What's My Line? Defining Your Super's Role

Just about every working person, from the busboy at your favorite diner to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, works under a job description that outlines their duties and establishes responsibilities and boundaries of authority. Your building's superintendent or resident manager should be no different. A clearly defined, yet flexible job description for your key building staff can ensure that what needs doing gets done - and can help building staff and board members maintain a productive, friction-free working relationship.

What It Isn't

Of course, there is a problem with having one universal job description for all superintendents and resident managers: No two buildings are exactly alike. Each represents a distinct community with varying needs and expectations. That said, however, while no one document or standard form can address every aspect of every super's individual circumstances, there are core subjects that are common in most buildings.

At the 21st Annual Housing Conference sponsored by the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums (CNYC), the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations said of building staff in a seminar on union employees, "They're your employees; as long as it's legal, it can be put into the employee's job description."

While this is technically true, it does nobody any good to concoct a job description amounting to little more than a long list of impossible tasks. As good common sense might dictate, the key to developing a reasonable, workable job description for your building staff is to keep it simple and involve your staff in the process.

With that in mind, let's look at the core duties that are common to most superintendents and can form the framework for a working job description:


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  • I agree that the superintendant is the main one responsible for keeping the building clean. There are a lot of cases where the superintendants are not doing their job and no tenants can be bothered to file complaints. For instance in my building I never even seen the new superintendants around the building, the only way you would see them i s if you personally went to knock on their door. The building was very dirty especially the laundry room ,where the washing machines were always broken, and the super never even bothered to call the laundry company to fix this ongoing problem. I think these type of people should be investigated and never be able to work as superintendants again.
  • These rules you are talking about.For me as a super it look like you are supporting the owner of the building and nobody esle.
  • Some supers are too overwhelmed at their jobs. I have seen supers treat porters and doormen horribly and treat them like scapegoats to protect themselves. Some just really don't have proper communications skills.