Help: I'm a landlord
January 8, 2008 5:22 PM   Subscribe

New York City Landlord Filter: I just began a new job as a manager of some residential buildings in NYC, and I think I'm a bit under qualified for the position. Anything that can help me out with learning the intricate legal requirements as well as general tenant management would be quite helpful. Any ideas?
posted by curiocity to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Probably are familiar with it, but you need to make sure your buildings comply with the City Housing Maintenance Code. Violations of the code can result in fines, etc.
posted by ecab at 5:32 PM on January 8, 2008

Best answer: Nolo Press does some very good nuts and bolts guides for landlords (and also tenants). Screen, screen, screen your tenants if you are choosing tenants. Don't fall for sob stories, don't get personally involved with tenants. Check back 2-3 previous landlords and get landlord references. It is much easier to do your legwork before someone moves in. It is much more difficult to get rid of a problem tenant so don't let them take possession in the first place You walk a fine line between being friendly and being a friend. You should be friendly but not the friend of anyone. It will always come back to bite you in the ass if you do become friends while they are living in your building. The job can and will age you in dog years unless you become very good at establishing boundaries. Take care of maintenance issues as soon as possible. Nothing causes festering bad feelings more than leaving things undone, even if it is just small things. Do move in check lists and walk throughs with new tenants and document any pre-existing conditions in the unit and do the same when they leave. Return deposits promptly. Establish some basic house rules, like one rule I had was that if there was a neighbor complaint, the complainer had to first attempt to have a friendly conversation with the "offender". I did not encourage anonymous notes or pounding on the walls--just have a little talk. You would be amazed at how much drama that will save you. People want the manager to be the "bad guy" and will embellish things. Making them talk to each other keeps it on a friendly neighborly level. Don't slack, don't play favorites, don't be a doormat or too rigid.

Oh--and get a locking gas cap if you have a car. Feel free to send an email if you have other questions.
posted by 45moore45 at 6:19 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have never met an apartment manager who was not vastly underqualified for the position. We're talking about a very low bar here. It's great that you want to excel at your job, but don't put yourself through unnecessary angst.
posted by bingo at 10:29 PM on January 8, 2008

Seconding Nolo Press. Haven't read their New York book, but their California books have everything you need to know in great detail. Say you want to evict someone, here are the criteria you need to meet, here's how many days notice you need to give, here's how to deliver the notice, here's what you cannot do.
posted by salvia at 12:21 AM on January 9, 2008

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