or just sit back and rest after a hard days work understand that as a super there is no social life, there is no rest after a hard days work you barely have time to pay your bills or do any shopping!!! a super's job NEVER ends at 5pm at every hour of the day you are expected to be there ready to fix any problem. I have been a Super for five years and I truly love what I do but when you have 20-30 apartments to clean,repair,paint, replace everything from appliances to light fixtures in units that residents have treated like a personal dump in a time frame that is unreal. most management companies require supers to do what in my area call back to back rentals where a resident has vacated the unit on the last day of the lease agreement and the next resident takes possession on the first, most supers are required to have these units prepared within 6 to 8 hours, if the average apartment takes one to two hours to prepare (if the unit is in good condition) then how are they to accomplish this task to 15 - 20 units? In my current property I receive 5-8 repair requests daily, my property is 36 years old and the vast majority of repair requests are of a plumbing nature and require anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours pending on the severity of the repair, to ask that a super be there for every call on the spot is IMPOSSIBLE!, property management companies and owners are more and more lessening the quantity of capable staff to save costs and requiring supers to undertake more responsibillity than ever before for pay that is without question lower than the single person working in a private service company. in my research there are really no laws protecting persons in this field. In Canada a property management company can fire a couple with little notice and then are given 7 days to vacate their homes after termination! I found this to be outrageous!!, in the five years I have worked as a super I have seen 6 couples fired and thrown out into the streets with no where to go and clearly very little funds simply because they where unable to perform the duties of 4 people whom had quit their jobs due to lack of respect, incredible work load and little to no time off. I myself have just completed a 60 day straight , 24/7 of work with no time off, no night off, no assistance of any kind from ownership and management in a 360 unit property. again for those whom have worked in this area of property management you will truly understand the unjust treatment of persons and couples who endure this day after day with little or no respect what so ever! I only pray that the government carefully re-examine the laws pertaining to workers in this field and put in place mandatory acts that ensure equal rights for those of us who work night and day 24/7 to make sure your building or property is safe and problem free and maintained and remember in most cases that we live together in the same place you call home.

Frustrated

I am the super of a bldg on the eastside and a member of 32bj, that there in lies the problem. Its seems the union back the workers and not the Superintendents, I have works who come in to get a paycheck, and thats it, I have to be constantly holding their hands and checking their work. They refuse to follow the schedule. I have taken pictures and written them up so many times, suspended them and they go to the union and they get back their days of suspension and my write ups go out the window. they laugh as they know that my write-ups dont mean a thing. Its a losing battle. Management knows this. the Union has created lazy workers, the guys know they can get away with many things, they walk around with their union hats and smile at me. "Like you cant touch me". In the bldg they know one of the workers is a theif and he has begun getting all the workers against me cause I said something and they are going along with him. I have begun to do some of my handyman's work cause he does not know how to do some of the jobs, I have mentioned it to Managment and they say teach him, I have he does not get it, still keeps making the same mistakes. Management comes around and I get the short end of the stick cause these guys are not performing up to par, no matter what I have said, done, tried. I have taken pictures of the dirty floors, elevators they do not clean and wham, the Union goes and throws it out the window, I have a file 2 yrs old of one guy and been to arbritration and nothing, guy still has his job. The Superintendent's job is between a rock and a hard place. The union really have created a mess and no one knows better the needs of the building and tenants as the Super does. Managment comes around once or 2x a week for 20 minutes and they are gone the Super is there 24/7 and knows the ins and outs of the building, also the personality of the staff NOT THE UNION OR MANAGMENT. BUT THE UNION ALWAYS TAKES THE SIDE OF WORKERS. No matter what. without actually living, breathing and being in the building and with the staff and all the nonsense that goes on on an everyday level. The Unions maybe good for benefits and education and collecting dues they are great otherwise they have created workers who dont give a hoot about their jobs only the paycheck. I guess that is what matters money to pay the dues. It would be great for Superintendents to have a say in hiring of the porters, doormans, etc. the Supers are the ones who have to work with these people all the time not the Managment. They just send these guys over to a building and you have go accept them without knowing if they are really qualified. The Supers have no real input or say in the run of the building they must do what Management says if not they are OUT. The Supers have no real power and the staff knows it. Its all up to the Unions and Management. Supers are the Puppets if they dont do what the Management or Unions say they are out of a job and the staff knows it. Many times I have had suggestions on how to make the building better, known of a more experience and better worker for the building and the Management did not want to hear it. So the Super who lives, eat and breathes the building knows what best for the building does not have a voice. but Managment who comes around for 20 minutes once or 2x a week, knows what is best. Really, what do we need Managment for? Teach the Super how to do administrative work and they can do it all! These Management companies just eat more of the profits that is all. Just hire a Property Manager and put his office in the building along with the Super and you dont need all those extras... They are just collecting a profit from the owner. What a waste....

ruben gomes

how many unite is a building to have to have a live in superindent my friend has 5 buidling he takes care of and does not live on site one building has 40 and the other has 28 they are on diffenrent blocks what can he do with in the law please email me at gomcr7@aol.com

bob

i'v bin running a building for past 11 years took over the building that was run down with boiler that needed maintenance on a daily basses,1 to 5 repairs on a daily basses. when there was no heat at 3 am tenants called me the (super)not the management to give em heat, well any way i'v bin basicaly killin myself under paid& saving $$$$$$$$ for the mngmnt finaly last year we'v decided to change the boiler to gass getn the carpets done on all the floors painting the building i thought to myself finaly i can get some rest now & do the regular maintenance that super should be doin instead they told me now they want a new face so all my effort on making the building to a good standards turned against me & got me fired ps i agree that something should be done thrue a governing body abt this situation as was throwin out in short notice without a couse

an unknown user

To NYCSUPER. It seems that you do not agree with the article I written, maybe you yourself fall under the same catagory. Live rent free, do nothing and get paid for doing nothing while professional like me have to cover for you. It is not that I associate with the tenants, they associate with me cause the boss is never around. Therefore you must be the same. Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are a professional super. W hen tenants depend more on the doorman then the super then there is something definetely wrong with the super, that the tenants do not wish to associate with him. Is this is happening to you. If so, take my advice and quit or correct your mistake. There is always room for improvement baba. Never to late for improvement. Taake correspondence courses on leadership and pyschology on the job..

bob

im sorry bud but it seems that you are the 1 that put yourself out there for the tenants to deppend on , your job is onley to be a doorman as you said . to be as friendley as you can be to cover yourself & you should kno nothing abt the building works unless you tell them that you do so thats y they come to you for advice pallllllll stay out of some1 elses bussines ty

Gabriela Cohen

what credentials are necessary to be a super and how I check if my super is qualified for the position?? , clean and

Managment Waste of Money

What is the reason there is a Managment for buildings? When the Super does the managing and administration? When the Super reports 24/7 to management/owner on status of the building. He/she is there 24/7 and where is mgt? Many do not pick up there phones on weekends if you call Mgt because the Super gets called. The Super has a staff to handle certain duties and in the weekends in case of emergency he gets called not beause you need a package to be picked up. So why do we need a managment company? What is the purpose of paying these high salries, bonuses to Managment Companies? Get a good super and team and you dont need to pay all this money. They come for 20 minutes 1x or 2x a week and then call the Super 20x a day to make sure everything is going right. Everyone always thinks they can do the job of a Super until they walk in there shoes and have to deal with the pressure, politics, staff, vendors, etc. I think between the unions and management companies the owners are being ripped off. What a game. The true person who really knows the building and staff gets no credit and the ones who come around with the suit and tie for 20 minutes gets a big salary and bonus at the end of the year. Many times the Super has to teach the Property Manager about building operations and its terminology!! Hello what is wrong with this picture!!!

an unknown user

what licenses do you need to be a union super?

an unknown user

I want to know if the super has to be in the premises 24hours. Also if the management agent is the only person that can fire or hire a porter.

super-human

in a nutshell, i think the problem may be that there are too many un-qualified chiefs and too many un-qualified indians who think they should be the chief.

marie leo coicou

It is necessary to provide informations in all buidings people rent where and how to contact a specific housing site to complaint agianst superintendent hired without license, because they ignore the protocole, and also they don't mind to provide any services need to the tenants; the why's.. The landlord himself doesn't mind either.. The Housing Department doesn't care also until perharps the tenants become a victim in such situation like robbery, and others...

an unknown user

Out of the 5 Buildings that i have done work for in the last 10 years only one building had a super that did not require bribes to simply unlock a door at the very least. Sad but completely true.

an unknown user

I have worked in apt. bldgs., condos, and hotels for over 25 years and I have to say that I agree with most of what the Superintendents/Resident Managers on this website had to say. Although it takes time to get rid of a bad union worker, it is not impossible. First, as you know, you must go the "progressive discipline" route, where they are warned, suspended, etc. and then finally discharged. In ALL my experience, the only obstacle to this is lack of support from spineless upper management. The union themselves are not a problem, they are not that bright. The only possible threat from a union is if they really believe union members are being mistreated, their last resort is to go on strike. NO union is going to call a strike for one lazy moron who refuses to do his job, or is insubordinate.Property managers and condo board members are notorious for playing favorites with their favorite doorman, etc. They don't seem to understand that if they don't support you, you CANNOT do your job. It's not supposed to be a popularity contest. A great example of what we deal with is "Apartment Dweller" above. Why can't this idiot see why it is not feasible to post contact info for a Suiperintendent? The answer is so simple: because every idiot in the building would be calling him all day and night for every stupid little thing. NO ONE would or should put up with that crap. On the bright side, I have on occasion had good management back me up and the job went a lot more smoothly. Good luck to all of you!

rodz_pr

TO NYCSUPER his comment. It seems that you must fit the shoe as an unexperience super or Joe S*** The Rag man who has your staff do your job for you because you lack the experience to do so, then puts blame on your staff for your mistakes and eras. . As a Super, one of your responsibility is to set the example for those staff members to follow. Yes your responsibility is 24/7, and Doorman is 8 hours a day. Thats what we get pay for to do the job and except responsibility. If you are not happy with the 24/7 job. Then move on and become a porter, maybe then you will be happy.

Slave No More!

I was a building custodian for a private school for over nine years.I was responsible for the physical plant and safety of the buildining.My responsibilities included,but were not limited to.Painting,Plastering,Plumbing,Carpentry,Electrical,Stripping and waxing floors,Supervising porter,setting up for school functions,working closely with vendors and service contractors,using my personal tools and vehicle for building needs and much mrore! I was remarkable at multi tasking and I didn't mind the pressure.I did so much for this place and I was rewarded by GETTING FIRED . Why you ask? because I refused to add ASESTOS HANDLER to my ever growing job description.In order to save even more money, the school wanted me and the porter to clean up the asbestos left behind by the general contractors ,that they hired for building renovations.After numerous attempts to rectify the problem .I grew tired of trying to resolve the issue diplomaticly and called the authorities.I did not believe that a school that charges thousands of dollars in tuition fees and recieves donations and other grants, could not spend the required funds needed to protect their investment. THE CHILDREN AND FACULTY THAT KEEP THIS PLACE RUNNING! Many management companies and board of directors fail to realize that in order to see long term profits, you must have short term goals.They don't want to spend money on their own properties.Preventive maintenance is a key goal to long term profits.Many buildings undermine a superintendents intelligence and professional advice.We have the experiance trough trial and error and knowledge of our trade.We are not trying to make our supervisors or management companies look incompetant, they do a great job on their own. I have figured out why this happens very often.Most supers and handyman positions don't require a college degree.Most managing agents do. I guess that they think that the super can't possibly know more than them.This is a very common accurance.The board and management company fails to take the supers professional advice into consideration.They let their arrogant mentality interfere with building day to day functions and potential money saving opportuniyies.You can't save money, without spending money.Preventive maintenance is key to saving money.If one minor component of the building is negleted a major component usually follows.Another major factor is that most buildings refuse to spend money on good quality tools and expect the super to perform miracles with a hammer and a screw driver.The bottom line is that a good super should be treated with the professionalism and respect that he deserves.he should be included in meetings that concern the physical plant of the building.He might have some sound advise that might save the building time and money.No one is perfect , and I have seen first hand,when management has spent so much more money, that was necissary to correct problems.I will continue to look for work in my field.I could only hope to find a building that would respect me as a person and not take me for granted.You get much more out of people, when you respect them. Just because a person does not hold a college degree, does imply that the individual is uneducated.Life is a never ending education.Yours truely, unemployed super.

John

I dont understand what everyone is talking about. I am a super in Manhattan I have 116 units and make 137 thousand a year. Its a great job for doing nothing. I also do all the plumbing and electric work in the building. I love it

E.k

i am a super and i agree that doormen have to keep there mouth shut about some things ..there job is to greet and open doors !! not to run politics and then complain that all the tenants come to you with there problems and issues .. i love my job and i do get paid well , im also only 27 years old . and my staff cant stand the point that IM THE BOSS!! specialy the doormen ..

jdn1vazquez

a supper of a building of 25 apartment entitle to a free apartment?

Roy

Can the Board of Directors change the value of the apartment they provided for the live-in superintendent? Is there a law governing super's duties such as washing the apartments windows? I am puzzled. Please help.

super in queens

maybe us supers shud pay sum of the rent 4 the apt management provides maybe we get more respect like that cuz thats all u hear rent free you know what they give that 4 a reason but use it as a pawn

Fed up In Hamilton, Ontario

I,m a Superintendent, and I only get paid $585 a month. I have to sneak out so I can go to the food bank.... My company is the riches& biggest property management in Ontario It's time for a Union and I'm ready to start blowing my horn!!!!

Ann Weldon

my husband works for Chetrit Group, LLC, a realty concern in NYC. They are anti-union. my husband works as a super in one of their commercial buildings in NYC. They won't pay his union dues, now he is out of union, 32BJ and our family benefits have been terminated. What a way to treat the super of 29 years.

Another Super From Queens Ny.

Donald Maher explains some professional key issues about the building superintendent. I have 14 years experience as a building super full time in 250 unit co-op building and i treat my residents as part of my family i give them respect make them fell welcome to live in their house, after all every resident when they come home from work wants to have a peice of mind and relax they dont want to see deffects leakproblems and etc.. proactive measures and preventive maintenance of every detail in the building is done by me personaly, the management or the owner can not be in the building 24/7 the super is the first person to go to for any building problems and the last person that will asses the situation with the manager/owner/resident. The super is the one that saves reciepts for building expenses, writes work orders,makes appointments with residents, estimates the cost of materials, supervises the contractors and demands from personel or contractors proper documentation insurance and licensess. The super is the key asset in the building that oversee's every single detail in the building, be it plumbing,electrical,plant operations,gardening,sprinkler systems,interior and exterior from a to z. Now it is alot of work to be performed in a building such as mine that has 250 units, as a superintendent i do get alot of stress in daily basis but when you have board members such as i do it pays off to the job that i do in this building no matter what they put in front of me i am capable of doing it no questions asked. they treat me good they respect me and i return that favor twice to them. Every month i attend the meetings with the board and managing agent, the topics are started by me the superintendent, i address the problematic issues to them, i give them in advance preventive maintenance views of the building that they clearly dont see. Every year there is an anual meetings and board elections, in anual meetings the board members address all attending shareholders with me present as to what upgrades and saving the building whent trough for the year. well i will not give out more detailed info because i might reveal my self. but where there is will there is power and nothing can stand in your or anyone elses way from achieving a greater standard of living in a building such as i mine. I hope this makes any of you feel good, that includes the negative and positive commenters. I forgott to mention, i have the following licenses: CAT 97 a combination of 3 in one issued by FDNY includes Standpipe/Sprinkler/Firepump. P99 Con Low Psi oil burn, includes operating boilers that use the cheapest oil in the market today #6oil. HVAC and air polution licenses, AC and refrigiration in witch i utilize for central heating and air condtitioning. God bless you all till next time i bid you a good day or night ladies and gentileman.

an unknown user

My husband work's 40 or more hour's a week he doesn't have union he's been with this company for 17yr's latey they been over working him i would like to know how to start a union for the worker's in the company.

sofia

In Toronto super's job it's underpaid.On duty 24/7 ,doing everything from cleaning...to paper work, @the end of the day get paid less than $5 / hour.All the day along listen to the tenants complains,while management doing anything,only collecting the rents . I wonder how somebody can make $137/year working as a super??? In Ontario as far as I know ,one couple let's say in 200 units doesn't make $38k include tax+apt free(which is never free)...

4610@

As a superintendent I see the problem no law to protect supers from exploitation by their employers (building owners). As far as I know No law design to specify supers duties, responsibilities, wage working time and so on. These give owners to take advantage of their supers and exploit their knowledge and labor without limit with small amount of salary. There must be a government board to regulate law as needed for building owners and super, Assist supers, cleaners and so on There must be law to protect supers not to be explicated by crook building owners. The law must also make sure owners should get right service for what they pay for supers. Unless such laws protect both supers and building owners put in place, the building management continues recklessly forever.

Trilby

I am fairly new in a co-op in Queens. I have only lived here for 6 weeks and something just started that is a real problem for me. The maintenance guys started bringing the trash and recycling to an area just outside my bedroom windows, and several times a day they make this noisy trip with shopping carts of MORE trash and recycling. Why do I have the honor of having this mess outside my window? I was told that the building got a ticket for keeping it in a room off the garage, but I think that is nonsense because a day of googling did not turn up any rule that garbage can't be held indoors. In fact, I think most buildings do that. The other day, there was a guy off the street picking through EVERY BAG of recycling to pull out the redeemable stuff. Hello! This is private property! I spoke to one of the building guys who told me he knew the guy was out there and assured me "it is all right." I said, You think it is all right but I do NOT think it's all right. So then I called the super, who is supposed to be "wonderful." I left two messages on his voicemail and got ZERO response. I am really furious at this point. I did not buy a co-op apartment in a garbage dump, at least I didn't think so.

Avelino de Chavez

I think we have the worst super. I live in forest hills, ny. Our super does not do repairs any problem in the building he just call contractors. Any time we have somebody enter our apartment that will do something he always want to get tip. One time I ask salvation army to pick up furniture, he ask money from them and they back out. The one throwing our garbage is our janitor. He literally just there to observed. The board said that we can not fire hime because he has union. We dont know what to do.

Former doorman

Some supers really need training in interpersonal communications. Not only that but 32 BJ needs to do a better job protecting their staff. I worked as a doorman for 3 years and the super at my building was disrespectful, unprofessional and rude to everyone except his superiors. He would write up a new employee within the first few weeks so that he could have the upper hand in any future incidents, he would also hide small toothpicks in corners of the lobby and if one was missed by the doorman he would write them up. To make matters worse the property manager would never question him, I would walk into work and he would be waiting for me with a write up never explaining why I was written up. I tried several times to report this to 32BJ and they never did anything about it, meanwhile we doorman were being watched 24/7 by the super via cameras and if we were not doing things his particular way you were written up. He totally abused his power and not only that but treated his staff with total disrespect, from a person with no education or certifications. Something must be done to stop these kind of people abusing their staff this way.

Super

I have started from the bottom working overnight, then doorman, then porter, then handyman I have done it all and have worked hared to get to the position I am at now as a super for an 89 unit building in NYC. I have worked with some lazy people that sit all day and do nothing and take % lunch breaks a day. I know that no one is perfect but there has to be a line drawn somewhere so writing up the workers is good because it keeps balance and keeps them on there toes. The way it should be is that when the super is around everybody must jump.

westchester manager

just like in any other industry, there are the good ones and there are the bad ones. i have supers that have a great knowledge of building maintenance and construction, and i have supers that are good for nothing. i know that, without supervision, some supers will do the right thing for the property, whereas others will sit on ass and wait for something to happen. this is what i like to refer as proactive versus reactive. onto communication with shareholders and/or tenants- i tell my supers and staff members to keep their mouths shut. the reason for this is that management is the liaison between residents, staff, and the board of directors. i take my direction from the board, and the super takes his (sometimes her) direction from the agent, and it trickles down. when you have more than 1 person telling you what to do, and you have more than 1 person giving an opinion as to how to fix a problem, things tend to fall apart. go to the agent and the agent will direct you. i tell the board not to talk to shareholders or tenants but to direct them to management. leave it to the experts to delegate and manage as necessary. at the board meeting the board will direct me how they want their building handled, and i will see to it that it's done just that way (with minor exceptions). this all being said, i find this article to be mostly true, especially that the super is an anchor in effective management. i disagree with former doorman that 32bj should do a better job protecting employees. i have a super that got a dwi, failed to tell anyone, and did 4 months of snowplowing in a truck on coop property with a suspended license. then he lied to me that his license was reinstated. i told the union this and they replied, "and?" 32bj is smoke and mirrors. it protects the wrong things. it's a crutch for the "bad ones" i refer to in my first paragraph. it's a place for staff to run and hide for shelter when they make royal screw ups. its a crutch for them to say, "i'm not going to replace that light bulb because the union contract says i don't have to go over the second rung of this ladder" or, "i'm not going to paint this wall because it's over 2 square feet." if i had a free apartment, free utilities, free cell phone service, AND a paycheck on top of that, i'd do whatever i had to to bend over backwards for the building. but some people are just not like that. so moral of my experiences and to bring this all back to the article- a proactive, knowledgable super that will do what it takes to save the property money and oversee employees (and will go beyond the union contract) is the REAL anchor to effectively handling a good building. oh yea, coupled with a good management company that doesn't rob you blind.

Curt Bergeest

Mostly all the Comments I read were people complaining about their job. Please remember you accepted the job, so now accept the responsibilty that goes with it. I too am a Superintendent, if you treat your staff with respect as you would liked to be treated with much more can be accomplished. As to the topic of the Union not doing anything, ever wonder why? maybe your not doing the right thing. All I am saying is quit deflecting the blame to everyone else (Union, Management etc) and start looking at yourself. If the Shareholders/Tenants go to your Doorman instead of you there is a reason for that. As to Rodz_pr, I too was a Marine for 10 years, if you know so much about the being a Superintendent go and become one or quit bitching about yours. The building Superintendent is the most underrated asset that any building has, if they are good. For all those questions that are listed above, this is not the forum to ask those questions. A great source of knowledge is www.NYCSTA.com please use this for all questions. When the Superintendent is around the staff should not have to jump if they are doing their jobs, as a good Superintendent they should be doing them already.

another westchester manager

Loved your comment westchester manager. Was a pleasure to read something from someone that deals with the same issues on a daily basis. I have arbitration with 32bj this Friday to try and fire a superintendent. This guy pulls the "thats not in my contract" line all the time. Complains that we are "anti-union" when we wright him up. Meanwhile he spends on average 2 hours a day actually working. Caught him on camera spending more then 3 hours in his apartment on 2 separate days. Don't see how we would lose but you never know with arbitration.

Felipe Negron

I must agree with many of the comments posted on this blog. I have been in the real eastate business for 20+ years. I started as a handyman then a became Resident Manager, Maintenance Manager, Building Manager and a Property Manager. Recently, I obtained a position as a Superintendent. I find that I prefer working with my hand and solving problems first hand. During my years in the business I've met many Property Managers, Resident Managers, Superintendents, etc. The real estate business is like any other business. There are those that do and those that don't. In discussions with like minded individuals we find that 80-90% are out for the money, accomodations and perc's. The other 10-20% want the same thing but are willing to do the right thing. Humbly , I consider myself part of the 10-20%. I've always gained the respect of my staff by working with them and improving their work environment whenever possible. Though appreciation and respect my staff generally performs within acceptable guidelines. I pride myself in my interpersonal skills. I feel if more individuals with a managerial role regardless of the business environment, would endeavor to learn proper interpersonal and interaction skills the world would be a better place. Perthaps it's not a realistic expectation but we can hope.

dan

supers are the lifeline to shareholders and boards just dont get it ,hers a short list of what i have done for shareholders 1 -received a 3 thirty am call to get spare keys for board president who returned from trip and forgot keys 2- received 2 am call from shareholder who after partying all night dropped her ring down elevator shaft 3-received lifeline call from shareholder who fell in apartment in bathroom at 4 twenty am 4-receive realtor calls all weekend to show apartments after allowable hours 5-asked to pick up mail at post office 6-ask to overlook town ordinances and permits so board members can complete work without architects approval 7-ask to work barbecues and holiday parties on weekends 8 asked not to be more than 50 miles from home all winter 9-asked to look other way regarding moving hours and especially on damages during moves 10-installed cameras everywhere to police staff but when shareholders were caught doing things it was turned aside most of these boards are ok i had a good board for 12 years but then 2 greedy realtors got on and ran the building amok and wanted everything done for them including refering every apartment for ale putting huge photos of themselves under doors and against rules having contractors do work in there units while handling bulding work so remember 1 thing as lazy as u say some supers r remember stopping by for 20 mins a week pretending u know everything when u have your own hidden agenda and golf club memberships give it up as u crooked self righteous board members should

Charles A

To get superintendent job isgeting harder and harder. I know a lot of superintendent buildings that dont have any certificate at all. To get this kind of job you have to pay a lot of money to the president of the board through the property manager.

Steven

Hello, Is there any Law in Canada that says if you are a super a give 2 weeks notice how long can I stay before I have to be out? I think 7 dasys? Toronto,Ont

michael martinez

i am also a certified superintendent by hpd and have had many interviews but because of all of my qualifications no one wants to hire me .this is insane i want to work and they only want to hire inexpierence supers

Brooklyn NY super (ALL TENNANTS AND DOORMAN )

This is my first year as a superintendent .. and i gotta say.... wasnt what i expected ..ITS GREAT !! .. i worked as a carpenter and thats where i got most experience . plus my dad was a super in a huge building making 100k + .. i was also a door man in NYC .. uff hated it ! such snobby slobs !! .. anyway read some articles and must admit that there needs to be a law for SUPERS b/c the board and CEO .. can really ask what ever they want from you and you cant say NO .. im 27 and i dont think im gonna be in this building for long even though i get great pay and garage and two bedroom apartment cable electric gas .... FREEEEE ..jk i love my JOB ! :P .. p.s ,, DONT HATE THE SUPER B/C HE DRIVES A BETTER CAR !! AND HAS A HOT WIFE ;) .. ITS NOT HIS FAULT YOUR A LOOOSAA!

nyc doorman

well i have to say, there is just so much you can do when residents come to YOU and complain about problems their experiencing in their condo or that they keep calling the super/RM and get no response. I understand the stress that is put upon them and yes i got flack from being too "caring" to the residents so i decided to just to tell them to put in maintanence requests because i cant really do anything but to maybe bring it up to the maintenance supervisor. Yes doorman are treated like do-do by the super/RM at times. I am the first line of defense to the security of my building, and i dont care what anyone says, i will fight to the death is i had to -to make sure my fellow staff members and residents are safe, I work in a very "terrorist target" part of manhattan so im always on the watch and very suspicious of everything and everybody because if you give just that much--that could be your demise, I know all my residents, yes and i know enough about them to be sociable BUT i dont cross the line by talking about the super or Resident Manager because my RM treats me with respect and knows i love my job and gives me le-way to make critical decisions......Its all in the personality of a person with power, do they take their "power" for granted, yes some do, but some are humble because they've been in the very spot i am in, they've dont their time, sweat blood for loving their job!!!! To all doorman, be smart, keep your eyes and ears open, and one more thing,.......dont reveal too much, because too much information can lead to you on the unemployment line!!!!!!!!!!!!

tiki

We are in a 145 unit co-op in the suburbs . We do not have access 24/7 to a super/resident manager or porter. The House phone line provides the hours of operation and if it is an emergency or after hours, either leave a message or call the realty/management company. Is this a routine procedure?

Painting Houston

Nice article. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your articles

A real hard working individual

All these comments about supers being underpaid. I feel for you, you should be in a union, those supers get paid 100k+ to sit on their lazy asses and watch soaps all day long and then complain that they're underpaid. Oh wait maybe you're one of those too.

nu2supers

We are a small 8 unit coop in LES and looking to hire a part time porter. Duties would be taking garbage out 2x wk and 2x month sweep/mop stairs and 4 landings. Can someone tell me what the rate of pay would be. Thanks.

marcus@orcacp.com

how many buildings a superintendent should have>

Thornhill

Sofia, go work a Condo!, rental buildings are slave labour. I make $43,000.00, I have security and cleaning staff.

rocket man

The super at my building is always doing private work on company time and also uses the companies material and workers. Management or the board never says anything because he does work for them too. Also treats the workers he doesn't like very badly. He is also in 32bj and they opnly protect who they want to protect. Good workers lose their jobs and bad ones stay working.

2157 Holland Avenue/bronx ny

The super at this building sucks and is extremely nosy. instead of cleaning the building on a daily basis, especially the lobby area, he's nosying around in stuff that isn't his buiness or his job. Not to mention, new tenants have to see him to view apts available in the building and in order to get the apt he ask for a fee that amounts to the rent that the apt is going for, as if he were a real estate agent. Clearly he is a nosy super, that doesn't do his job and who also is a thief. There are many good supers out there, but this one isn't.

Estela Huayhua

Rego Park Queens. The super of Co-Ops or Condo should have some level of education at least Associate degree in Heating, Plumbing, Electronics and Construction Repair. In addition they should get training of moral values, concept of ethics and integrity. It is very frustrating leave in a place where the super is nosy, deceives, mislead the government, the employers and entire neighborhood with false accusations. Actually I leave in Co-Op building and I am continuously stalked, harrassed, and he has key of my Apt. I don't know how he got or he is a professional crook. He got in to my Apt. and he broke my TV, Fax Machine, Radio, crack the tiles in my kitchen, recently he disabled my hitter's air valve and he broke water pipe in upper floor and the water was pouring to my Apt. it damaged to window frame, cracked the wall and it damaged the wood floor. I sent a letter to the board, and management no response. Do you have any advise.

michel

where do i find the rights about how to qualify for appropriate time off after working long hours and many days. I work 9 full days before i can get 48 hours off.

Concerned Owner

The women owners in my building don't feel safe with the superintendent coming into their apartments. Is that reason enough to fire him?

JAMES HARRIS

I'D LIKE TO ADD TO THE MANY STATEMENTS I'VE READ,TO ME BEING A SUPER IS NO DOUBT A MULTI-TASKING POSITION... MORE IMPORTANTLY A SUPERINTENDENT SHOULD MAKE HIM OR HERSELF KNOWN TO EVERYONE INVOLVED WITH BUILDING.

AJ

@ Estela Huayhua Your building management/super are required to have a key to your apartment, in the event of an emergecny. However, a super or any employee should not be entry your apartment alone, and in the event of an emergency they should always notify you later of the reason for entry. Maybe your building can invest in a Key Control/entry system, that would log all entries, when a particular apartment key is withdrawn from the key box. @Thornhill: Stop whining about your pay of $43,000, you live for free. Even if your rent was a minimal of $1200 outside, you still save $14,400, not to mention Gas, electric and home phone. Add a a minimal of $20,000 to your base salary of $43, 000. That comes to $63,000. A large percentage of the Christmas gratuity is paid in cash. Do you expect me to believe that you declare that? Get a life! There are college graduates who earn less. @Rodz_pr: The laziest employee in a residential building is a doorman. What is your job? Opening doors, occassionally assisting tenants, remove luggage from their vehicles, load a card and wheel it to the elevator, hail a cab, and maybe, just maybe, sweep the entrance, and I seriously doubt that. Get real, and no just because you served a stint in the marines, does not qualify you to be a super. There is a gross difference in the pay and job descriptions of supers. in the city and the boroughs. There are crass supers., who know that they have $2 in their pockets, think they're the creme de la creme of society, and there are good supers., who know their place, humble, work well. You cannot lump them all together. Ever wonder, why there are no women supers? or even a building conciege?

gordon c gogo

i have done it all since 1996 since i retired and im still at it ,and yes we need some sort of protection to operate our position. as there is no real days off.i hve worked for the best and believe me the very low-life land-lords in hamilton

Valencia Valasprez Toronto Super

I was approached by mgmt to replace the existing longtime super and agreed. I come from a business background and came on hard times several years ago. I am female and alone and manage 40+ units by myself. The owners have their own crew who do repairs, painting, etc. I love the tenants here and am always treated with respect. They see my great effort in maintaining a nice clean place for them to live in. I view my job as customer service, no more and no less. I have my routine and am grateful for this opportunity now as I can also work from home too if I have to. My problem is not about how much I get paid (minimum wage less half if you consider the hours I put in weekly) but WHEN I get paid. Just like every other living breathing working individual, I have my family, my committments, my bills to pay etc. My rent is included as part of my salary, and the balance of the salary is supposed to be paid to me by the end of the month or beginning of the next. Having said that, since I started this job, my payday has never been consistent except for just one time. Management comes around once a week or so in their luxury SUV to pick up the $$$ I collected for them, promises to "bring my cheque the next time they come" and excuses pile upon excuses. It is very inconsiderate of them not to pay me in a timely manner. My previous job paid me by direct deposit that I could count on every second Friday. I pay all of my own utilities, PLUS a cellphone plan that I never needed before this job. The worst part is when I have to let my children down two or three weekends in a row, because the boss didn't pay me yet. I can see how I can quickly lose morale here on this job, when the management staff is always very rude with me on the phone. On top of the job duties and renting out of units, cleaning garbage, etc, I look forward to the little pay I get if not only to help out my kids. I am afraid to take a stand and ask for my pay in a timely manner, because I do not want to look pathetic as though my life depends on the $400 or so dollars they pay per month to me, however sometimes my life does depend on this, I budget for this money and then cannot meet my own committments. Any advice? Thanks.

an unknown user

Is it proper for a super to make money doing work in a residences unit while he is on the buildings payroll? Our super does it quite well as he has a house on the beach in Long Island and he is building a house in Malta on a supers salary.

Wilfredo

I,m about to become a building Super for co-op. What can a Superintendent do to maintain low cost in the expenses without compromising other issues such as union provisions for the staff.

Joe/ supper 1975-2011

I worked as a super in the upper east side for 36 years. I have to say suppers on park ave and 5th ave have it made but the rich can be nasty some times and think they know more then you when they dont. Door man were great for me I had some bad ones but say they say a pie in the face come's with the job. I had a great place with a backyard and 2 bed room. I did a lot of work on my building as it needed it . 1975-2011

an unknown user

You should come to our over paid building. THe super rarely does any work and has a two bedroom with a view. Over $100k in salary and is NEVER there on the weekends. Heres to buying a shareholder in a coop. Ridiculous Forest Hills, NY

angry tenant

I asked the super to show my friend an apartment for rent. he liked the apartment, then the super asked him for 1 month fee to get him the application. Can the super do that?

C

I enjoyed this article very much. I live in the Bronx in the Fordham Rd section and I must say my building oncec upon a time was drop dead beautiful. I am having difficulty with my Super who is lazy, disrecpectful and has put tenants lives at risk due to his unprofessionalism. We are trying to get rid of him but the landlord for some reason doen't get rid of him. What can we do?? Please help

Alban

I grew up as the son of a Superintendent. I worked as a porter, doorman, handyman, super and I have been a Resident Manager for over 17 years. I have a staff of 20 employees. In addition to that I am also a landlord. I know my job and I know this business & have been at the receiving end of every position in this industry. I am on call 24 hours a day.. You need to have nerves of steel to handle this type of business. Too much is expected of us. The luxury building I work for is a Condo in NYC. 111 units, 20 employees, I have a property manager too. 111 units 20 employees 1 property manager 130 people to answer to.. Its impossible to make them all happy.. My job description: Floor mat Engineer Electrician Plumber Environmental expert Pest expert Contractor Architect Carpenter Mind reader Psychiatrist Referee Zoo keeper And the list goes on.

The Boxer Mashkur

I work as a super, I believe that we don't get any respect because many people feel, we're uneducated. That may be true for some but not for all. I see some of the most ignorant of people in suits and ties, totally lacking common sense. The degree they have must be from a cracker jack box, or a 42nd street boot leg. I have more knowledge than most people I meet on a daily basis. No college bought education can teach you the experience and knowledge that I have. Someone made a comment about, management making a statement about living rent free, free my ass , it comes out of the salary. Imagine living out side the building, than responding to every emergency in the building? Now remember some tenants call for some stupid stuff. Now! Imagine responding for every emergency and being paid overtime to do so. Tenants keys falling in the elevator shaft, lockout, flushometer continuous flowing, blow fuse, tub shoe busted etc. Just imagine what a building would be like without the super. People would move in and out with out management knowing. The apartment can be taken over by drug dealers, prostitutes, terrorist and, or taken over by other family and friends of the former tenant. We the SUPERS are the true first responders to the city we live in. When the fire dept comes to the building or police, they don't ask for a tenant or manager they ask for the SUPER. I am SUPERMAN!

Real Building Super

i have been a building super for 3 years now and currently have 15 Licenses and 12 Ceritifications for several aspects of building operations and managae a crew of 10 for a 136 unit minimum 4 bed 2 bath residential building for a hopsital... with that being said doormen and everyone beneath the super thinks he can do the supers job because they have the time to sit behind the desk think about how he has to pay rent and how supers have it good well for all you doormen and handymen and management go and get 15 licenses and 12 certifications like i did and the non sleep i went threw with school so that you can get a supers position to prove yourself. Sit in those monthly meetings and update the President to the hospital on critical situation regarding the building your supervising and not break or studder under preassure, meet bi-weekly with property management regarding payroll and future projects, diagnose the boilers problem to get it running when hot water is needed, identify the leak or flood correctly without causing $100,000 in damage cause you guessed the wrong riser, properly coordinate the vacation and sick time and turnover of apartments with no error and the list can go on SUPERS have a TOOOOOON of responsibility that everyone else does not have and when shit goes wrong i dont see the doormen stopping the flood only mopping the flood or fixing the boiler they see the bosses and run lol that alone shows your too scared to stand up be confident in your work so you can develop the pride to give a well educated answer. SOOOOO you want to live rent free and utilities free go to school and make a decision in your life to wanting to take a more prespective and challenging role with your carrear instead of wanting to sit all day and talk too much so that you can hand out packages and hope at the end of the year you recieve cash from the tenants in the building. People only complain when they are not happy with their personal lives or want what someone else has but does not want to do what they did to get it everyone wants to just be rewarded well you know what EARN IT just dont sit go to UNION SCHOOL reap the benefits from it like i did and like most SUPERS did cause we wanted better in life SMDH. Now go give out a package and open that door. P.S. can you please wipe down the glass doors thank you. Now if you dont like that well i guess you need to do exactly what i mentioned above and become something not a well dressed U.P.S doormen.

lady

I have worked for the building for 13 years with my husband. First, I worked for 5 years. Then, I was forced to switch with my husband. When we first started this building was a mess. It was filthy, dirty and destroyed. We worked really hard to make it comfortable and live able for us and t he tenants. Now that my husband died I am asked to leave in a month or two. The management knows that I can handle the building. When my husband was pronounce brain dead The manager said " take care of your family and we will work something out" do not worry. Two weeks later i am bombarded with I need the apartment you need to go. I learned to do maintenance work, do the compact, garbage, check the oil, learned basic electricity and basic plumbing. I have worked hard. when there is a good super people do not know how to appreciate them. I am looking for another building superintendent job.

President

Our super does everything, but he is one of the biggest gossipers. He's also on our board. He's not the best, but he does genuinely care about the building. He never allows us to give him a raise. How much should a super be paid if they live on site and manage a residence of 16 units? Minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. He deals with the boiler, basement, general repairs, garbage, going to court to fight violations... I'm afraid to get in trouble for underpaying him, but he wants his wages to stay the stay which is under $250 a month.

Mr. Green

It is with all due respect to some that have commented on this article. If you dont have the writing skills necessary to convey your thoughts, frustrations and what ever else bothers you, please learn how to write properly so that we can read with out strain or confusion. A real superintendent does not bragg about about licenses or certificates. A certificate of fitness from the fire dept is not a license! A certificate only proves that you took a course. It is what you do that defines you. Allow others to compliment your knowledge and skills. You are expected to do your job and respected when you do it well. If you have a staff that is laxed,disrespectful, insubordinate and suspected of stealing, than you have have failed to establish respect. Perhaps you need a different approach. Consult with the RAB and they will back you! One more thing a resident manager or superintendent that truly believes they get a "free" apartment think again? That apartment is considered part of your salary. It is an expense to your land lord or the Coop. It is not free! I am a resident manager of 400 plus unit coop near china town. I appreciate my apartment everyday, fully aware that i have earned the right to occupy it,

Lady Litigator

In Westchester would a co-op ever be allowed to replace f/t live-in super with a p/t off-premises super? It's a 5 bldg complex with 84 unit. Board sounds crazy, I know! but can you cite me contract provision for them. Thanks.

Edel Management Property - 6555 broadway bronx ny

Similar to the comment above, the administrator and super of this building is never around. He/She takes bribes from residents and uses empty units to allow people in the building who are legal residents; this puts the real residents in danger of rape, drug trafficking, prostitution and other malice. You see all kinds of furniture and things moved into and out of the building at odd hours and by creepy people. The cleanliness of the building is minimal and his/her appearance is even less. .I'ts a fine mess and the owners out in Brooklyn, New York aren't even aware of it. They claim to have building cameras but they don't and cars are parked inside the garage and premises when they don't belong to residents. It's a mess and more importantly, a large safety issue especially when children, elderly and others live in these premises. No one wants to say anything because the super is "insider jobs" connected all the way including the administration that approves the candidates. It's good place but it's badly managed and it's got its own mafia deal inside.

A Night Shift Doorman

I am a full time night doorman. i have worked as a porter,and a concierge. Im am union and i want to start getting my certificates and licenses to become a super.. the super i work for, dose not do much and he is always very nasty to the staff and there is never a day when he is in a good mood. Alot of guys are always complaining and talking to the tenants about this and that behind the supers back... Not me..I come to work, do my job, collect my check and keep my mouth shut. hopefully one day when i become a super i will be able to communicate with my staff and form a team work ethic to benefit the tenants and building we work for...Theres No I in TEAM.....BTW im only 21yrs old

Cannuck Super

Very interesting site. I work hard as a super, and have to put up with nasty tenants and management. I feel I have very little job security due to the control the manager has over the board. Also, I know of supers who are no better at their job than I am and get paid a lot more. To anyone in Ontario who are concerned about lack of job security, unfair wages or other issues I would like to contact you. We could possibly pass on better job opportunities, support each other and what not. Who knows maybe we could have a union some day!

anonymous

This is the best of all the stories Ive heard, we have no super, but we are supposed to. This super we had/have did nothing, he drives a mercedes, has 2 other businesses, and is the worst super i have ever seen or had in any place ive ever lived. He does nothing, and when he does, which is not usually he makes the problem worse and wants money for everything even if its to fix tiles after he breaks them 2 times for not putting in pipes right. He is not licensed and maybe calls back after you call the mgmt about 5 times and sometimes he calls you maybe a week later. He is the worst..and, now he has so called injured himself on the job which no one believes because no one saw it and is living rent free in an apt for 4 months on disability...we dont have a super at all now..the super we had as a temp super quit. Talk about mis-management..+ they were getting ready to fire him right before he got so called hurt. Now i heard hes going to stay on as super when and if he ever gets better.. I also heard the super before him got hurt also in the same area..how strange is that??? I've had great supers and not so great supers in my lifetime living in NYC, but this one really takes the cake. They need to pass some laws in NYC RE Co-Ops and it seems everything is corrupt here..your better off as a renter. There are no laws for supers, or co-ops in ny..it used to be the slumlords back in the 70's now its the Co-Ops which are worse because there arent any laws at all for them-they can get away with anything..

Mucho Trabajo Poco Dinero

I am not surprised by any of the comments. The owners squeeze as much revenue as they can from the building(s) they own while the super and doorman are left holding the bag. Unfortunately, that sets up a situation for infighting. All of that said, if it weren't for the resourcefulness of the average person, a super's gig would be untenable. While I am not sure about other parts of the country, NYC allows for a super to hustle which makes her/his life manageable. Overall, the article and comments have given me pause in considering a career as a super. Thanks Ms. Dershowitz for writing this article.

Neslos

i have been a superintent over 22 years nonunion and union and still employed as a super, before all i live in this building i want it as clean and updated as my tenants expect it. My tenants respect me as i due them, we more like a big family helping one another to make our building safe, comfortable and up to date, of course my boss is a reasonable person to work. KEY TO BEING EMPLOYED SO MANY YEARS : trust, honesty, respect and keeping your word to tenants as well as to the boss

Joe NYC

I don't know where to start. You can make an argument that some Supers take complete advantage of their situation and are in fact lazy, and unresponsive.. It's wrong to assume that it is as rampant a problem, as some people that have commented here state. Now, I stumbled across this post because I was trying to find out what a suitable raise would be for myself being that I am a Super for two small walkups. One is 6 units, one is 12 with 4 stores total. I get paid $200 per week gross to sweep, mop, clean all the glass, maintain the exhaust systems, boiler, pumps. I am responsible to coordinate moveins and moveouts, I conduct walkthroughs, make all necessary repairs such as leaks, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing and structural issues. I am also a Handyman in a luxury high-rise consisting of 300+ rental units and a string of businesses that are apart of the building. Now I can tell all of you that my boss (the resident manager) is driven to the ground by management. Between regular turnover, overseeing and directing a staff so that turnover is seamless, dealing with every problem imaginable. A day in the life of my boss starts at 7am. First thing you do as him is wake up. He walks the grounds roof to sidewalk. Checks the system to see if anyone called out so he can arrange someone else to fill empty spot. He directs the porters where they need to go so apartments can be cleaned, the building can stay clean, etc.. In the meantime he is stopped by doormen/porters/concierges and hit with however many problems they all memorized to tell him about (300units). In between all of that he is stopped incessantly by all the tenants he sees throughout the day because they all know who the Super is. He was the person that handed the keys over to each resident, showed them how to use their security system and intercoms, and answered any other questions they may have had when they moved in. At the same time, he is required to make sure he schedules everything accordingly and in a timely matter so that it all works out seamlessly. Examples for a daily list of worries include ordering supplies, which also includes constantly doing inventory checks, scheduling contractors for complete renos on empties, modling replacement, floormen, glaziers, window washers, boiler maintenance, exhaust systems, cooling systems, leaks.. Some leaks can be found immediately, some can take days... Its not an exact science... Then you have to deal with adjusters if there is enough damage to a tenants apartment... Mold, dust, complaints of people smoking pot, a light bulb being out somewhere.. Drafty windows, messed up blinds that need replacing, fridges that start feezing up, dishwashers that arent washing peoples dishes properly, closet doors that dont open correctly, people getting locked out, people getting locked in... packages missing, dealing with tenants who never give access for repairs, but continue to complain about a slew of supposed issues they may have. Tenants complaining that rent is too much, threatening you, screaming etc... Having to deal with rental agents that maybe promise too much to prospective renters, just to get them in... Gas smells, gas leaks, policemen, firemen, inspectors, paperwork, staying ontop of this paperwork... many a different regulations that have to be checked on so the landlord doesnt get heavily fined, ranging from garbage to making sure every door in the building closes properly in case of fires... The sprinkler systems, alarms, having to go to school to renew certain certificates or licenses... Psychologist to the entire building, referee to immature staff members, motivator to lazy staff members... Payroll, holidays, surprise floods in the middle of the night accompanied by lockouts @ the same time.. Do I need to mention anything more?? I mean, you really need to know what being a super takes and all the different hats you have to wear to be a good one... My boss Im sure from time to time stops and says to himself... "When did I become a dog sitter?" "when did i become some ones personal bitch to go see if they left a curling iron on or a window open?" It does not end. Whatever you can come up with, a Super does it period. No sleep, overworked, almost abusive conditions... That is why the super gets a free apartment and in some cases doesnt. That is why a super gets paid 100k plus in NEW YORK CITY.. NYC is a different animal altogether when it comes to this position. Resident managers here should get paind 250k a year for highrise rentals with 400 or more units. The funny part as, as much as the Super does have to deal with this... Me, as a Handyman deals with a healthy portion of all the supers angst. We wear almost all of the same hats, a good handyman does it all and takes on more in hopes of getting the experience needed to survive in the field as a super one day or a managing director or whatever else... It is a really difficult field... The next time you get angry at your super for forgetting to give you that 1 hour OT you worked or for not plunging your toilet like you asked him too and he promised to do... Please think about being nasty to him, or giving him hell for a clogged toilet or a lost hour of OT that can always be given on the next check. Its no wonder supers dont die in 5 years because of everything endured on a daily basis. Then at the end of the day @ 5pm... He gets to process everything that has happened, everything that still needs to get done, and hope that he can rest his mind before the next day, and hope that he doesnt get woken up for a lockout or a leak. The best part is that this process is repetitive and neverending. We value our coffee breaks, even if we only get to drink half. We value our days off... You better believe we take the back stairwells out of the building on our days off just not to get stopped by a tenant who wants nothing to do more than complain or ask for a favor and detain you for 15 minutes or longer when you just wanted to run to the supermarket for eggs so that you can have breakfast with your family... No a super is lazy and does nothing... You have no idea, and if you dont... Please dont even comment.

Done it all and am trying to do more

I started out as a part time doorman, became a full time doorman, then became the porter and, in a different building, I was a super in queens for a 91 unit condo. I can say this with certainty. If you are a good super then the building will benefit from it. If you are a bad super then your building is going to feel it one way or another. I have many certifications, plumbing, carpentry, electrical, boiler cetifications, etc., that I attained while working as a doorman. I also worked fulltime in construction for a general contractor working with many different tradesmen ( worked both jobs simultaneously, bills to pay). I picked up a lot of skills along the way. I also went to college and got an associates degree and I am only about 15 credits shy of getting my BA. And in the end, all of that does nothing for me or the building I work for if none of it is utilized properly. I have pretty good people skills, or so I have been told. I work very well with just about everyone but there is alway going to be that one person who thinks they know everything. My super in the last building I worked for only got his job because the management convinced the board to get rid of the old super. Because the old super followed chain of command and had to keep going to the board because management kept screwing up and they were still new to the building and didn't want to keep looking bad. However, they hired this dumbell to replace a very knowlegdable and very beloved super. Yeah the new super had some tangible skills but clearly lacked people skills and would lie to resident without hesitation to cover what he didnt kno, which. People began to mistrust him fairly quickly but management protected him because they brought him in.He once lied and told the board that I allowed someone in the buildingby giving them a key to an apt that he actuallygave that person the key. He told the board he wasnt in the building at the time. He eventually got caught but wasn't even repremanded. How does a loyal, hardworking honest, responsible staff member compete with that. I did a lot of side work for more than half the residents of this building, including board members, (never on company time though), and the super was jealous of that. I even had a board member ask me to do work for him right in front of the super. When you work in a building long enough you get to know the people as the people usually get to know you. So when a resident asks a doorman for advice about something or to help in some way why should they, as some super put it, keep their mouth shut. The residents often become like family. Would you suggest to someone not to help or talk to their family. I don't believe that a doorman should keep their moth shut simply because they are "just" a doorma because sometimes. like in my situation,the doorman does know more than the super. I believe that every staff member should mind what it is exactly that you say. If the super is no good to the residents why should the doorman stay quiet and hide it if he/she is knowledgable enough to help out where the super can't, or worse, won't.There is no denying that a super's job is very demanding, but there is also no denying that being a super has its perks. The point is that what is in the best interest of the job should always come first. It's up to the people who do the job to figure out exactly what that is. No super is better than any doorman and vice versa. The doorman can make the super look bad by doing a bad job and the super can make the doorman look bad by lying to cover him/herself. If the super is lazy or picks and chooses what he/she does then he/she shouldn't feel bad when a staff member says something to a tenant to be helpfull, even if it's not in the best interest of the super because the reality is, the super put themslef in that position in the first place. Again, bottom line is if you are good at what you do, what ever the position is, then you shouldn't worry about what others say. And if you are no good at what you do and it affects your job then don't get mad when someonebelow you steps up to correct what you can't.

anonymous

looking for justice i have nothing say i was hired as a super a live in superintendent i move and that day my boss want me to start work right away. when i start working of the former super's mess i have to organize everything my boss is pushing me to do this and do that after my two weeks work to this company, my boss fire me for no reason and i was beg her that if i have a mistake tell me i will correct it that way we can get a long as her saying she fire me because we dont get along. and i realized that she has no second chance. i did evrything i can to make the building good and organize but she fire me. and most hurt in my part, is she dont even give me a chance to find another place after i put everything all my stuff in my apartment do you she is fair? please i need your help if somebody can help me to find somebody to give me justice i 3 more days to stay in this building and i have no place to go i just finish unpacking now i will pack again to move out this place i need somebody to give me justice.

Fedup

The Super in my building is an incompetent crook, self serving, disrespectful piece poor excuse for a human. Most of the residents of the building want him out and have filed complaints with management, however nothing has been done. We have organized a tenant's association to try to remove him. Our next step is a petition, any advice?? Thanks!!

an unknown user

wow! I've read all the comments posted and i can't believe that grown people wrote them. the retired marine officer, really, with that spelling and grammar, well, I guess you don't need to know that stuff to kill, right? and the rest of you--go back to school.

anonymous

Wonderful comments by MOST all. It's very difficult to turn around a union Supt. who has gotton away with doing nothing for far too many years. But.. we must start the dicipline process and bring the union rep. from the very beginning. Getting rid of deadbeats can be done, very time consuming and costly. Let's all be pro active and get them to give us a day's work for a day's pay.

stinker

the super in my building is apparently disabled so has his friend/cousin take care of his daily duties while he apparently sits around inside his free apartment chain smoking cigarettes all day. the hallway outside his door reeks of old stale smoke which permeates through the common space. it seems so strange that the board would allow this situation to go on, considering the building is short of cash and needs repair.

jasmin

Well hello everyone. I am the angry wife of a super. We have been living in this luxury apartment for going on 3 years. My husband does everything from cleaning to fixing plumbing and electrical work in the building. The building consists of 30 apartments. My rent is 2290.00 a month and my landlord gives us a discount of 400.00 a month for his work. Now the people that live in our building call us at even 3 in the morning with problems and without any hesitation my husband goes and does his job. Now this is the other problem my husband lost his other job several months ago and now we rarely can pay the rent. my landlord is forcing us to hurry and leave the apartment but wants my husband to continue being the super. isnt that some #$%. Everyone in the building says we should be living rent free. This is so unexceptable. ughhh... If any one has any feedback please do

I love my job

I have tried to read each and every article on this blog. I read comments from a variety of individuals from building employees to building residents. Some are credible and interesting topics, other are venting for all the wrong reasons, mostly personal grudges. I have been in this industry for the past 27 years. I have worked in 8 different buildings during that time, and have experienced just about everything that I have read on this blog. The bottom line is wether you are a doorman, concierge, porter, superintendent, or resident manager, we all have choices, and it's up to each of us to make positive changes in our carrears by furthering yourself in whatever field or proffesion you may find yourself in. We need to think positive and move on, rather than complaint and bad mouth your coworkers or supervisors. If you don't like it get on with your life, and stop BITCHING....Thank you.

Turin House

Our Super is dishonest, over spends, uses his friends for contractor jobs, charges resident for installing a/c's, fixing faucets, installing new lights etc. and charges the shareholder and pockets the money and still looks for tips at the end of the year. On top of it he calls himself resident manager which violates our contract with the union.

Another Ontario Super

Please brace for the following long post...I swear its informative and worth reading if you're a super (from Canada because then we can better relate) you may find it interesting to compare. I am a 33 year old woman who has been a Super for the last 17 months. While I'm new to the field so to speak, I am no stranger to the going's on of the Corporation. Thankfully, I love my management team for the most part but they do have their days and those days, every time, I want to quit my job. It's almost like since there is nothing going on (my complex is commonly referred to as boring by the managers and board) they pick things to "go on". It's extremely frustrating when this happens because I do a fantastic job around here (I say that without ego, I'm just confident that I do a good job). My ass is worked off Monday to Friday...while being readily available EVERYDAY/EVERY HOUR. I have a set amount of hours that I get paid for and to me that seems odd given that my job is really 24/7! Those hours total 30...that's right, 30. So I'm paid for 60 hours every two weeks. Great right? Only have to work 60 hours? BULL!!! I only "manage" a 52 unit complex...not 90 and more like some of you...but my workload is ridiculous for the hours and pay that I receive. Like most of you, I do not do any in unit jobs except for the annual fire alarm test, in which case I enter all units, with our security company and inspect all smoke alarms...replacing what needs it. However, my duties include and are certainly not limited to, sweeping daily, mopping twice a week (or when needed...in the winter, that's a lot), washing glass on all common doors daily, vacuuming daily, clean laundry room once a week but tidy it daily, cleaning the banisters, cleaning the stairs (4 flights) by hand once a week, dusting of light fixtures once a week...you get the drift...I keep the building spic and span and I most certainly left duties out that I'm not thinking of right now. Then there is the "keep an eye out for" things. I do a daily walkaround of the property and once a week I do a thorough walk through. I need to be conscious of exit sign bulbs being burnt, ceiling tiles that may need replacing, other bulbs being burnt...etc...most of you get the point :) I also do all of the painting of the common elements. My job description states "touch ups" but God knows I full out paint unit doors and frames...the railings...the hallways...the windowsills...etc...So that takes care of the building maintenance. Keep in mind that where I manage, the building has 21 units and is technically three floors (the 2nd only has the office and boiler/furnace room). The rest of the units consist of 3 story townhomes (the complex was converted into a condominium corporation). So EVERYTHING that is common elements is taken care of by me. For example...the garbage dumpsters. We have 2 big ones that are most often "dumped" in from people who don't live here PLUS the residents garbage. So by the time 3 days before garbage rolls around I am constantly dealing with disgusting garbage and in the summer that is killer. I have seen the grossest and most inhumane things whilst doing this job so nothing at this point surprises me. I'd tell you about that but that's a whole other topic. I plant and manicure 3 gardens, one of them being about 30 feet long (I HATE GARDENING!!!) I have quite a lawn here to cut...with a rider and a push it takes about 10 hours to cut...plus weed whacking...blowing pathways and patios clean...raking leaves day after day in the fall...cleaning up pinecones so that I don't send them flying into cars or passersby...the lawn care, in itself is a full time job. Then comes winter and guess what??? I HAVE to make sure that all pathways and walkways leading up to units are shoveled by 7am at the latest. Sometimes I'd go out when my husband leaves for work at 5 and get it done then but by 7 it has to be done again. I am in shape but I can assure you all that shoveling as much snow as is what is expected of me, is almost inhumane. The pathways are expected to be cleared at all times so sometimes I'm out shoveling, literally, all day long and I'm still not getting it all done up to par because it is physically impossible. On top of the snow...is the freezing rain which assaulted us Ontario folk last year like absolute crazy...so with every shoveling came a dose of salt (and just salting on those days of no snow but freezing temps and still water). On a bad day I go through about 10 big bags of salt. Just for an example of how much salting I did...it cost over $3000 just for the product. On top of all that I obviously have an amazing rapport with my tenants, all of which I know and respect and treat equally. I also do the ordinary meeting with contractors and whatnot. We have a handyman but he is hired by the management team, not the corporation and he only does unit work, unless I need his assistance. I'm sure that there is more and more and more that I could say (I really wish there was a facebook page for Canadian Superintendents) but the point is that, from my own personal experience, I AM in fact overworked and WAY underpaid. I know most of us feel that way but seriously. I ONLY get paid for 30 hours a week...I know, because I've kept a log of my hours, that I do anywhere from 32 to 36 hours a week. Those extra hours are totally and completely unpaid and then there are the things that "come up" outside of those paid hours. I really really can't win for losing. Just to add...I don't live rent free (or even have a rental discount) I pay $855 (which is on the high end for where I live) plus hydro, cable, phone, etc...I have my own cell phone that I use and I haven't seen any money towards it yet so I'm not going to say that they contribute to the bill. SO, although I know I left out a few things, that about sums it up for me. I'm sorry that its terribly long but I wanted you all to get the best idea of what I do as possilbe. Basically I am a cleaner, landscaper, counselor, mediator, painter, parking deputy (don't laugh...they've switched to assigned parking and suddenly, without a pay raise, I am a giver of tickets and the caller of the tow truck...I HATE that), tree trimmer, etc........... Thanks so much for taking the time to read my comment...I really hope that someone from Ontario, or even Canada will comment back and we can start something together that will help bring fairness to all of us hardworking Superintendents!!!

Urban American Management

A good super is hard to find.

Ont. Super

To Another Ontario Super: If your OK with leaving some way to contact you(email) in as post I will check back here and get in touch with you.

Cannuck Super

Another Ontario Super...Please leave someway for me to contact you.

Disappointed Doorman

I[d like to add a few lines .1rst.. thank for allowing us to express ourselves on this column. I'd like to point out that when It comes to a Failing employee by errors or lack of better Judgment the Supper is always there to address the situation and mediate but what happens when is the super intendant who's failing ?? who's there to observe ,regulate ,discipline or back up the employees ..I'm my case I've seen situations where clearly the supper lack of judgment . has created a hostile environment to the point of not taking responsibility of his action ,and blame either the doorman or hall person for failing to report or take action while He is nowhere to be found.. who's there to supervise on the on goings of the supper ,when he is clearly not being fair to the rest of the staff ,where can a employee complaint about a hostile environment where our union delegates at 32bj instead of mediate on the problem dismiss or rest credit on the employees claims based on the sole conversation with the supper, without proof .A supper can claim anything and most of the time add up ,miss present, LIES,RETALIATES in order to demonstrate his almighty will power. and often would held the board, management , and employees hostages if his demand are not meet to the point of saying "I'D RATHER LEAVE '' than for my wished or suggestions not to be taken seriously .. where does management draws the line when a super is not being fair ,and DUMPS the blame for his short comings on his staff.... thank you..

Chris

"He's to be listened to and respected for his knowledge and the contribution he makes to the building. Take him seriously and take good care of him. He's a very valuable resource, and good superintendents are not easy to come by." A great line - shame most of us are neither listened to nor respected by self serving board members, more interested in their own apartment issues instead of long term improvements to the building and its common elements. And as for being taken care of - no raises in 4 years and the board deliberating on whether they can actually pay even less to the guy who is there for you pretty much 24/7.

150 Bagot St, Guelph On

Supt is dishonest. why he hired janitor ? he gave him reduce $ 300.oo dollars off per month and make false janitor's receipt rent $ 900. to ontario work. and also Ministry labor doesnt know about it. That's illegal. I told ontario work and police all times. They doesn't care. Who owner always make mistake our rent budget all times. Supt and janitor alway drank coffees from Tim hortons 4 times, every day. They spend $ 350. per month. where money from ? I can't understand it..

eddie

I have been a super in a resident building for the past 25 years and im am not in the union. my boss had sold the building. Some one else bought the building, and after a month of new ownership, the new owner told me i will not be his employee for no reason what so ever. Has anyone been in the same situation before? and what should i do? Thank You.

Living in NYC

Our building has a super who does not supervise the staff. In the last few months our building on East 57th Street has become dirty and dusty. The same board has been in place for so many terms (years) that they will die as board members. Additionally they worship the super who works only for them. It's too bad 32BJ union has no power to control this. The only power they have is to get these incompetent workers more money.

johnjohn

super in east 12th street building in manhattan is abusive, rude, and always has his hand out to get monies from contractors working in the building. board does nothing! maybe the guy is in cohorts with the building managing agent. very suspicious...

With love from NYC

Superintendent is the sort of job people take when they have realized they don't have the skills or ability to handle a real profession. Once they settle in to that free apartment that's when the abuse begins. They get treated like slaves and their contract allows for any unspecific work task. By then, their salary is so low they can't find a job anywhere that will qualify them to rent. Worse yet they can't afford to ever retire. Many supers in NYC sadly end up in homeless shelters or drug rehabs. It's a type of job you must avoid like the bird flu.

Luis Reyes

Am not a super,but I have been a porter for residential buildings,and I'am very familiar with the politics of maintenance.To be a Super,you need to be patience,dont let everyone get on your case,you know ,your job,,but being a Super in a rental building is tough,worse in condo/co-op.If I were to be a super,It might as well be a small building,,but that is far from me becoming one anytime soon.

an unknown user

My husband and I are building managers. We took on this job as a semi retirement. We really enjoy managing our building and the tenants enjoy having us around. We look after them in all ways - sometimes even in personal issues they ask us advice about. We have quite a tight community in our building. To say that a superintendent job is for thoose who have no skills is very disrespecdtful. My husband is a retired engineer and I have a masters in business. We have managed buildings for 15 years and all the buildings we took on have become profitable and respectable. I take offense to the suggestion that "With love from NYC" suggests that all superintendents are imbeciles, lazy and dishonest. It is very unfortunate that people like you have such a disgusting attitude. We have a medium sized building where all the tenants are hardworking professionals who recognize that we are instrumental in making the building a home for them. We do know that there are those supers who are rude and lazy, but please do not paint all with the same brush!! My husband and I already have to fight the stereo-typing. Chris, thank you for your vote of confidence. For those out there with a similar attitude as that of "With love from NYC", please remember that there are "supers" that work hard and that care.

Amazed

Our super/resident mgr thinks henis an exective and wont get hus hands dirty. He wears a suit and tie pretending to be the Property mgr who we also have. He does not have skills for organizing nor management of staff. He doesnt even inspect to keep it clean . Yet he makes over $100, 000 plus 2 bedroom luxury apt in one of top condos in nyc. So overpaid.

Oscar

I am a Super. Have been for the past 5 years, but for 22 years prior, I was porter and doorman. Even though I have to be available 24/7, I rarely am needed, my staff is quite good. Fortunately there haven't been many emergencies on my watch. My employer is a Condo, so most of the "complaints" or work orders involve outside contractors (plumber, electrician, etc.), and quite honestly I have time on my hands and the means to enjoy life now, as opposed to when I was manning the door or cleaning. That was not fun. Doormen and Porters have a rough job, harder than mine I assure you; but with less responsibility. If your Board and Management get along with you, You're in super-heaven. I am.

ANONY.!

*Sighing* Where do I start? Let's try like this... I am a Handyman for a 300+ unit luxury rental. I've worked my way up for the past 11 years and attend union courses and have outline specific college courses I can take to help accelerate my continued growth. So, I worked my way up, what does that entail? Well I've worked as a porter, concierge, doorman, lobby man, freight elevator operator, handyman and as a super. To what degree in each area you might ask? Well for Coops, condos, commercial, and residential settings. I have worked every shift imaginable for sustained periods of time. It is true I started straight out of high school whilst attending college and inevitably decided to stick to the field because my talents/personality/demeanor seemed to be a perfect fit for this industry. I work on the Upper East Side of NYC, which is home to some of the most frantic, obsessive, patronizing, know-it-all, demanding and paranoid group of people I have ever been blessed to serve. With all of that said I think I can add some valuable thoughts to ponder about what a manager, super or handyman deal with day to day without going too far into detail, and maybe my opinions and descriptions might resonate a little clearer than some other people that have commented, and I mean no disrespect. It's only that I've read close to all of the comments associated with this thread. A porters duty is to clean and maintain the visible health of the building under proper guidance from the handymen (if they exist within the staff) and the super. They should have a maintenance checklist to look to and if they do not, they should be reporting to the Super or Handyman @ the start of their shift as to what the days work shall be. They do not take orders from anyone besides the Handyman or the Super. If tenants request assistance or help, they should try, within reason. If they are not sure about helping the tenant, they should seek out the super before they do, or politely decline. The same goes for Doormen. They are required to open doors and that is it. You are allowed to be social because it is a social job, within reason. Whether you know whats happening in the building, or think you know whats happening in a building. You should not offer opinions, or opinions that you may divulge as facts to anyone. You are a doorman. You are working as part of a team. If there is anything building related that the tenants should know about, memos are usually dispersed, and sometimes doorman and concierges are given information to share with tenants who might be inquiring about something, such as a water shut down for emergencies or scheduled repairs. Concierges should also take an even more disciplined approach to how they conduct their business throughout the day, more so than their counter-parts. Take calls, messages, learn to trust your own judgements in when to urgently call the Super and when to just take a message. I tell my men when I anticipate vendors being in the building or phonecalls I may be waiting for at the beginning of each work day, and aside from who I mention that they should just take messages and hand them to me when I'm seen. The staff needs to understand that they are not in charge, and should not let tips they receive from tenants dictate how damaging they are towards their position and the positions of their coworkers. I regularly declined tips working at each level within the industry for reasons I am sharing. Good tenants will not force you into bad situations, nor should you let selfish tenants dictate what you do and how you do it. I read a comment of a Super who worked in a 360 unit building and I can completely relate. It's difficult to maintain a happy tenant who demands the world from their buildings workers when you are dealing with an emergency plumbing repair, have to babysit a vendor in an apartment where the tenant has not made themselves available, as well as installing new appliances for multiple apartments that are rented painfully close together, juggling vendors, while being called by the rental office over the radio to voice a displeasure or a change in a plan, while on an elevator full of tenants, one of which always turns to inquire about a project they need you or your advice on.. Incessant calls from management to check on projects that directly correlate with their bonuses year-end. Or just to see that you've got everything handled so that they may take a longer lunch or leave for home a bit sooner. I'm not just ranting I'm really not. This sort of thing happens all too often, with a million different variations. Not a day is ever the same as the next. Smaller buildings can have down days. You are lucky to have a down day in a high-rise such as the one I'm in and is prevalent in many many cities around the world. Now, just throw in a couple of people calling in sick, a random visit from an inspector, maybe a malfunction of a sump pump, a ghost leak that out of no where is suddenly affecting 4 apartments, blistering the floorboards, frantic tenants screaming bloody MOLD.. I mean it's a very interesting and entertaining industry to work in and if you have the right attitude and a get it done mentality, it can be rewarding and fun, no matter the stress. It catches up to you though if you are not mentally tough, or unable to adapt quickly and on the fly. Priorities change by the minute! All that said, no incentives in many buildings for staff, meager wages, and sometimes back breaking work makes it hard to keep a staff optimistic. Especially when most encounters are negative, or patronizing. Paid slave labor, it seems sometimes. Yes the union is good, yes the union is bad. It can promote lazy workers, which only makes a Supers life only more difficult. The politics involved rival government politicians, I can promise you that. The union also protects workers in many many ways. If no union existed, a tenant can decide to take interest in getting a worker fired, and it happens more than you think in non union positions. A fly by night tenant can get someone fired, over nothing. Someone who decided that because so and so never does me any personal favors and takes offense that they can not control another human being with money or persuasion can have someone fired. Unions are not without their flaws but its a work in progress as is a building. Next time you see your super, handyman, doorman or any other employee just say thank you, for no reason at all and watch them light up. Just think how you'd feel if someone at your place of work showed appreciation. Not daily, just once. Same goes for staff, just say thank you to one another, don't undermine each other. It's a rocky, rocky, and tumultuous environment to work in because it's a place people call home, where people want to keep their families safe. Everyone should be considerate to one another. I said more than I wanted but I'm sure it will resonate. One more thing before I end this statement. 2014 is completely different time than 1994. Amazon, ebay, online shopping, grocery deliveries, have contributed to exponentially more garbage than ever within city dwellings and unfortunately most companies have not hired extra help and its a shame for those working those compactor rooms. All I ask is please be considerate to them. Break down boxes, double bag trash if needed. It is a very very demanding position to be in. Thank you.

Complain ha

OK last guy you killed it my man you spoke how it is good job. let me just see here hmmmm, SO you as a Superintendent on Co-Op/Condo don't pay rent,electric bill,cell phone,parking garage,and make 100k a year and i see complaining that they bother you for this and that. just so you know people pay 10k for a job like that. so shush it and

Joblow

How much should a union super make . 3 building 480 units? Obviously lives in one of the buildings .oh , it's in the bronx.

AfraidOfMySuper

A super whose position provides an apartment ... that apartment is not free. That apartment is paid for by the owners, shareholders or tenants of the building These same people also pay the super's salary either through their rent or maintenance fees.. It amazes me that so few superintendents understand that in a building with no occupants they have no pay. The super in my building is part of what is fortunately now becoming a dying breed ... the old school super who worked with the landlord to make a tenant's day to day unpleasant so that the tenants would move sooner rather than later and the landlord could then raise the rent. With all regulations gone, and the cost of renting and owning so high, owners and tenants desire higher levels of service ... The young supers I am now meeting are a total breath of fresh air. Educated, articulate, as well as technically knowledgeable. The union should be addressing these issues for older supers with education so that those supers who stand behind the adage that it is impossible to teach an old dog new tricks is a fast track to retirement. More to say but will leave it there. Yes, these are very difficult jobs .. but what job isn't difficult these days?

Superintendent

The employees are most important in the building, How ever there are many supers that are lacking leadership cocky and great actors, they make a great performance on the interview and to board members, although they treat there staff with no respect. superintendent and staff are a team although the superintendent is the leader he should have great respect for the staff I have your back and you have mine, as for the board members some make the superintendents and the staffs job harder then it should be, some board members have this idea that there title gives them the right to be a BOSS and there authority gets the best of them. OK your a board member what did you do before that? Delivered mail? Teacher? You have no idea what is takes to run a building although you micro manage the super and staff and make a person miserable at work in your HOME. respect the people that work in your home. other problem areas are the manager or management they might put a manager there that has no idea what he is doing sure you have college degree but can you replace a toilet ? or calibrate the AC system? $250,000 unit as much as you paid for your college education no the superintendent knows how and the staff does. the problem is favors and money people buy there jobs and put managers there to hire there own contractors for kick backs. the problem goes from the bottom to the top every building has a weak link to make you building efficient you have to find the weakest link and NICELY change it out

Unosay

I have read the comments and found them interesting. However what shareholders do when the property manager on site and the board vice president is the parent's of the super? The property has gone to the dogs because no one is accountable and the vp was the former super. The property was cleaner and well maintained under the father.

jimmy

I am what they call a work out super don't get an apartment should I be getting rent money as I don't live IN THE building no phne or electric any body have a taught on that Ihave 90 apts make 22$ an hour

an unknown user

to nycsuper You must feel insecure of your role as a super. And probably one of them that Paid to get hire as a super. Doorman Like My self provide services to the tenants with out saying a word, What tenants see in a super they relay it to the doorman. That is much more dependable then the Super. Therefore if you made your self more noticeable to the tenants you would be more noticeable then your doorman shit head. When tenants complaint to th doorman about the Super is because the Super have no knowledge in his role as a superintendent. It is his responsibility to show and tell and not the doorman. Yes I keep my mouth shut and support the mediocre super I work for, and on the contrary he is a two face and fears the board members. On the other hand I fear no one. and that is I because I learned that your fears are your worst enemy. Conquer your fears and you conquer your enemy. I must think that you are a weak Super if you fear the doormats that work for you turkey.


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