A frequent issue for landlords who purchase distressed buildings or even buildings that were owned by individuals who did not have a great record keeping system is the amount of liability that you take on after purchase. In most cases, you do assume a great deal of liability. It’s part of the risk of being an owner, which is why due diligence is so important. Existing violations do not simply vanish just because the conditions that gave rise to them first appeared on someone else’s watch. They become your responsibility when you become that building’s owner.
In many ways, a similar thing can be said of issues like rent … read more
Landlords incur a lot of risk. It is part of the cost of doing business. Landlords are responsible for keeping tenants safe, in buildings that are up to code, and that those who operate within the building are protected from injury. To protect yourself from these potential liabilities, you need to be insured. More importantly, you need to know that you have the right insurance and that you are working with the right insurance agency.
When you work with Mackoul Risk Solutions Insurance, you are working with licensed insurance broker who will treat you as part of a broader family, not merely a list of assets to be protected with a … read more
Unused space is a costly waste, especially in New York City. While the most profitable way to utilize space in your building is to rent it out to a tenant, it’s not always feasible to do so. If you have vacant space that is on a floor that is more than half beneath curb level, it cannot be rented. This is when it makes sense to use that space to provide an amenity to your tenants. Though a doggy day spa or a state-of-the-art exercise room might be nice, most tenants are not expecting anything so glamorous. They want something utilitarian, like a laundry room. This can be a boon for you, as well. On top of being an amenity that increase the … read more
Once again, our Case of the Week focuses on a dispute over a Major Capital Improvement. However, this time the owner also had to contend with requirements from the Landmark Preservation Commission These can be particularly strident, as the LPC is in the business of making sure that parts of the city remain aesthetically static. However, their goal of keeping the city like a museum does not overrule the safety of tenants.
A case in point concerns the subject at the heart of today’s dispute: Protectives on hallway windows.
The owner initially applied for a rent increase based on the installation of new, double insulated … read more
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once widely used in the construction industry. It had dozens of applications because of its durability and heat-resistant qualities, and there was once a time when virtually any building contained some amount of asbestos. In fact, many buildings still contain asbestos. It is very good at what it does.
Unfortunately, asbestos becomes very dangerous when it is broken apart and becomes “friable” (easily crumbled). To repeat: Asbestos-containing products like ceiling tiles or shingles that have not been damaged do not present health risks to people. They are completely fine when not disturbed. If they are … read more
Understanding the wants and needs of your tenants should be an owner or manager’s top priority. It strikes to heart of what being a landlord is all about, and any tool that can improve your ability to communicate with tenants is a blessing that should be utilized to its fullest potential. When your tenants are happy with their apartments and their building, they will treat it and you with greater respect. They will also be more inclined to stay when the lease is up.
This has two distinct benefits for landlords. On the one hand, it means landlords do not have to lose out on rent due to vacancies or spend money turning over the apartment, and then … read more
Tenants are not fans of Major Capital Improvements. Yes, they appreciate the improvements to the building, but they do not enjoy the resultant hikes in rent. Consequently, there have been numerous cases that have attempted to employ dubious legal tactics to void these hikes.
Most recently, a group of tenants appealed the amount of the increase because, among other things, the commercial tenants had not seen their rents raised at the same level as the building’s residential tenants. The residential tenants argued that this, consequently, was an improper calculation of the MCI by DHCR. The costs associated with making … read more
Now more than ever, people are choosing to rent over purchasing a home, as evidenced by CNBC, Investopedia and MarketWatch. Renters choose to take this route not because of lack of money to buy a place for ownership, but because they want the flexibility and mobility that comes with renting. Generally speaking, the target millennial market frequently switches between jobs, cities and even countries. Life changes, such as marriage and children, also influences them to shift between residences at their convenience. With … read more
Not every tenant is going to be overjoyed when their landlord decides to embrace a new technology. On the one hand, this can oftentimes indicate that the landlord has filed for a Major Capital Improvement and that the rent will soon be going up. On the other, new technology can oftentimes alienate some tenants. This is especially true when landlords make the use of apps mandatory. Even though many people, particularly younger people, use their smart phones incessantly and probably could not imagine living without one, many older individuals are perfectly happy to own nothing more than a flip phone, if that.
Landlord harassment is not something you tend to see outside of the LandlordsNY Forum. In fact, most people would scoff at the very idea that a tenant can harass a landlord. However, anyone can harass another person so long as they routinely threaten them or make them feel uncomfortable. Consequently, landlord harassment does exist, even if it is relatively uncommon.
This installment of the Case of the Week examines one such example. Not only did the tenant harass the landlord; she also harassed several other tenants and created numerous nuisances. Many tenants feared for their safety because of the actions of this tenant. On top of creating … read more
One of the most important services that a building owner can consider is an engineering and architecture consultant. In many ways, they are your building's primary care physician. They are the ones that are tasked with knowing each brick and every ounce of mortar in your building. Perhaps more importantly, they are responsible for devising a plan, a budget, and a schedule when you make Major Capital Improvements, Individual Apartment Improvements, renovations, and even somewhat minor alterations to your building. They also help landlords and owners comply with local laws (most notably Local Law 11) and navigate policies when renovating or … read more
Housing Court in New York City is an ordeal. Even if you happen to be completely in the right and the tenant is completely in the wrong, the law is written in such a way that it requires owners and managers to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that tenants have violated their lease. That this level of mercy may seem unfair to owners and managers is a given. However, your choices are to either curse de Blasio's name and hope that one of the most progressive areas in the United States votes in a business-friendly mayor, governor, and group of legislators, or you can accept the headwinds that you face and act accordingly. We've always advised doing the latter.
In this instance, … read more
There are numerous problems that arise with purchasing supplies for your buildings, particularly if you manage a large multifamily portfolio across several boroughs. It becomes a juggling act coordinating with multiple vendors, contractors, and building employees; monitoring repairs and maintenance requests; and keeping track of inventories that are often used to service different buildings. Furthermore, price fluctuations on some items can often vary widely, and you may not even know if the price that was invoiced pertained to the one that was agreed upon when the order was placed or the time the order was delivered. You … read more
Screening tenants is one of the most difficult aspects of being a landlord. You need to be equal parts private investigator and human lie detector when deciding who you will allow into your building. You also need to be equal parts accountant and therapist when deciding if people will be compatible roommates. If things don’t work out between them, this can often mean screaming matches, nuisances for other tenants in the building, and long chains of bitter emails that beg you to pick a side in a personal matter that you’d prefer to avoid.
Furthermore, tenant disputes can get expensive. Should the matter become volatile, it can lead to broken leases … read more
Making upgrades to your buildings is typically a good thing. Even minor upgrades can increase the value of your building, allow you to ask more in rent, and improve the overall appearance and quality of life for tenants. One of the more popular upgrades, especially among younger residents who tend to do a lot of online shopping, is to install a smart door system. One of the most popular, Latch, is currently installed in one out of ten new apartments.
Latch, and other systems like it, can be activated remotely to allow deliveries. For tenants to gain access to the building and their individual apartments, they need to use either a smart … read more
This service gives members instant access to LNY in house DHCR, HPD, and Property Management Counselors for immediate help when you need it.
Just like a concierge at a hotel who knows how to guide guests and to remove some of the uncertainty of trying something new, our staff counselors goal is to provide information and guidance to landlords and to take much of the uncertainty out of owning and operating a property in New York.