One of the major initiatives which will soon benefit New York City’s co-op and condominium landscape is the ongoing effort to certify the resident managers and superintendents that live and work in city housing.
It’s time to dust off Administrative Code 27-2055, effective since 1968. This section of the housing code requires that superintendents become certified, but up until recently enforcement of the regulation has become a priority for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).
HPD, among its other duties, is the agency that monitors the city’s housing stock and facilitates the repair, rehabilitation and construction of thousands of units of new housing.
Attaining a Level of Competency
The original code states that the owner who has a janitor in its employ “shall certify in writing to HPD that such owner’s janitor is competent to perform janitorial services required to be performed by this article in a competent fashion and is capable of operating the incinerator and the furnace, boiler and other machinery that provides central heat and hot water.” The code provides that a level of competency will be obtained if the super or janitor has satisfactorily completed a course of not less than 15 hours in the basic skills required for the performance of janitorial services as approved by HPD. The required coursework may be offered by a school, association, agency, labor union or other public agency, according to the specific language in the code.
According to Margie Russell, the executive director of the New York Association of Realty Managers (NYARM), an organization that offers coursework to obtain certification, there are two ways for a building to be in compliance. First, the building owner can sign an affidavit certifying that their superintendent is qualified and file it with HPD. Industry attorneys, however, have advised owners to seek counsel before submitting any such affidavit.