Property Management: The Uninvited of Autumn

September 29, 2014

2014-09-28 - Raccoon on Roof

(Image Credit: Google Images – animals.y2u.co.uk)

Use of this site is subject to the Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer given below.                                                                                

To Inhouse WebSite

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.

 

***************************

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

***************************

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.

Advertisements

Property Management: NY Sprinkler System Notices

September 18, 2014

2014-09-09 - Fire in Home

(Image Credit: Google Images – pixabay.com)

See Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer below.                                                                                

To Inhouse WebSite

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.

***************************

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

***************************

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.

Affordable Housing: What’s the Big Deal?

September 11, 2014

14Sep08 New Pix

(Image Credit: Google Images – geography.org.uk)

See Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer below.                                                                                

To Inhouse WebSite

DESPITE THE EFFORTS OF VARIOUS ARMS OF GOVERNMENT as well as an assortment of nonprofit and other groups to enlighten the public about affordable housing (also known as worker class housing, among other terms), some folks think they know what it is. But a municipal meeting we attended shows too many still don’t truly understand it or recognize the importance of its role. Mention it in an open forum, as happened at that meeting, and you may be confronted with mutterings of stereotypical misperceptions that affordable housing is just another name for absentee landlords, rundown tenements and slums.

Naturally, undesirable outcomes are possible. Yet they are possible in virtually any developed district. Should economic reversals, infrastructure deterioration and/or other troublesome conditions arise they are apt to detrimentally transform the value and character of any affected area … be it a commercial or industrial zone, worker class housing or an upscale neighborhood.

For this reason jumping to a conclusion that affordable housing is synonymous with rundown residences would be neither an accurate nor complete picture since many of those projects are attractive and properly maintained. Moreover, in some situations competent professional property management may be able to prevent or reverse the effects of harmful events when they are internal to the affordable facility, and it might be capable of slowing the effects of those that are external to the facility, such as the loss of major regional employers.

So if its not necessarily crumbling housing, what is affordable or worker class housing? While various groups and agencies may have differing spins on the definition, in general we see it as any type of legal and decent housing structure or dwelling that is an affordable option for a household earning no more than eighty percent (80%) of the median income for the area (often called “area median income” or “AMI”). Interestingly, as income disparities seem to widen, some entities appear to be giving more attention to housing opportunities for low income households earning no more than fifty percent (50%) AMI.

To be sure, our definition is likely no big surprise. But what may astonish many is the importance of affordable housing as an influential ingredient in the economic mix of a viable community. Not only does it provide housing opportunities to lower income workers, it also has been shown to encourage economic growth. Furthermore, the possibilities of affordable home purchases aid in the increase of the overall home ownership rate, which can, in turn, provide noteworthy benefits for the community, an often overlooked element in the discourse on home ownership.

The bottom line is affordable housing opportunities, particularly affordable home ownership, help produce stable communities; a belief we have consistently held for properly operated and maintained affordable home projects. And from our viewpoint, that is a big deal.

***************************

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

***************************

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

(Image Credit: Google Images – commons.wikimedia.org)

See Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer below.                                                                                

To Inhouse WebSite

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.

***************************

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

***************************

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.

Affordable Home Ownership: Keep It Affordable

August 18, 2014

14Aug18 New Pix

(Image Credit: Google Images – en.wikipedia.org)

See Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer below.                                                                                

To Inhouse WebSite

DURING A PRESENTATION WE WERE MAKING ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING (also known as worker class housing) attendee questions caused the discussion to drift into the realm of government involvement with housing programs. Since we see affordable housing, particularly affordable home ownership, as a key ingredient for stabilizing communities, limited government participation (such as tax credits) that jump-starts such activity can be helpful.

Moreover, in conjunction with federal/ state funds, some municipalities may, among other things, occasionally establish affordable home programs whereby contractors compete in a bidding procedure to construct a number of homes. When built, those homes will become available to an equal number of pre-qualified first-time buyers who are usually selected through a lottery-style process and generally have incomes that do not exceed eighty percent (80%) of the median household income for the municipality’s respective jurisdiction. Then the municipality ensures the new home prices are brought down to the affordable price range by utilizing public funds to reduce the cost of each said home.

In return for the reduced home price, each buyer commits to keeping his/ her home in the affordable home program for a required period of years during which he/ she lives in the house or, if it is resold, agrees the sale’s price to the next purchaser will be in the affordable range. At the end of the commitment period the home frequently is able to be sold at market value.

While other formats may exist, this is the type of affordable homeownership program we’ve seen implemented at the local level. No doubt well-intentioned, a home ownership program fashioned in this way tends to inadvertently create certain not-so-attractive by-products. First, it sets up a situation for the first buyer, who purchased at an affordable price, but may, after the commitment period ends, sell at market value, thereby pocketing the difference. Second, those houses only remain affordable for the length of the commitment period, meaning the municipality’s affordable housing stock could be back to where it was before that housing was built. Third, only the selected few are served; those not selected do without. Forth, this type of affordable home ownership program becomes a temporary fix to a growing problem.

This is not intended to find fault with any municipality because affordable home funding typically comes with many strings attached. Still, and for the reasons stated, we believe these homes, once built, should perpetually stay affordable and should be taxed accordingly. The ability to do so should not be very complicated and should not require scraping existing programs — proper redesign and modification should be sufficient. Over time this arrangement should consistently increase affordable home ownership opportunities. Isn’t this the way it should work?

***************************

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

***************************

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: When Price Fails, Negotiate

August 8, 2014

14Aug08 New Pix-2

(Image Credit: Google Images – en.wkipedia.org)

See Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer below.                                                                                

To Inhouse WebSite

WHILE WAITING IN LINE AT THE POST OFFICE A CONVERSATION WAS OVERHEARD between two men who evidently knew each other. The younger man (who we’ll designate as “Young”) said he and his wife were looking to buy a home since the current market appeared to present an optimal time for the lowest home prices. He said they located a great home in a terrific neighborhood with a nearby playground for the kids but lamented the price was still too high for their income.

The older fellow asked if Young made an offer at a price he and his wife could afford, to which Young said “No,” explaining the real estate agent told them the homeowner might entertain an offer but Young declined to do so because any offer he made would have been significantly below the asking price and rejected. Really? How would Young know his offer would be rejected in the absence of submitting it?  Couldn’t there have been a chance the offer would be accepted … or that a tolerable counter offer may be presented? Of course!

Yet, walking away without making an offer guaranteed Young would have no chance to purchase that home. Would it not have been better to consult with his attorney and accountant to fashion then submit an offer? We think so. After all, the worst that could have happened was a rejection.

Recently we’ve heard real estate salespeople mention the reluctance of potential buyers to make an offer on a property that appeals to them, preferring instead to walk away. But why?  Maybe there are theories about buyer resistance to make an offer or negotiate a price, though based on what we’ve seen and heard such reluctance seems to stem from the evaporating art of disciplined and cool-headed negotiation.

Perhaps parties to potential transactions should be reminded rejection of an offer should not be emotionally digested. A better reaction would be examining reasons for the rejection and seeing if another offer is possible as an evolving opportunity that is part of the back- and- forth process from which a seller wants as much money for his/ her property as possible, while a buyer wants the best possible bargain. Both positions are valid and its constructive old-fashioned negotiation that builds a bridge between them.

***************************

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

***************************

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.

Inhouse Corporation: Our 25th Year

July 28, 2014

Celebrating  25 Years of Service

(Image Credit: Inhouse Corporation)

See Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer below.                                                                                

To Inhouse WebSite

AS WE ENTER OUR TWENTY-FIFTH YEAR OF SERVICE we are proud to look back at our accomplishments. Its a track record that includes non-subsidized affordable homeownership, manufactured/ modular homes, real estate broker services, multi-family/ commercial property management as well as the creation and operation of residential cooperatives for modest income households.

Among the entities we’ve assisted are municipalities, government agencies, investors, landlords and residents/ tenants with administrative services, management, consulting, research, training and mentoring for all sorts of issues, problems, questions and day-to-day routines as they relate to housing and income properties.

Although New York is our home state, as internet technology has grown over the years so too has our ability to render many of our services online to virtually all corners of the state. And we’ve even taken assignments in other areas on a case-by-case basis. Yet our philosophy remains the same — we don’t try gaining business by cutting friendly personal attention, reducing value or sacrificing quality to our existing clients. We build our firm one client at a time. Its probably one reason many remain clients for years.

Many thanks to all our friends, clients and business associates who helped us to reach this point.

We look forward to working with you and making new friends and clients during the next twenty-five years.

***************************

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

***************************

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: Have A Crystal Ball

July 18, 2014

14Jul18 New Pix

(Image Credit: Google Images – gondwanaland.com)

See Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer below.                                                                                

To Inhouse WebSite

WHEN SUBMITTING A MUNICIPAL REAL ESTATE APPLICATION, take nothing for granted.

Case in point: Do you know many municipalities can access a procedure that legally lets them create one large land parcel from two or more abutting lots that are owned under the same name? Folks often are surprised to learn this, but taken aback to learn the procedure usually can be completed  without notice to the owner and without the owner’s consent.

A corporation that would later become our client discovered this the hard way. It had an interest in purchasing one of three separate contiguous parcels. Each of them had been developed years earlier and each had a different use: Multi-family; retail; and single family. Although all three were under the control of a company that actually owned the properties and was selling them, they stayed as separate lots under a form of the technique known as “checker boarding.”

Though our eventual client was only interested in purchasing the multi-family parcel, the seller insisted all three had to be bought together as a package ― it was all or nothing. Ultimately the three lot package was bought through a strategy to resell the retail and single-family parcels promptly after the closing. Unknown to the client at the time, once the three parcels were purchased in our client’s name they were soon merged into one, which fact became abundantly clear when arrangements were made to market the two lots.

At this stage we were retained as management consultants and from that station learned our client hired an expert attorney to petition for the restoration (unmerging) of parcel lot lines to premerger positions. The client was optimistic due to the favorable specifics involved: No two parcels had the same use; and each had been fully and independently developed long ago with its own infrastructure, utilities and buildings. As the client deemed the matter an unwelcome expense and inconvenience rather than a potential obstacle, it commenced preliminary plans to market the retail and single-family parcels.

However, that inconvenience unsuccessfully dragged on for about three years. The municipality requested documents, information and introduced requirements that had no reasonable relationship to the lot-line restoration request, including such things as mortgage documents, names of tenants and property tax data. New requirements seemed to arise at each hearing. At one juncture the municipality alleged a lot-line restoration would increase town density despite the fact that the parcels could not be further developed.

In the end the merger stayed intact. The client released its attorney and halted its lot line restoration efforts believing the municipality simply didn’t want a multi-family facility to remain in the area of the client’s property even though zoning did not forbid it. Given the time elapsed and money spent, the client’s resolve and resources apparently were too drained to move to the next step, a lawsuit.

The bottom line: Either take nothing for granted with a municipal application  … or have a reliable crystal ball as a guide.

***************************

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

***************************

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.

 

 

Rules Are Rules

July 8, 2014

 14Jul08 New pix

(Image Credit: Google Images – reasonswhyimstillsingle.wordpress.com)

See Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer below.                                                                                

To Inhouse WebSite

A CONSULTING PROJECT HAD US WORKING IN A RESIDENTIAL COOPERATIVE COMMUNITY with extremely limited vehicle parking. A handful of dwelling units had two parking spaces while the remainder had one. On good days parking was chaotic.

Although the purpose of our consulting mission did not initially include parking issues, the community manager, who had been hired a couple of months earlier, asked us to review the situation to learn if there may be a way to mitigate the problem. He explained haphazard parking interfered with emergency responder access and caused frequent neighbor disputes caused by guests and residents indiscriminately parking on internal roadways and using parking spaces assigned to other units.

Studying the matter we not only found the co-op rules specifically prohibited the ongoing parking turmoil but also found sufficient room on either side of the community entrance driveway to accommodate a parking field for guests and excess vehicles that would ease the situation. Accordingly, having the co-op seek municipal authorization to construct such a parking field was our recommendation.

It was then we were informed of the manager’s secondary, and perhaps true, concern. Seems a few influential folks on the co-op’s committees were pressuring the recently hired manager to ignore the parking violations of their household members and guests, yet those committee people wanted rules enforced against all others.

Under the circumstances the manager felt he was in a “no win” situation. If rules are executed against everyone, as they should be, the influential folks would be angry; but if he imposed the rules as requested, it would be arbitrary and selective enforcement. Wanting to keep his new job he wasn’t sure what path to follow ― it seemed a form of mental gridlock expressed through his failure to act, even though he knew inaction might expose the co-op to municipal code violations, among other things. He quietly asked us what he should do.

A quick examination of his employment contract made plain his responsibility to enforce all the board’s rules against all violators. So we sat him down and dispensed a brief primer, explaining that although he must treat everyone with courtesy and respect, in the proper performance of his job as manager he would not make everyone happy at all times. We stressed his job is to uniformly apply and fairly implement the rules upon each violator regardless of his/ her office in the cooperative. The board of directors expects its rules to be enforced and pays him to do so.

He understood then inquired: What about those committee members? We told him to inform them his job is to enforce the legal rules the directors adopt. If those rules are incorrect or improper they should request their board to modify them. Otherwise, as long as they are legal and comply with cooperative documents, he has no choice but to enforce them as they exist.

Happily, that manager kept his job. After all, rules are rules.

***************************

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

***************************

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.

Happy July Fourth

July 3, 2014

 US Flag

See Blog Terms of Use and Disclaimer below.                                                                                

To Inhouse WebSite

Happy Independence Day!

 

On this occasion we are changing the publishing schedule of this blog.

Starting on July 8th, as scheduling allows, we intend a new blog edition to be published on or about the 8th, 18th and 28th days of each month.

Thank you for your support and comments. We look forward to hearing from you!

***************************

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

***************************

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.