Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

Property Management: The Winter Slide-Step

November 28, 2014

2014-11-28 - Man slipping and falling

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THE NORTHEAST’S MID-AUTUMN SNOWFALL reminds us of the need to be prepared for outdoor hazards the cold weather season brings. For snow-belt folks keeping a shovel, snow blower and sand/ salt handy are daily rituals, while clearing sidewalks, parking lots and common areas of the white stuff are almost subconscious activities.

Small wonder then that many of our thoughts and discussions this time of year focus on weather and the hazards it may bring. But what about the perils outdoor weather causes indoors? Even with shoveled sidewalks, as someone enters and walks through the building there are bits and pieces of the “marshmallow world” that are apt to enter as well. Snowflakes sticking to shoes, boots and clothing tend to soften then intermittently fall (typically unnoticed) to the floor.

Often the result is a trail of wet, partially melted snowy spots that can be very slippery, especially on hardwood, tile, linoleum or similar floor surfaces. Unfortunately it might be a trail leading to a catastrophe for an unsuspecting soul who inadvertently steps on one or more of those spots, suddenly loses his/ her balance then hard-lands on the floor.

This type of slip and fall can cause varying degrees of injury, including torn/ sprained muscles, broken bones, head trauma, paralysis and, perhaps, death in some situations. It has the potential to become a devastatingly bad scenario in any building, be it a single/ multi-family residence, commercial structure or governmental building. Striving to prevent such an occurrence is a winter-long work in progress requiring constant attention, particularly during a snow or ice event.

Beyond being a problem for property managers, there is the pain and the overall effect on any injured person … and let’s not forget the possibility of a liability lawsuit for the property owner.

So what can be done? Other than completely closing the building there likely is no single or series of measures that will provide one-hundred percent protection from a slip and fall, though there are things that help lessen the possibility of it happening.

In addition to other actions, we usually seek to prevent such incidents by having large moisture-absorbing doormats placed by each entry along with an attention grabbing sign to remind folks to “scrape” their shoes/ boots and to “wipe” off snow clinging to clothing. Then, where possible, we strive to install non-skid floor surfaces on heavy foot-traffic areas and stairways as well as use secured or non-skid moisture-absorbing runners in hallways.

To be sure, there are other steps that can and should be taken. Among them are ensuring the involved areas are properly lighted, regularly removing/ drying floor surfaces of wet/ snowy spots and debris as well as frequently cleaning doormats as well as runners.

Bottom line: During foul winter weather building interiors need the same vigilance as does the building exterior.

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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Blog Terms of Use, Disclaimer and Disclosure: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog: (i) may possibly contain one or more instances of unverified information; and (ii) is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance, oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements, comments and/or opinions of blog authors and/or users of this blog may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation. Users who comment on this blog are solely responsible for their comments and opinions.  Comments and/or opinions deemed uncivil or inappropriate will be removed or not posted.  

Real Estate: The Thanksgiving Report

November 18, 2014

2014-11-09 - Thanksgving Banner

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REGARDLESS OF HOW THANKSGIVING IS OBSERVED, its meaning often finds a way to pierce the routines and festivities we now associate with the day. And sometimes examples of this emerge from unexpected settings.

Right after Labor Day not too long ago a retired lady came to us requesting assistance with an ancestry project that included her family tree and places family members lived and visited over the years. Although pleased she asked for our help, we politely explained our research resources are mostly focused on investment grade real estate consulting and research rather than ancestral lineage.

Undeterred, she said genealogical aspects of her request were secondary to having us seek a meaningful piece of her family’s history ― namely, an old log cabin camp site in rural upstate New York. Earnestly recounting the considerable time she consumed unsuccessfully endeavoring to find it, she revealed a general idea of its suspected regional whereabouts yet was unable to pinpoint its location. Once found, she wanted a map depicting its position on the lake and present-day pictures of it for her project. We reconsidered then agreed to work on the matter.

An interview of the lady ―now our client― revealed smatterings of information based on childhood memories of gossip shared by long-gone relatives. She said the log cabin had been owned by her grandmother during the 1920’s or 1930’s. Its perceived importance stemmed from old family letters that indicated “the camp” had been a gathering spot for relatives during holidays and summer vacations. Our client believed it was sold during the 1940’s.

Preliminary review of the several faded photographs showed a log cabin on a nameless lake shore front. With the brittle handwritten documents and tattered map fragments she possessed yielding nothing overtly useful to track down the camp site, we commenced a painstakingly methodical examination of the material. It was slow, especially since some of the paperwork contained incomprehensible or illegible passages or inscriptions. Moreover, various geographic features and places had eighteenth and nineteenth century names that changed over the years, requiring supplemental research.

Gradually, as bits of handwritten references were deciphered and linked to photos and maps, an elimination process was undertaken to match those depictions with relevant shoreline portions of two likely lakes in the suspected region. Visiting the towns in which those water bodies lie, finding then studying aged municipal records and an old community map eventually produced clues leading to two adjacent parcels on one of those lakes, just outside a popular summer resort locale.

By mid-November we had sufficient data to reasonably conclude the two identified parcels at one time formed the sought log cabin camp site. Apparently a subsequent owner of the property subdivided it into two parcels sometime after the 1930’s. However, there was no trace of the log cabin pictured in the old photos. Decay, fire and/or a new owner likely took it down sometime in the past. 

Our findings were packaged into a report along with the requested map and photos, all of which our client received a few days before Thanksgiving. She called to express her thanks. As we said then, and say to all now: “Happy Thanksgiving!”

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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Blog Terms of Use, Disclaimer and Disclosure: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog: (i) may possibly contain one or more instances of unverified information; and (ii) is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance, oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements, comments and/or opinions of blog authors and/or users of this blog may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation. Users who comment on this blog are solely responsible for their comments and opinions.  Comments and/or opinions deemed uncivil or inappropriate will be removed or not posted.  

Real Estate: Security Cameras Worth A Look?

November 8, 2014

14Nov08 - security camera

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EVEN AS THE VIBRANT COLORS OF AUTUMN BRIGHTEN OUR DAYS, THE DARKNESS OF LONGER NIGHTS presents a potentially problematic scenario for homeowners, tenants and property managers. For most it has relatively nothing to do with longer hours of lighting costing more since they plan on that happening and budget for it. In our case it is a reminder of what transpired at one of our client’s properties a few years ago.

While extended winter nights are no revelation to this part of the world, they may bring increased trepidation to those concerned about burglars and similar hooligans who are apt to operate under cover of night’s murkiness, which is a topic discussed in many other forums. For us autumn evokes memories of vandal misdeeds.

Our client owned a stately, well-maintained century old apartment house with carefully landscaped grounds, and as consultants to that property we were never aware of a graffiti problem. To our knowledge there was no such trouble in the neighborhood, or even in adjacent neighborhoods. Nonetheless, we learned that one autumn night the out-building walls and doors became billboards for such displays. Although the skill of the “artists” was quite good and their productions were not profane, their handiwork defaced the building and most definitely did not belong on the property. Nobody saw the vandals or knew who they were yet their “art” magically appeared on a regular basis. The owner seemed unable to stop the delivery of another wall mural by the latest aspiring Rembrant.

Our previous recommendations that a security camera system be inconspicuously installed had always been dismissed because the owner wanted to maintain an exterior environment representing the period in which the buildings were constructed. But the repeated instances of graffiti had the owner relent and, interestingly, the artwork ceased immediately — an occurrence that questioned whether the graffiti was an “inside” job (performed by one or more of the owner’s tenant household members or guests) or whether the vandals were super sensitive and savvy to security apparatus. It remains anyone’s guess as they were never caught or identified.

Though the vandals departed as abruptly as they entered the scene the owner was pleased just to have the problem resolved, which was the primary purpose for the camera system. However, the system brought other benefits to the owner as well. Tenants liked knowing the camera system was there, especially when walking to or from their vehicles after dark. And the system qualified the property for an insurance premium reduction.

Bottom line: If your property doesn’t have such a system, it certainly is worth a look.

 

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements and/or opinions of guest authors may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation.

Haunting Real Estate Bargains?

October 28, 2014

2014-08-22 - Haunted House

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ALONG WITH THE COLORS OF AUTUMN THE THOUGHT OF HALLOWEEN almost always seems to awaken a similar pattern of light-hearted imagery: Pumpkin carving, goblin-themed parties, scary movies and outlandish costumes. But real estate?

Well, yes, in some ways ― particularly when there is an interest in purchasing an existing home and the buyer may be a bit (or more than a bit) squeamish about living in a reputedly haunted house or one in which a death occurred.

Perhaps such potential purchasers became jittery after reading about ghosts that attacked a TV crew in a house or upon hearing of  journalists who nearly fled while checking out a haunted house and claims of strange happenings . Or maybe they are part of the  nearly 50% of Americans who already held a belief in hauntings.

Apparently most folks don’t believe or are skeptical about ghosts, goblins or supernatural spirits roaming the spaces of the living … at least that is what they say. And about 60% of Americans indicate they would buy or at least consider buying a haunted house.

Really? So why is the seller of a home in which sprits reportedly roam or in which someone recently died likely advised or required to disclose that information to a potential buyer ? Is it because certain buyers may be fascinated with ghost and might pay an amount close to the asking price, or could it be that many times buying a haunted house might be a tremendous bargain ?

Or … is it something else?

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements and/or opinions of guest authors may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation.

Real Estate: A Renter’s Market?

October 18, 2014

buy house

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RECENTLY OUR INVOLVEMENT IN REAL ESTATE MARKET DISCUSSIONS again witnessed the same persistent and lingering observation: Despite depressed prices, we hear a home sale in our area can be as rare as inheriting a rich uncle’s estate, which tends to contradict stories of a dwindling supply of houses to sell. Of course, sales may differ in various areas but sporadic and few sales appears to be the case in many locales, more or less.

While there are several efforts to identify the cause of slack sales, the one most curious to us is the sentiment that too many folks who otherwise would be likely potential purchasers now only seem interested in renting. Rent rather than buy? Why? Traditional thought usually gives home ownership a thumbs-up in terms of being a cornerstone for long-term financial benefit. Indeed,  many other positive aspects come with home ownership as well … for the homeowner and the community

So despite logic implying lower home prices should be spurring house purchases, not apartment rentals, for people who are looking for a home and can afford to buy. But this does not seem to be the case. Certainly negative local factors such as high property taxes, poor quality of schools, distant shopping and medical facilities all play a role.  Yet the apparent pervasiveness of the issue suggests one or more generalized causes for this circumstance, like the one we hear most frequently repeated: Lenders have become more demanding ― some may argue far more demanding ― in scrutinizing loan applications, resulting in too few approvals. In other words, loan application reviews are the polar opposite of those conducted less than ten years ago when mortgage qualification was far too easy.

To be sure, we’ve heard other theories and explanations too. Perhaps an uncertain economy produces would-be buyers who are overly cautious, which uncertainty and caution nudge them toward the transience and flexibility of renting. Or they may be extremely uncomfortable with the notion of committing to one of the biggest purchases of their lives until a nationally firm and reliable economic foothold is reestablished. Maybe they heard a horror story or two about rising costs for insurance, maintenance or property taxes. Could be they are too frightened to be tied to a mortgage and a property that could be difficult to sell in the current market, which inability to sell within a reasonable time is apt to prevent them from changing jobs or searching for one in another locale thereby reducing or eliminating their income. Then again, the lack luster economy might be pushing them to reevaluate all their financial priorities, spending habits and even lifestyle patterns, any of which just might point to a rental as a viable living arrangement that can be adjusted on relatively short notice as employment and/or other factors change.

Whatever actual perceptions or rationale exist in the market, we see housing moving with renters, not buyers. Although rentals certainly have a legitimate place in the housing arena, the need for the permanence of home ownership should not be taken lightly or shrugged off. Beyond financial considerations, home ownership has been shown to provide positive benefits for household members, a stakeholder interest in the neighborhood and a stabilizing factor to the overall community.

Consequently government and the private sector need to find cooperative methods to not only create and maintain sensible affordable housing opportunities, but also develop reasonable mortgage lending qualifications and review procedures.

 

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding this or other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements and/or opinions of guest authors may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation.

Real Estate: The Property Tax Question 2

October 13, 2014

2014-08-23 - home in autumn

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                                                                             To Inhouse WebSite

 

 

 

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding this or other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured, related or other matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements and/or opinions of guest authors may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation.

Real Estate: The Property Tax Question

October 8, 2014

2014-08-23 - home in autumn

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding this or other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements and/or opinions of guest authors may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation.

Property Management: The Uninvited of Autumn

September 29, 2014

2014-09-28 - Raccoon on Roof

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A SENSE OF ALARM WAKES YOU in the middle of a crisp autumn night. But the silence and darkness assure you it’s just the sleepy residue of a quickly evaporating dream. You roll into a more comfortable position but then snap to attention! In the wall near the ceiling is a sound barely a decibel or two above the imagination, something between light scratching and scurrying of tiny feet. Is it a mouse … or something else?

While nesting spots may be sought in spring, in our area many property managers see autumn as the season more likely to have us become potential involuntary hosts not only to mice but possibly bats, rats, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, reptiles or insects.

We know one case in which a pregnant squirrel apparently found a way to gnaw through an attic vent screen, turning the space into a nursery. Being undetected for a time, the eventual removal of the mother and offspring was no easy feat. Professionals spent two days locating, capturing then removing them and their lair. Their lengthy residency magnified health concerns as well as damage, which included excrement cleansing, nibbled wire repairs, insulation replacement, reinforcing chewed wood, fixing the attic vent screen as well as hunting for and removing any ticks, fleas and other vermin that were left behind. The work cost hundreds of dollars.

To save money affected folks often try ousting the invaders themselves, which could be a hazardous undertaking. Among other risks a scared or cornered animal may attack, possibly causing infection, disease or even rabies. When viewed this way, paying a professional may seem small compared to the consequences of one or more potential missteps when dealing with many-legged squatters.

What to do? Strive to prevent the problem in the first place. Though no strategy can always guarantee wild critters stay outdoors, some common deterrents are: In addition to using reliable wire screens on all vents (including clothes dryer vents) use them on all open windows and doors. Since a mouse can breach a quarter-inch crack, while a bat can penetrate a dime-sized opening and a raccoon can maneuver a four inch or smaller hole, patch all exterior cracks and unnecessary openings.

Two publications add several other suggestions. From Popular Mechanics: Keep plants, piles of wood and other items at least two feet from the house; trim vegetation; and plug gaps around wires and pipes. Per the New York Times: Secure the chimney; stack firewood at least two feet off the ground; trim tree branches extending over the roof; remove outside pet food or water; and never separate a nursing animal from its offspring as she will not stop trying to reach them.

The bottom line: Don’t delay if you suspect critters invaded the building. Some may be seem cute but they too can be dangerous. Moreover, the problem intensifies the longer they remain. Retaining qualified professionals seems the better method to handle the matter.

Beyond our own experiences the following articles are referenced and were used to assist with this article. Check them out for more complete and detailed information on this subject.

 

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding this or other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements and/or opinions of guest authors may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation.

Property Management: NY Sprinkler System Notices

September 18, 2014

2014-09-09 - Fire in Home

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A PROPERTY MANAGER MUST CONSTANTLY LOOKOUT for various obvious factors that may affect a rental property, particularly those that may lead to menacing or disastrous events, such as fire hazards and regulations that affect those situations.

In the realm of residential and multi-family properties there are a number of worrisome situations that can be nightmarish ― but a structure succumbing to flames can be one of the more frightening. Beyond losing a home, which is certainly bad enough, a resident frequently must deal with the loss of irreplaceable family pictures and sentimental personal items. Worse, for the resident and manager alike, are the injuries and lives lost in house fires. The collective result can be significant tolls on all those affected.

In 2012 alone there were about 364,500 residential fires that caused more than $6.5 billion in losses. And during the ten-year period of 2001 – 2010 house fires claimed an average of 3,843 lives each of those years. In other words, for every single day in that ten-year period a rough average of eleven people died in a house fire!

What is being done? Since a property manager physically is unable to monitor fire safety in each dwelling at all times, management’s plan to lessen damage and injury usually involves other doable measures that are in addition to upgrades, repairs, maintenance and regulation compliance. Such actions typically include but are not limited to improved fire-retardant construction techniques where and when possible, clearly marked alternative escape routes, functional fire/ smoke detectors, operational fire extinguishers and heightened resident awareness.

To be sure, those said procedures are often mandated in various jurisdictions. Over the years they have become more well-known and as a practical matter they should be in use (contact your local fire department for tips and advice about fire safety and applicable laws). Such strategies appear to have led to a 21% reduction in the number of house fire related deaths. But in regard to residence fires, and perhaps less well known, is a soon to be effective newly enacted amendment to existing New York State law of which we became aware several weeks ago.

In essence the amended law seeks to require a more informed renter decision about a leased premises he/ she intends to occupy. After its effective date residential leases need to contain a bold-faced notice advising potential renters whether the premises being considered has or does not have a “maintained and operative sprinkler system” as such a fire sprinkler system is defined in section 155-a of New York State executive law.  Reportedly the amendment will be known as section 231-a of the New York State real property law and is expected to become effective on or about December 3, 2014.

The bottom line: If your residential rental property lies within New York State you should contact your attorney to learn how the amended law may apply to you and, if it does, inquire how your leases may need to be revised.

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding this or other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to promote awareness and general discussion of the presented topic. Use of this blog shall be the reader’s agreement this blog is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional and each action that may be taken shall be under the specific guidance and oversight and/or performance of a professional qualified in the subject matter. If you have a question or want assistance with a featured or related matter please contact us at InhouseCo@aol.com (include the blog article title on the subject line). Links, references and credits in this blog are for convenience only and are not endorsements by the author or Inhouse Corporation. Statements and/or opinions of guest authors may or may not reflect those of Inhouse Corporation.

Property Management: Rules to Please All the People?

August 28, 2014

14Aug28 New Pix-2

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OKAY. YOU’RE INTERESTED IN RENTING LIVING QUARTERS in a very suitable location, the monthly charges are acceptable and the property is attractively maintained. Then you’re confronted with the rental paperwork. Naturally, there is a lease and its rules. But you may wonder: Why are there so many rules? You would not be alone if you question the overwhelming bulk of regulations at some multi-family properties.

Consider one of our consulting assignments that included a review of the rules and regulations for a combined multi-family and commercial property. Predictably we found and recommended there should be additions, updates, revision and elimination of various rule sections to better comply with governmental requirements and improve clarity. However, the document was voluminous, with details that consumed almost fifty pages. The word “excessive” came to mind.

Nonetheless, the property manager and landlord insisted all the rules were necessary due to prior issues with renters. Their position was confirmed through an examination of the property’s previous enforcement actions and violations. Consequently we developed a way to accomplish the same goals for resident conduct and still reduce the document by almost forty percent.

While the property manager and landlord were pleased with the result, presenting the revised rules to a residents meeting was more challenging (read “tumultuous”). Despite the reduction, the courteous residents complained the revision was too lengthy to read, grasp or remember — the less courteous revealed their frustration at the remaining mass of the document in a more “colorful”  manner.

Like our initial review, residents cited examples they felt were common knowledge and shouldn’t be included, such as removing trash from the living spaces or keeping windows closed in winter (the landlord provided heat) or properly storing outdoor objects apt to become airborne during a storm. They asked: Who would want to live in trash, be cold or risk storm injury or damage? We explained that busy folks ― even those who try to be vigilant of such matters ― unfortunately can be preoccupied with other things and not always readily recognize when something requires attention, like the lack of cleanliness, reasonable energy conservation or storm preparation.

We spoke to a potential ability to eliminate more of the written rules when we all live in an ideal world in which everyone ― everyone! ― constantly is aware of and uses the qualities of common sense, fairness, courtesy as well as respect toward others. Residents were told until that ideal world emerges the landlord’s efforts to maintain order on the property mostly would be achieved through enforcement of those qualities as they are reflected in the rules. If not in the rules, there would be no mechanism to enforce them.

A reduced decibel level rippled through the crowd as those words of logic apparently struck a chord with reasonable attendees, who thankfully represented most residents … most, but not all of them. The minority remained vocal and apparently unyielding.

Perhaps one day in that ideal world it will be possible to please all the people.

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Need consulting, coaching or problem troubleshooting regarding other single-family or multi-family housing issues? We’ll be pleased to help you. Visit us at the Inhouse Corporation website or contact us at inhouseco@aol.com

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