NYC Residents Using A Hands-On Approach To Manage Their Buildings

Apartment owners are taking on the traditional duties of a super or managing firm.

New York City is experiencing a rise in self-managed buildings, where apartment residents, instead of hiring a super or a managing firm, shoulder all the responsibilites of the building themselves. Whether taking out trash, hiring contractors, maintaining the books or enforcing building rules, self-management is resulting in significant savings for these residents. While such do-it-yourself apartment owners sometimes face challenges like lack of time, skill or unequal distribution of building management responsibilities, they feel that being able to reduce their maintenance charges and to be in a better position than managing agents to care for their buildings is totally worth doing it themselves.

From The New York Times:

A small percentage of buildings in New York City, most of them with only a handful of units, operate on a system that might draw shudders from apartment owners accustomed to running to the super or calling a managing agent for any concern. Residents of self-managed buildings do everything themselves: They take out the trash. They shovel the snowy sidewalks. They hire the contractor to fix the roof. They balance the books. They file the forms and permits required by the city Department of Buildings and Department of Finance. They enforce the building rules — no exceptions for friends and (obviously) neighbors — on everything from pets to renovations.

The money saved through pure self-management can be significant, and that of course is the main attraction. For example, a self-managed 12-unit prewar co-op in Park Slope, where two-bedroom apartments have sold recently for $589,000 and $575,000, has monthly charges of about $550 to $750 for such units, a board member said. This is significantly less than for similar units in the neighborhood.

NY Times: “Self-Managed Buildings Turn Tenants Into Supers”

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