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Porters, Handymen, and Doorman, or PHD's Blog
  Questions For Supers - 800 to 849  




"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it."  -- Samuel Johnson


go to most recent question frequently asked questions  ask a question  questions by category

  last update on Tuesday January 26, 2010 08:23 PM PT

Fair Use Disclaimer


The information given on these question and answer pages has been carefully checked and is believed to be accurate; however, no responsibility is assumed for inaccuracies. All answers sent in and published on these pages are the sole opinions of the authors and do not represent any legal, medical, or professional advice.

The Supers Technical Association reserves the right to make changes to any and all content without notice, and to edit all questions and answers received for accuracy or clarity, or for any other purpose.

Although the Supers Technical Association believes the content to be accurate, complete, and current, the Supers Technical Association makes no warranty as to its accuracy or completeness of the content. It is your responsibility to verify any information before relying on it. The content of this site may also include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. From time to time changes will be made, without prior notice, to the content herein.

Do not construe any answers we give as legally binding in any way. We don't practice law and do NOT dispense legal advice.


  Question #849: Do I need a GED or high school diploma to start a superintendent training course? Post your answer

Answer: Depends where you attend the courses. A GED will help you and would be of great advantage for you not just for a super's course, but for your life. Some places require it, some dont. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #848: I presently have a job as a resident manager in a Local 32BJ building, and have been offered a better job in another Local 32BJ building. I will have a probationary period of six months, which I have no problem with. My question is about my medical and dental benefits during this period. Do I lose coverage during this trial period? Post your answer

Answer: Yes. All you need to do is to make it part of the deal that the new company takes over your medical, pension, etc., benefits. However, usually you do this in the negotiation part - after they offer you the job and before you accept it. It is up to them to say yes or no. I know, because I make that part of the deal in every new job I go too. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #847: Can a refrigerator emit a foul odor from the compressor or any other mechanical parts. Post your answer

Answer: Yes they can. Some refrigerators have a defrost pan bolted on top of the compressor. The purpose of this pan is to evaporate the melted defrost water (due to the heat of the compressor) from the evaporator and other areas of the refrigerator. If some organic matter, like beef blood finds its way into that pan, phew, it can really stink up. On other models a similar pan can be found on the bottom of the refrigerator near the condenser. Air is blown over the condenser and past the pan so that warm waste air evaporates the defrost water, again a potential area of smell if the water is contaminated with organic matter. William Aristovulos

  Question #846: What can be done about companies like PC Richards and Sleepy's dumping the customers' old fridges, mattresses etc., on the property? I call 311 and usually get some employee who can't be bothered to do or suggest anything. It's really annoying when you find old items left by these companies in the hallways and basement. Post your answer

Answer: In my building we have a policy (in writing, which we hand to all movers, contractors and deliverers who come into the building) that all the above are prohibited from leaving anything behind, including packing material, furniture and all other disposable items. This will take care of most, but not all, of those kinds of dumping and disposal problems - invariably some get away with murder. But if you have time to keep an eye on their activities they can usually be caught and forced to do the right thing.

  Question #845: I rent a duplex in a 4 story brownstone.  There is one apartment below mine and one apartment above mine. The  person upstairs has to walk through my duplex to access her apartment. She uses a common stairwell and  hallways to get upstairs. The outside lights and vestibule lights are on a timer. They come on at 5:00pm and stay on all night.  The hallway lights have motion detectors and they come on every time anyone enters the common stairwell and hallways.  The electric meter is configured such that the electricity used in these common areas registers on the bill for my duplex. Am I entitled by law to a meter that reflects only the costs for my apartment? Post your answer

Answer: Short of a Philadelphia lawyer to read and interpret your lease, which should give a clue to the answer, I would call Con Edison and complain that you are being billed for another's lighting. If that runs into a stone wall, try filing a complaint with NYC Dept.of Housing Preservation & Development (311 will get your there). Dick Koral

  Question #844: I live in a 4-unit, converted brownstone apartment building that I just found out is for sale. My lease was up last August, and I never bothered to try and renew the lease because my neighbors told me the landlord, who's not that active in the affairs of the building, would raise the rent. Now that it is for sale, what would be the steps and advantages of trying to make the building go co-op? Would I be able to buy my apartment under value? If the apartment is sold to another party, what are my rights in terms of eviction? Post your answer

Answer: This is probably the kind of question much more geared to the forum at

  Question #843: Can you tell me if it is legal for a super of a co-op to have a basement apartment in a co-op building. Our basement has windows that are actually at ground level. Post your answer

Answer: Yes it is legal, as long as the apartment is listed on the Certificate of Occupancy, and as long as it meets the building (and other applicable) codes. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #842: I am looking for a class that I would be able to take to help me understand boiler systems and to install them. What classes are there in New York City. Post your answer

Answer: NYC College of Technology in Downtown Brooklyn has a whole department, "Environmental Control Technology) with up-to-date boiler lab, etc. Go to and check it out. None better in these parts. Dick Koral

Answer: Housing Conservation Coordinators (HCC) and the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) are two New York City organizations giving good classes on understanding boiler systems. Contact them and ask if they can also help you find out where to learn about installing boiler systems. When you do find out, let us know so we can print the information here. Glen Stoltz

Question #841: Our roof, installed in 1990 with Brai RubberoidMB roofing process and a final layer of Karmak Alumninum Coating, has developed some bulges that appear to be filled with water.  The two bulges can be seen at this link: What do you recommend? Post your answer

Answer: There are several issues with your roof. The immediate cure for the blistering is simple. The roofer would cut out the defective section (if the insulation is wet, that too would need to be cut out) and a new section installed. What caused this condition is the real problem. From what I can see in the pictures is the water is going under the roof from the side walls, from the metal capping. There is NO flashing and where there was, it was covered over. The walls need to be addressed. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #840: I received a safety notice in my apartment today that stated the building is non-fireproof. Is it safe to live on the 6th floor in a non-fireproof apartment building? Post your answer

Answer: "Fireproof" doesn't mean it's impossible to burn, it just means a building is built in such a way that it will catch fire less easily. Older buildings can't be described as fireproof; newer buildings are by code constructed in such a way that a major fire will have a harder time getting started and spreading. Anything will burn given high enough temperatures (remember the WTC on 9/11?) Is it safe to live in a building that isn't classified as fireproof? Is it safe to cross the street? Is it safe to ride in a car, a bus, a subway? It's all relative. You have to weigh your needs (or wants) against what's available or affordable and reach your own decision. Probably more important is the question of getting all the residents in your building educated about what starts fires, and if a fire does start, what do you do to get out and protect yourself and other residents. Here's a good PDF on residential building fire safety. Printing it out and giving copies to the head of each household in your building would be a good idea. Glen Stoltz

  Question #839: I have been approached about being a superintendent for a condominium in New York City. The building runs by city steam - no boiler. Also it has a water tank on the roof and a pressurized sprinkler system for the bottom 3 floors. Where do I go to find out what tests are necessary? Post your answer


Answer: City steam requires no permits or certificates to operate as long as the end use of the steam is less then 15 psi. You will need a certificate of fitness for pressurized sprinklers. call FDNY dept of fire prevention 718 999 2000 or click here. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #838: I lost my universal refrigeration license and would like to get a copy. I don't remember my # or the name of the tech course. Any information would be great. Post your answer

Answer: In response to your lost cfc certificate you must call VGI Training, they keep the records for your epa tests 608 1-800-866-4109 give them your social and you can pull up your test on line and order a new copy of your card--I hope this helps someone it helped me best regards Ed Locklin.

Answer: GO to FDNY (Metrotech, building 9). Go to COF (Certificate of fitness) section, first floor. With your name and SSN they should be able to spot your Certificate. The nice lady at window 9 (usuaLly) found mine in 2 minutes. You need a passport picture and you pay $5 for duplicate, at windows 12, rather 13.

Answer: There are two that I know you can check with, and chances are one of them is the one you are looking for: the first one is the ESCO Institute, and the second one is the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society, their phone number is 847-297-6464 you can also fax them at 847-297-5038. Roberto Cardona

Answer: Refrigeration licenses are now being handled through the FDNY. Contact them, I do not know which part of the Fire Department handles this. The number I have for the Department is 718 999 2000, ask them they may be able to tell you which department. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #837: Who defines the scope of work which a super is required to do as part of a job description? Can a board modify a "job description" to require additional services from a building superintendent? For instance, painting and plastering work is something a super is claiming "isn't in his job description." Post your answer


  Question #836: My landlord has decided to put 4 uncovered trash cans in the hallway of our building because he was getting summonsed for the outside trash system. This brings vermin and smells beyond belief. Is this in any way legal? Post your answer

Answer: This is permissible. Under the Multiple Dwelling Law, Title 3, there is no mention that the receptacles need to be stored outside - or rather cannot be stored inside. This is the letter of the code: "Sec. 81. Receptacles for waste matter. 1. The owner of every multiple dwelling shall provide proper and suitable conveniences or receptacles for ashes, rubbish, garbage, refuse and other waste matter and shall arrange for the removal of such waste matter daily. 2. No person shall place ashes, garbage, rubbish, filth, urine or fecal matter in any place in a multiple dwelling other than the place provided therefor, or keep any such matter in his apartment or upon his premises such length of time as to create a nuisance as defined in section three hundred nine." Furthermore, the receptacles do need to have a tight fitting cover. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #835: It's November 16th, and my landlord just announced he's raising my rent $350 starting December 1.  I'm in a non-stabilized building.  Is 15 days notice legal?  I thought he owed me a month. Post your answer

Answer: You need to look at your lease. If you lease does not specify how much time/notice the landlord is to give you, then 15 days is it. Free market rent or non-stabilized apartments have very little protection. As always, you should consult an attorney. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #834: I signed a lease to pay all the utilities for a one-family home. A few months later I told my landlord I could not pay for the gas because it was too high. The landlord made an addendum to the lease by increasing my rent and taking over the responsibilities of the gas bill. I did not sign the addendum to the lease, but my landlord switched the bill into his name. Recently the landlord has asked for the increased rent and I have not paid it. He has decided to switch the gas back into my name. Can he do that? Post your answer

Answer: Sorry, but this would be a question for an attorney to answer. I won't dare give you my personal opinion about your deplorable actions and intent. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #833: How much heat (in BTUs) is required to change 500 pounds of water at 75F to steam at 212F? Post your answer

Answer: If I did the math right, the answer should be 68,500 BTU. Ken Botte

Answer: You were close, however you forgot to add the latent heat of vaporization which is 970.3 per lb. So total BTUs needed: 66,465,550. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: I'm not an engineer, but I think you both are only partially correct. Yes, it takes about 68,500 BTUs to get from 75 to 212 degrees. And, yes it requires about 970 BTUs per pound to get to steam from 212 degree water. So 500 lbs at 212 degrees x 970 = 485,000 plus 68,500 = 553,500 BTUs required to heat 500 lbs of water... but put this in a closed boiler and who knows what will happen... Derek Bupp

Answer: Yup Derek is right. I multiplied 137 x 970 x 500. Good job Derek, and thanks. Peter Grech, GBOC
  Question #832: In a New York City residential high-rise condominium, what constitutes a hallway obstruction - are door mats and wall hangings included? Is there a list? Post your answer

Answer: There is no list published that I am aware of. Put simply, anything in the way that a person can trip or fall over is considered a form of blocking egress, whether those items are movable or fixed. Wall hangings are not considered a trip or fall hazard, therefore as long as they do not stick out of the wall more then a normal 2 inches or so, they are not considered blocking egress. But again, as all answers that pertain to legal and code questions, this is our opinion based on experience. For the legal answer you should ask an attorney. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #831: Re: self-managed or in-house-managed co-ops: I am a super, in a 73-family class 'A' Brooklyn co-op. The Board is willing to consider my proposal that I set up a company and do in-house management, but they want to first speak with the boards of other comparable buildings, which have similar set-ups. I have taken the self-management course at CNYC, and I have done IREM's ARM course. Can anyone refer me to such a building or list of buildings? Also any pro or con ideas, or specific instructions? I have started talking to a payroll company which has a bookkeeper recommendation, for possible back-office services, and I am considering a Bank Lock Box System. Post your answer

Answer: I don't recall any specific buildings that I could give you a phone number which are self-managed. Your best bet would be to contact Mary Anne Rothman at CNYC and ask her that question. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #830: I am a union 32BJ superintendent on East 86th Street. Am I responsible for scraping, plastering, sanding, priming, and painting of six large hallways (6 floors) in the condo I work in? Post your answer

Answer: My opinion is no, you are not required to paint - paint touch-ups maybe. Your best bet is to contact your union delegate, as you should in all union matters. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: I wish to expand on my answer above: New York City laws require that any contractor or super, etc., who is going to paint and plaster in a building built prior to 1968 needs to have certifications to deal with the lead paint issues. This becomes even more important if there are children living in the apartment or building where the lead paint will be disturbed. So, unless you have these requirements and certifications, and assuming your building is built prior to 1968, you CANNOT do the painting and plastering - regardless of what the union and management says. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #829: I have a 3-family oil-heated house in Brooklyn and the FDNY just issued an ECB violation citing "Rule 3: Storing fuel oil without a valid fire department permit." I can't find any information whatsoever on the need for a permit. Is there such a thing? I'm wondering of the inspector just assumed I converted to gas and never removed the oil tank (not the case). Post your answer

Answer: If your fuel tank capacity is 1,100 gallons or more, or if you have more then one tank where the combined capacity is 1,100 gals or more; then you need to register the tank with the DEC. The FDNY requirement is a separate issue. Now, the code is very technical and over 200 words, too long to type here. Contact the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for more information. Lastly the penalty can be in the thousands of dollars a day (yes, a DAY). Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: While the last poster is correct about the DEC requirements and fines etc., I wouldn't be alarmed. I've never seen a 3-family with 1,100 gallons of oil in the basement. The FDNY requires you register, I think every 2 years - it doesn't cost a lot. If you do decide to convert to gas and get rid of the tanks make sure you file an affidavit with the FDNY though. Derek Bupp

  Question #828: I was wondering how much a landlord can usually charge a billboard company to put a billboard on a building. Is it a monthly flat fee, revenue sharing, or both? Is it a different fee for a traditional vinyl billboard and for a digital billboard? How long is the lease generally? Can a landlord usually break the lease? Post your answer

Answer: There are various arrangements but it's usually a percentage of the revenue. The rates are negotiable. Some of the more desirable locations can obtain a fixed fee per month whether or not the sign is rented. 10 years is typical - 5 years happens but usually not less. The companies that do this have iron-clad leases and teams of lawyers, so very rarely can you get out of the lease. This may encumber your property if you intend to sell. Derek Bupp

  Question #827: I have the universal EPA license from the Navy. I was wondering if that is the equivalent to having a refrigeration license in New York City. If not, does it fulfill the prerequisites for taking the exam? Post your answer

Answer: The EPA certificate that you have is part of having a New York City Refrigeration License. It does not exclude you from obtaining a Refrigeration License from FDNY. Requirements prior to obtaining such license are 2 years of practical experience and 2 years of classroom education. Call FDNY for more info and look to previously asked questions on this subject. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #826: What are union scale wages for a New York City super?  Is it reasonable to assume that this wage is just a base salary for a super. Post your answer

Answer: There is NO set base salary for a unionized or non-unionized super. While there are hourly rates for doormen, porters and handymen, no set hourly wage exist for supers or resident managers. Too many factors are involved in calculating a super's salary, among them: size of building, staff size, location, job description. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #825: When a person within your field of industry goes on an interview, let's say for a Superintendent / Resident Manager position, and is asked the typical question: Tell me about yourself. What do you feel are key points the individual should bring to the table? Post your answer

Answer: Obviously this question will have different answers because of different people. The main thing to bring to the table is: your talents, your contribution to the building, your experience and your successes in the past - to name a few. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #824: We do not pay for heat. It is freezing in here all day and most of the night. What is the heat by law suppose to be? The radiators are cold. Heat may come on between 3 & 6 AM, water does not get hot - run for a few minutes, may get lukewarm. Tell me what I can do for landlord to come correct. Post your answer

Answer: The heating law requirements are set out on this page. You can dial 311 to register a complaint with the city if those requirements are not met.

  Question #823: I own and live in a one bedroom condo of a 350 unit complex in Manhattan. I would like some guidance in holiday tipping for the super, doormen and maintenance personnel. Post your answer

Answer: If you go to our website's search page and put in tips OR tipping or a similar search string, you will get links to lots of pages on this site with information and opinions about tipping. Also see this super's blog for more links to information about this subject.

  Question #822: In New York City can a landlord deny certain tenants (rent stabilized), in a 5-floor walk-up, a washer and dryer if there is no laundry room in the building? Post your answer

Answer: Yes, a landlord can deny or not give approval for a tenant to install a dishwasher and / or washing machine in the apartment. In most leases this is written clearly. I have yet to see any lease that does not have a clause that prohibits washers. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #821: I've been contacted by a super of a nearby building where the landlord has told him to get a boiler license ASAP. The problem is, this super (who is a decent guy and who took over the job from his parents) can't read, or reads very little. We're concerned the landlord (whose reputation is not good) might use this as an excuse to get rid of him as a super and as a resident. Any information on: a.) what is the requirement for a boiler license? All buildings or some? In this instance we're dealing with four tenements in a row, and b.) do they have to go to class? I did find information on the first two questions, but in this case, the super (really a kid in his early 20's) is not literate, can barely read and appears to have a learning disability. Do you know of any resources for people who are not literate? Post your answer

Answer: The only requirement for a super to have a "boiler license" is if the building's boiler uses #6 oil. A person doesn't have to take a class for the license but does need to study for it by reading the material and does need to read the questions on the test and use a touch screen to answer the questions. Not being able to read or write may be OK for a janitor or porter, but a super should know how to read and write. Keep in mind that he's responsible for the tenants health, security and safety. To expand on this further, HPD is about to enforce that superintendents be certified as competent in their duties. One way is for the landlord or board to write a letter certifying their super as competent. Note, HPD may question this letter as it may be self serving. The other way is for a super to have a minimum of 15 hours of education as per HPD requirements. More news on this will follow from STA before the end of October - stay tuned. So it behooves this super and other supers to learn how to read and write in English, as the laws are going to be enforced. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #820: I live in a rental building that has signs clearly stating when garbage can be left by the freight elevator for pickup by the staff. These times are ignored by almost everyone on the floor and the garbage can sometimes be in the hallway for 5-6 hours. Does this violate any fire or sanitation code? Post your answer

Answer: Yes it is actually a violation to leave the garbage in the hallway; in fact, nothing should be left in the hallway at all in the event of an emergency fire exit. So the fact of the matter is, floor mats, umbrella stands, bikes and baby strollers are not allowed. And the same can be said of exit stairwells. Roberto Cardona

  Question #819: Is there such a thing as an FDNY-approved air conditioner for use in a fire escape window (these are studio apartments that have two windows side by side facing the fire escape)? Post your answer

Answer: The answer is No. You cannot put any a/c unit on a fire escape route. The a/c unit will interfere with your escape as well as when the unit extends out of the window it may interfere with the escape of others on the fire escape. For more info, call FDNY, Fire Prevention Unit, 9 Metro Tech, 718 992 2000. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #818: I would like to know if the refrigerating operating engineer exam PART 2 will be taken on computer simulator? If not yet, when? Post your answer

Answer: No. There are no plans to ever take the practical part of this exam via computer simulation. There is always talk about it, but it won't happen in the near future. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #817: I have lived in my rent controlled pre-war apartment for 34 years. The electrical wiring here is a joke -only two outlets in the whole place outside of the kitchen. I would like to have the wiring redone since I don't intend to leave anytime soon. I'm assuming I will have to hire an electrician and pay for it all myself. Do I need the landlord's permission to get a permit to have the work done? Can he refuse me when I'm only trying to bring the apartment up to code? Post your answer

Answer: Yes, Landlords permission is needed. Yes, he can refuse you. He can also say that he will have his electrician do the electrical upgrade, and increase your rent by 1/40 of the cost, but only with your permission. Renters have to keep in mind that while it's their apartment to rent, the apartment is still the property of the owner. You mentioned you wish to bring it up to code, it is up to code for the year it was built. Lets face it, you want to make these "improvements" not for the landlord's benefit but rather your own, as you stated you are not going to move. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #816: Will TRVs work for steam radiators inside a wall covered by a metal cover with vents? Post your answer

Answer: Not exactly sure what a 'TRV' is.  If this is one of those automatic room temperature control valves, you have two options. For single pipe steam radiators you must put this valve on the air vent, not on the steam valve to the radiator.  If you have two pipe steam (with a trap on the radiator), then you can use this type of valve. However, piping is important or water hammer may result.  Please post again with more details of your application and I will try to answer in more detail. Joe Lambert, Leonard Powers

  Question #815: I am wondering what the average salary is for an experienced superintendent? Post your answer

Answer: Without knowing all the facts like size of building, staff size, location and duties, to answer this question is difficult. But a very rough rule of thumb is for buildings with less than 100 apartments, and normal duties the salary range is approximately $45K to $60K. Of course there are always exceptions to this. There are too many variables. I can tell you of a super with 27 apartments, full staff and he earns $70K. Then another super with 500 apartments short staff who earns $72K. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: Read  the Frequently Asked Questions section for the answer to a similar previous question.

  Question #814: How do I get a boiler license and can I get questions and answers online? Post your answer

Answer: For a start in finding your answer, search the Licenses, Exams and Certificates of Fitness archives.

  Question #813: I am looking to take a training course to become a super, but am having trouble finding a school, please help. Post your answer

Answer: Start your search here.

  Question #812: What date is the landlord required to turn the heat on? Post your answer

Answer: Heat requirements for New York City.

  Question #811: Do you need a permit for wood stoves in New York State? Post your answer

Answer: In New York State - NO. However, your city or county may require a permit; the insurance company may also require it. Make sure you inform your insurance company that you are installing a wood stove. Naturally, you must follow the local building and fire codes when installing a wood burning (or any other) stove. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #810: I own a 2nd floor condo and about 6-8 months ago my super came to me and let me know there was water dripping down into the 1st floor unit. We found the problem, and it was fixed. I went down there about 2 days later and asked if there was still water coming into his unit?  He said it wasn't. Just the other day I get a call from the actual owner of the unit, she tells me that there is damage in the bathroom and that I have to fix it.  My question is, since I didn't know there was damage and 6-8 months have passed since this accord, am I still liable for the damage? Post your answer

Answer: First of all, was the leak inside the wall or outside of the wall. Second, check you propriety lease. Most of the time, leaks inside the walls on what is call common use piping is the responsibility of the building to fix the leak as well as any damages. If it was outside the wall as in leaky pipe under your sink etc, then these items mostly are the owners responsibility to repair as well as any damage. If you paid for the repair to the plumbing then mostly you will have to pay for its repair. As for 8 months later, well fair is fair, if you are responsible for the repair, then just have it replaced. Lastly, as always our answers are just our opinions and any legal questions should be referred to an attorney. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #809: A New York City building inspector gave me a notice of violation for a partition in my living room creating a living room and bedroom. The remedy requires me to obtain a permit or to restore the premises to its prior legal condition. I was told it may be an illegal partition. Firstly, who determines if the partition can remain in the apartment, and secondly, what are the necessary steps to cure this violation. Post your answer

Answer: Who determines if the wall remains? The City of New York makes this determination. You did not state if you own a co-op or condo or are a renter. In any case, you would have needed to follow the rules under the lease or co-op/condo proprietary lease, because these entities also have a say in whether the wall remains or goes. The cure: since you have a violation it's best to hire an expediter. You would need an architect or designer who has a license to draw up plans, and go downtown to the Department of Buildings to file. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #808: I've read question #756 regarding window air conditioner installation. I'm having a hard time locating the information you refer to regarding the use of brackets and how far the a/c unit extends from the window. Where can I see this information? I've read the Building Code and have searched the Department of Buildings website, but I find nothing specific about legal requirements on the installation of A/Cs. Under the building Code it just mentions appurtenances, but does not give exact details about brackets, etc. I've also read LL11 info, and there is nothing there either. Where can I find detailed information on the correct installation for window air conditioners that comply with LL11? Post your answer

Answer: It is under appurtenances. The building engineer is the one who can guide you as it is NOT written but it is given. 10 inches is the magic number. If the a/c unit extends 10 inches past the glass of the window, it would require brackets that rest on the building wall, or brackets from the inside securing the a/c unit from one side of the window main frame to the other - not to the window itself. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #807: I'm a New Jersey Black Seal license holder. Can someone tell me, if I want to work in a second job in New York as a boiler operator, what are the requirements? Post your answer

Answer: New York City requires that heavy oil "#6 oil" requires a Certificate of Fitness P-99 for the operator of the boiler. If the boilers use gas, or #2 or #4 - no certificate is required. If the boiler is combination gas and #6 a certificate of fitness is still required. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: For a start, see the answers in the Certificates Of Fitness & Exams Section of the Questions By Category.

  Question #806: Is the landlord supposed to provide the tenants with garbage cans for disposal of trash? Post your answer

Answer: Under the housing codes, the landlord must provide approved containers for tenants' garbage. They can consist of either garbage cans with lids or garbage bags suitable for garbage. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #805: I live in a non-stabilized, non-controlled 4-unit rental building. We had a baby last November and are just getting window guards installed by our landlord.  According to NYC law, landlords may pass a $10 charge per guard per window on to tenants in controlled or stabilized buildings, but I cannot find anything outlining how much non-stabilized or controlled tenants may be charged.  My landlord expects that we will pay $60 per window on 5 windows for both the cost and installation of the guards (his choice, we found guards for 1/2 price he did). Is this within his rights to do? Post your answer

Answer: Sorry to say that the $10 per window guard rule only applies to rent controlled and rent stabilized tenants. So you will have to pay a fair price for it. Depending on the super's salary and cost of guards, what he is charging may be within reason. Not that I agree with it but that is the way it is. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #804: What can a super do about tenants who dump trash and abandon furniture in the hallway? Posting signs prohibiting these actions are often torn down, perhaps by those same people. I read a lot about tenant's rights, but when tenants break city regulations the complaint procedures are not so clear. Post your answer

Answer: I can not say what I would do. But if you ever go to one of our meetings, ask me in person and I will give you a few options. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: This is the kind of thing that never gets easy for most of us who work in building support. We can do our level best day after day and year after year, and a resident - who should have a vested interest in helping the building staff keep their building clean and NOT making it difficult - dumps all over your clean hallways with a total lack of care for your hard work or respect for your efforts and the wishes of other residents. I don't have any advice (except to keep on respectfully requesting or demanding that they do NOT do these things) because it IS your job to keep the building clean no matter what happens. But we all understand your frustration. Most of us have at one time or another experienced this kind of callous behavior from some of our residents. And it really only takes one to sour the experience and make us feel that all our hard work is thankless and demeaning. How to deal with this is the kind of thing we talk about at monthly meetings, often one-on-one and sometimes as part of the monthly focus of the meeting. You would do well to come and introduce yourself around and find others who share your goals to keep on doing your job the best way you know how - no matter what. This is a large part of why STA exists - to encourage ourselves and others to do our jobs better and always be a professional. Glen Stoltz

  Question #803: This question is related to Question #613. We have a serious rust corrosion condition at the base of our 18" six-story steel chimney stack. Our neighboring building's system has been merged into our stack for over 25 years. We've recently discovered they have installed a high condensing heating system that will surely disintegrate our already compromised stack. If they hedge (as they have been) on footing the bill for repair or separating their high condensing emissions, can we repair our base and cut them off to prevent accelerated corrosion? If so how do we go about this expeditiously? Post your answer

Answer: First of all, you have to establish that the chimney is owned by your building. Second, you need to establish if the building next door has ever received permission to share it. If you own the chimney outright, the cost of repair / replacement is yours. I cannot understand how permission to do what you have said was done. I don't believe a permit was given. You need to try to find out if there ever was a permit granted. I have not heard of sharing of a chimney. Beware trying to work this out before calling the Department of Buildings - once they come in, their findings will be final. If no permission and no permit was given, then your building has the upper hand. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #802: I'm one of those rare female supers and one of my tenants litters 4 to 5 times a day on the street and sidewalk to feed the birds. I'm all about sanitation and hygiene. My windows are all street level and it's pretty gross what I have to deal with. He's also admitted to being a sexist and is aggressive. How should I handle him? Post your answer

Answer: First and foremost we at the STA offer the highest level of respect to all female supers, and to answer your question, I would bring it up to the board and management and specify the reasons you mentioned above, hopefully they will send said resident a letter requesting him to stop. Roberto Cardona

  Question #801: I'm a live-in super for a co-op building and I would like to know if the board can tell me how to run my job every day? It is hard to do my job when a board member is in my face. How do I deal with this problem? Post your answer

Answer: YES they can tell you how when where what etc. Usually this happens when a board lacks faith in the super. I suggest you talk to them and ask them if they are lacking the faith. If they answer no, then talk about how they are micro-managing you. Communication is the number one thing that you and the board must have. Keep in mind there is a right and wrong way in how and what you communicate to them. Do it in a professional manner. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #800: I was let go yesterday 09/05/2006 after 27 years on the job, his reason was he had heard by tenants and contractors that I was under the influence of something. He also stated it has been going on for years. I have never been issued a letter in all the years I have been there. I believe this was done by the Operations Manager. What recourse do I have in this matter? Post your answer

Answer: If you are a union member, then you have union recourse. If you are not union, then I would ask for specific proof of the allegations. If it means much to you I would retain a lawyer. Otherwise, ask for time to find another job, ask for moving expenses and a letter of reference and just move on. If the manager is after you and he has such influence over the board or owners, then you are out of luck and if it isn't for this, then it will be for another reason. Peter Grech, GBOC