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Management/Board Relations

By W.B. King

Normally, a co-op, condo, or HOA management team is well-equipped to handle a wide variety of day-to-day matters, like leaky roofs and faulty garbage disposals. There are other bigger issues—such as embezzlement and fraud—that require outside professionals well-versed in traversing these specific problems. Read More

Homesharing in Co-ops & Condos

By Danielle Braff

The media and political buzz surrounding so-called 'homeshare' or 'short-term rental' websites (primarily Airbnb, but also other similar services like and, just to name two) has been on the upswing over the last year or so. It sounds like a perfect arrangement; You go on vacation, and rent out your home while you’re gone—you get a house sitter who pays real money, instead of the other way round. Read More

Tales From the Dark Side

By Greg Olear

Most condo/HOA boards are made up of ordinary, well-meaning folks who volunteer for the relatively thankless job of running their association. They donate their time, expertise, and effort to make their community as functional, solvent, and harmonious as possible. Read More

Us Against...Us?

By W.B. King

While the exception rather than the rule, boards can run afoul leading an association into troubled waters. In some cases, certain rules are enforced over others or community funds are simply mishandled. And in other instances, trusted advice from the property’s managing agent or legal counsel is ignored completely. Read More

Pets or Pests?

By Danielle Braff

Whether they consider themselves dog people, cat people or exotic bird people, many New York City residents own companion animals. New Yorkers may love their furry or fine-feathered friends but not all association boards and managers are quite as enthused about pets. Read More

Keeping Up in a Competitive Management Market

By Jonathan Barnes

As the co-op/condo market continues to heal after the setback it experienced during the most recent financial crisis of the mid-aughts, many management firms and independent property managers are looking for ways to distinguish themselves from their colleagues and stand out in an increasingly tough market. The competition to manage some of the world’s priciest buildings is intense. Read More

Get Smart

By Keith Loria

The most successful property managers seem to have one thing in common: a sense they are working in a constantly changing industry. With building technology, administration, and communication methods constantly evolving, a savvy manager will always be learning about what’s happening with current trends and state laws to maintain top game. Read More

Mastering Management

By Lisa Iannucci

Individual commitment to a group effort; that's what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. Read More

Hiring New Management

By Anne Childers

There is an old adage that claims, "The more things change, the more they stay the same," and that is not a happy thought for a board of directors or an association looking to change property management firms. The turmoil of replacing a management company is guaranteed to be costly, not only for the board, but for the entire community. So make sure the necessary changes are achieved through this change in management. Read More

Safety and Security Training

By George Leposky

A fire breaks out in an apartment building; A broken water pipe floods several floors; A resident collapses in the lobby with a heart attack; An intruder roams the premises, possibly with criminal intent. In each case, fire rescue and police personnel are summoned, and they rush to the scene. Until professional first responders arrive however, the situation is in the hands of the community’s on-premises staff and security providers. How does a concierge, doorman, maintenance worker, security guard or property manager learn to deal with such emergencies? Read More

New York Workers' Compensation Law

By Raanan Geberer

Workers' compensation as we know it today—the insurance system that provides medical care and other benefits for workers who become sick or injured in the course of doing their jobs—grew out of the European labor movement in the late 19th century. It was one of the progressive reforms introduced by Germany’s Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in an attempt to diminish the appeal of the then-popular socialist parties. Read More

Managing Commercial Tenants

By W.B. King

While having goods and services like retail stores, banks and dry cleaners on-site can be convenient and viewed as a positive by co-op or condo unit owners and neighbors, not every commercial tenant is a good fit for every community or HOA. Leasing space to the right businesses—and really understanding the nature of the association/commercial tenant relationship—is key to a successful, mutually beneficial arrangement between the two parties. Read More

The Sporting Life

By W.B. King

Gone are the days when a treadmill and a set of dumbbells in a fluorescent-lit basement room passed for athletic amenities in condo buildings and HOAs. Today, the size and scope of sporty offerings—be it basketball courts, pools or saunas–varies from association to association, but regardless of the specific facility, providing a safe, insured environment compliant with both governing documents and applicable laws is critical, and the responsibility falls to board members and community administrators. Read More

Going it Alone

By Liz Lent

While the majority of co-op and condo buildings and HOA communities choose to partner with professional management firms to provide guidance and counseling and oversee day-to-day operations, other boards take the reins themselves and choose self-management. Read More

Gyms as an Amenity

By Jonathan Barnes

Way back when, having a “gym” in your building usually meant a windowless room with a forlorn-looking treadmill, some mismatched free weights, and maybe even an old Soloflex bequeathed by a former neighbor who didn’t want to take it with him when he moved from the building down to sunny Florida. Read More

Upstairs, Downstairs

By Greg Olear

Because of resident turnover, the city’s practice of requiring real estate developers to devote a certain percentage of units in new buildings to market- or below-market rate in order to fortify the city's stock of more affordable housing, and just the sheer fact of 8 million people living in a very concentrated geography, many of New York City’s co-ops and condos are home to people of differing income levels. Read More

Making Lives Easier

By W.B. King

Regardless of region or market, a mélange of personalities, preferences and expectations comprise any homeowners association. Part of that diversity includes folks who may need special accommodations in order to fully enjoy and participate in the life of their building or community. To this end, boards and management companies must adhere to guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). Read More

Multifamily Laundry Options

By Paula Castner

Ask people to list the household chores they dislike most, and chances are, doing laundry will consistently rank among the top ten. The need and appreciation for clean clothes gets overshadowed by the inconvenience of constantly having to wash and dry them. Read More

The Annual Meeting

By Edward T. Braverman, Esq.

If winter's here, can spring be far behind? This old adage is particularly meaningful in relation to Read More

Property Management Performance After Sandy

By Paul Gottsegen

More than a year after “Superstorm Sandy” wreaked havoc along the East Coast, many communities throughout the region remain focused on recovery efforts. The storm was catastrophic and the ongoing media coverage highlights the fact that there is still a long road ahead to total recovery for many in our region. While Sandy was a storm unlike any we’ve seen in recent years the intensity of nature’s recent events is becoming a larger part of the dialogue for building’s Board of Directors and management companies throughout the region. Read More

Uniform Appeal

By Anne Childers

According to the old admonishment, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and that’s sage advice in just about any situation; but when it comes to how your building and its on-site staff present themselves to residents, visitors, and prospective buyers, the ‘cover’ matters. You wouldn’t dream of using mismatched carpet samples and second-hand black-light posters to decorate your lobby, so it stands to reason that you wouldn’t be up for outfitting your front desk staff in jeans and ratty T-shirts. Read More

Pay Attention to the Details

By Steven Cutler

There’s no such thing as a small job. Whether a minor lobby repair or a major capital improvement, whenever a contractor is hired to work in a co-op or condominium, if the contractor or one of their employees gets injured, the corporation or association could find itself as a party in a lawsuit. Read More

The Construction Next Door

By Jonathan Barnes

Whenever a new residential building is proposed in any New York City neighborhood, people inevitably object to the project. Their reasons are as varied as their neighborhoods, and range from concerns about gentrification and retaining the socioeconomic or architectural character of the neighborhood, to the more imminent worries of noise and other issues that are part and parcel of having a major construction project on the block. Read More

The Importance of Curb Appeal

By Lisa Iannucci

An old time-worn saying ‘that you’re only as good as your first impression’ is paramount in how your co-op or condo building is perceived at street level. The curb appeal factor cannot be discounted when people pass by your building and see that its awnings are a little weathered or outdated, street garbage and debris is piling up on the sidewalk, and maintenance has been woefully neglected. Read More

Spring is Just Around the Corner

By Enjolie Esteve

With a light sprinkling of freshly fallen snow blanketing your building's landscape, its easy to be lulled into thinking your property really is "pretty as a picture. Sure, the occasional snowfall New York City experiences transform the Big Apple into a beautiful winter wonderland. But keep in mind that when the snow melts, an array of blemishes created by winter's harsh blasts will be revealed. Read More

Managing Amenities

By George Leposky

Whether a building is a luxury high rise with an in-house movie theater, rooftop pool, and climate-controlled wine cellar or a much more modest low-rise or townhome community with a simple community room or gazebo, managing common amenities is just another function of co-op and condo administration. Read More

Cars, Cars Everywhere

By Enjolie Esteve

Suffice to say, parking is a big deal in New York City. On any given day, you will find hoards of people swarming the densely populated city streets in hopes of getting a good parking spot—or any spot, for that matter. Tourists circle madly around Manhattan in hopes of finding a spot within a five-mile radius of the bars, art galleries and restaurants they patronize; locals heading home from work prowl their neighborhoods, trying to squeeze into the limited parking spots while others camp out in their front seats for hours to avoid losing their spot for street cleaning. Read More

Secrets of Successful Managers

By W.B. King

As jugglers of multiple and oftentimes complex tasks, property managers must be adept at mediating between board members and unit owners, as well as resolving all manner of maintenance and legal issues. To this end, property managers don’t have 'typical' days, but rather varied and challenging ones that are often complicated, and require a particular skill set to navigate. Read More

Knowing When to Call Your Manager

By Greg Olear

Olivia Pope, the main character on ABC’s Scandal,is a professional fixer. If you have a problem—any problem—she can fix it. Over the past two seasons plus, she’s rigged elections, covered up murders, employed professional hit men, exposed secrets, made and ruined countless lives, and played hard to get with the President of the United States. But the most amazing thing about Olivia Pope is that she’s always available. Walk into her office, she’s there. Call her cell, she’ll pick up. And when she answers, she can make even the biggest problems disappear. Read More

Changing Managers or Firms?

By Anne Childers

Whether change is good or bad often depends on who you talk to; even a welcome change produces a certain level of stress and adjustment. Personal changes are challenging enough, but for co-op and condo residents, a board decision to change property managers or firms will quite literally hit home. Even if a board has done adequate research, and the change is for the better, adjustments will still be required. By the same token, if a board has done less than satisfactory due diligence, there will almost certainly be unnecessary and unwanted chaos, as well as possible financial ramifications. Read More

Who Goes There?

By W.B. King

While crime rates are steadily decreasing nationwide—even in the Big Apple—multiunit dwellings are often more difficult to 'police' due to the number of residents, visitors, delivery personnel and third party workers such as contractors. As a result, determining how and when a person accesses a building becomes a top priority for board members and management companies. Read More

A Rental State of Mind

By Jonathan Barnes

Winston Churchill once said that “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference,” and that couldn’t be more apt for those who live in multifamily buildings. Read More

SuperMen & SuperWomen!

By Lisa Iannucci

Every day, resident manager Peter Grech runs a building systems check, makes himself available for the residents to ask questions or let him know if there are any problems, and holds brief meetings with his handymen and other staff members. Once this is done, he makes his necessary phone calls and then visits apartments that are under construction to make sure they are compliant with the local laws. He also holds weekly meetings and is responsible for numerous reports and paperwork. Read More

If They Only Knew...

By Lisa Iannucci

Someone once said that "People who say that small things don't bother them have never slept in a room with a mosquito." Read More

Rules on Records

By W.B. King

It’s no secret that helping to run a board of directors or board of managers of a co-op or a condo association is quite often a thankless task. There are a lot of issues to take care of, and board members are strictly volunteers. While there might be some unofficial perks for taking the job, one of the core responsibilities that can bog people down is keeping official records. It’s hard enough to produce them, be the ones to read them closely, and make major decisions based on them at board meetings. But, even with the help of a property manager, the storage and guardianship and past records can be confusing and easily overlooked. Read More

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