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Porters, Handymen, and Doorman, or PHD's Blog
  Questions For Supers - 1251 to 1350  

"The school of ignorance is the most expensive school but some will learn in no other." -William Shakespeare


questions page navigationgo to most recent question frequently asked questions  ask a question  questions by category

  last update on Sunday November 29, 2009 11:01 AM PT     January 2008

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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.

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



Post Your Question Here

  Question # 1350: We are a  32BJ union co-op.  Our full-time live-in super was terminated for cause 6 months ago.  Union agreed with termination and did not arbitrate. Former super brought a charge against the union, which was subsequently dismissed.   Former super finally moved out after eviction hearing, but he is still living in the neighborhood. Former super hangs around outside the building bothering (harassing?) our new super, calls (harasses?) residents asking them to vote in a new board so he can get his job back, etc. Many residents find him annoying, but some older residents are fearful that he's still around.  And we certainly do not want to lose our new super who's doing an excellent job.  Can anything be done to get rid of the former super once and for all? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Maybe if one of the Board Members or tenants that was friendly with him (if there are any) can have a heart to heart talk with him. Explain to him that the position is filled and that there is no chance of him getting his job back, maybe he will get the message and not hang around. If that don't work try calling the local Police station and ask them to stop by when he is there and they could have a talk with him. MmacGowen

Question # 1349: If I have my own shower body, how much will a plumber charge me to replace it. He will have to break the tile wall and put on new tiles. I have replacement tiles. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: most established plumbers would not use your shower body unless it is new and out of a box. Installation should in the area of $300-400. Plumbers do not put tiles back on the walls, for this you would need to hire a tiler. Probably another $300-400

Question # 1348:  If the sprinkler system inside an NYC condominium goes off, should the super know how to shut off the main water valve to turn the sprinkler off or do they
need to wait for the fire department to shut the water off?  
Post Your Answer

Question # 1347: What is the Brooklyn, NY law regulating the fire escape obstruction? Is placing a plant on the window that opens to fire escape considered
obstruction? What is the penalty for having a plant in the window facing the fire-escape and who is liable - tenant or landlord?
Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Yes its a violation. No obstruction of fire escape is permitted. Not sure how much is the fine. Landlord is responsible.

Question # 1346: I'm currently unemployed and applied for a few Maintenance positions, both Manhattan and Westchester. A couple of these positions were with the local 32bj.
Can I or how can I become a local 32bj member? I was laid off in December and was part of the AFSCME(DC1707)useless union that didn't help me at all. They
don't even pick up or return calls. I felt I was robbed by them.
Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Local 32bj is not a closed shop in that you have to be a union member before you get a union job. Historically, you get the union job, pass the 60 day trial period and then join the union.

Question # 1345: If the sprinkler system inside an NYC condominium goes off, should the super know how to shut off the main water valve to turn the sprinkler off or do they
need to wait for the fire department to shut the water off? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: If there is or was a fire, the Fire Dept shuts down the system. IF the system was set off due to anything other then fire, the hold of the Certificate of Fitness can shut down the system, but must notify the fire dept that the system is shut down and why and for expected to be down for how long. Pgrech

Question # 1344: If I have my own shower body, how much will a plumber charge me to replace it. He will have to break the tile wall and put on new tiles.I have replacement tiles.
 Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Most plumber's will not accept responsibility for the part you have purchased. As for the tile on your wall check with your Superintendent or Handyman, they should be able to make the repair or point you in the right direction. Curt Bergeest

Answer/Comment: Plumbers on average charge from $70 to $85 per hour depending on where you live. Should take about 4 hrs.
Plumbers DO NOT put tiles back on walls, you need to hire some one else to do the tile work.

Question # 1343: We are a 32BJ union co-op. Our full-time live-in super was terminated for cause 6 months ago. Union agreed with termination and did not arbitrate. Former super brought a charge against the union, which was subsequently dismissed. Former super finally moved out after eviction hearing, but he is
still living in the neighborhood. Former super hangs around outside the building bothering (harassing?) our new super, calls (harasses?) residents asking them to vote in a new board so he can get his job back, etc. Many residents find him annoying, but some older residents are fearful that he's still around. And we certainly do not want to lose our new super who's doing an excellent job. Can anything be done to get rid of the former super once and for all?  Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Check with your Managing Agent, and the legal Department of your Management Company. Curt Bergeest

Answer/Comment: This is a legal issue, consult the building attorney.  Sorry I cant be of any more help. Pgrech

Question # 1342:  Do any other NYC commercial supers feel slighted regarding being mandatory EAP director? Post Your Answer

Question # 1341: My daughter's father is the super for a four unit building. His boss no longer wants him to work for him.  He gave him the option of staying in his lease but
paying the full rent. He gave him a two week notice. Does the landlord have any obligation to the lease that states his rent will be reduced for his
superintendent services, or does he owe some type of compensation for breaking part of the lease contract, i.e. severance pay?
 Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: This is a legal question better asked and answered by an attorney. However the lease does state that while your father is a super of the building/s he will enjoy a rent reduction. This term ends with your fathers termination. The landlord does have the right to terminate employees as long as the landlord is not breaking any Fed or State employment laws. Pgrech

Question # 1340: Is it law that the Super of a 100 garden apt. co-op lives free in one of the co-op's and still gets a nice salary and benefits? Also, if it is not law, can
the Board or Management Company write up new contract for new Super stating that if living on premises, maintenance charges have to be paid?  Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: The rent free as you states is part of the salary package. Charge the super for rent/maintenance and you will have to increase his salary. Pgrech

Question # 1339: I would like to now if NYS z=99 Refrigeration machine operator license is good in other states?  Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Not all states require a refrigeration license. but in NYC you must. Roberto Cardona

Question # 1338: Would I loose my Supt. job if I get divorce?  Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Marital status is not an issue with being a superintendent. Pgrech

Question # 1337: Hello, I have been in the union for 15 years and currently I am the superintendent for a 72 unit coop (Bronx). This building has had a number 4 oil burner / boiler for 53 years and now it is time to replace it. They want to replace it with a number 6 oil burner / boiler. I currently have a COF for a number 6 burner however, it seems that the board of directors don't seem to want to adjust my salary for the new addition to my duties. Do I have a argument here? I was first told when I started that the free apartment was part of my salary but now since there will be a #6 oiler burner and someone with a license must be present, shouldn't I get a raise? Thank you for always being here. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: This is a question often asked. We all (not just supers) are asked to do more and more and with little or no compensation for the additional work we do.
You do not have a leg to stand on in my opinion, but then you can make a good case in October for you year end bonus to be increased. That's what bonuses are for.

Question # 1336: Do the associations for most condos and coops (non rentals) provide hot water to the units or do the units have their own hot water heaters? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Most buildings, coop or condo have a central heating and hot water plant that is common to all owners. The few that would have individual heating or hot water units would be in very small buildings. Pgrech

Question # 1335: I have been a super in a 12 unit rent stabilized building over 20 years. I do receive an annual lease. my rent is about $435. About one third of what most tenants are paying. I would like to know if i have any protection under the rent stabilization law. Also I wanted to apply for SCRIE. Freeze rent for seniors. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: your protection under the rent stabilized law would be if you had a rent stabilized lease. Read your lease. If it is a rent stabilized lease then you are protected, if you don't, then you are not .Pgrech

Question # 1334: I have a high degree of mechanical aptitude, and a friend of mine who is a Super has suggested that I obtain an RMO (refrigeration machine operator) License. He tells me that this is all that is required to be employed as an RMO, without
having to undergo a lengthy (and not great paying, which is an important consideration for me) apprenticeship period. My question is: What's the REAL
story?...Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: The fact of the matter is you can take the courses of a\c and 1 year of a/c licensing and take the written and practical. apply for a job and save the management money by making on site repairs (of course you would negotiate a price before performing the repairs) or you can simply apply for a job with a company that repairs chillers try contacting a company called TRANE good luck! Roberto Cardona

Question # 1333: We super several buildings in the east village area. Recently, it seems that the city is trying to raise money by ticketing for wrong items placed in recycling. There have been tickets for 1 deli container in a large bag full of bottles and cans. My impression was that the tenants are supposed to be responsible for this - not the supers. The supers shouldn't have to be digging thru garbage, but the city gives the tickets to the building owners and the owners hold the supers responsible. I would like to see a law that any tickets given for improper items in recycling will be passed on to tenants as raised rent. A warning could be issued 1st so that the tenants could learn what to avoid. I feel it is unfair that this burden is now placed on supers. The city seems to think they are easy targets. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: You raise a valid point. However, the owner of the building is responsible for this. Sanitation is unable to obtain just which tenant failed to recycle the product. The only thing you can do, is if you are present during this violation - make sure you go through all the garbage in that bag and maybe, JUST MAY BE you will find a name and address of the tenant who did it - then sanitation can be asked to issue the violation to that name. I don't it a few times. As for the owner holding the super responsible, that is not fair but then life isn't fair. Pgrech

Answer/Comment: You are absolutely right about holding tenants responsible for the fines imposed by sanitation. But one of the biggest problems is, how do you find, who did it! when it comes to paper and cardboard boxes, sometimes tenants forget to remove the shipping labels, which could be used to track them down. But when it comes to bottles and garbage, it becomes very difficult to track them. So the answer to your question is, go right ahead and hold them responsible, only if you could prove it. Good luck! Sam H.

Question # 1332:  I have a high degree of mechanical aptitude, and a friend of mine who is a Super has suggested that I obtain an RMO (refrigeration machine operator) License. He tells me that this is all that is required to be employed as an RMO, without having to undergo a lengthy (and not great paying, which is an important consideration for me) apprenticeship period. My question is: What's the REAL story?...Post Your Answer

Question # 1331: Hi Everyone. Does the fdny certificate of fitness Z-51 (refrigerating system operating engineer), increase your chances of getting a good job as a super??? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Yes you would because you could apply for buildings that have chillers and the only people that can apply would be certified refrigeration operators. Roberto Cardona

Answer/Comment: In many cases yes. More certs and licenses a super holds, the better candidate he or she makes. However, sometimes its also viewed as OVER Qualified as not all buildings require a lot of licenses etc. What is important and often over looked is applications. Just what group or groups and organizations do you belong too. This is important as it gives the interviewer an insight into the person whose resume he/she is reading. Pgrech

Question # 1330: What is the requirements for a building burning # 6 oil in regards to certificate holders. Are we required to have someone 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: You are correct with one exception, the cert hold must be present while the #6 burner is in operation only. Also it is the responsibility of the cert holder to inspect the burner and controls every time a repair man touches the burner/boiler. 
EVERY TIME. If you have a porter or other staff, you can help them get the Cert of Fitness for #6 burners and that would take pressure off you. Pgrech

Answer/Comment: FDNY requires someone holding a number 6 oil burning Cert. of fitness to be on premises in a building operating a # 6 oil burner. D.E.P. cert. of instruction would help as well. Ed. Rios

Question # 1329: I have two Pennant boilers. The boilers are controlled by an Heat Timer. The problem is when the weather outside is warm, the boilers stays on to heat the hot water. Is there a way to set the timer to turn off the heat and still heat the domestic water. The plumbing company that installed the system are clueless on how to solve this issue. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: The heat timer can be set to turn off the heat at a certain outside temperature as well as regulate the amount of heat being sent up to the building. The company that installed the heat timer should have gone over this and should be able to set it correctly. Also thete is a winter/summer switch that turns the heat on and off. Bernie

Question # 1328: Mine is a small co-op of five families. I just received a "Notice of Violation
and Hearing" from the Environmental Control Board City of NY. It says "Registration expired on 6/13/2006 -- Equipment Weil-McLain #EGH 85." This is
for our building's furnace. I am completely unaware of any process to "register" this kind of thing. I'm supposed to show up for a hearing April 6th. Any actions
I can take before that to fix this situation?
Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: All heating equipment are registered yearly. Your managing agent and or Owner of building has this responsibility. It is not the responsibility of a super to deal with this. Pgrech

Question # 1327: What is the difference between a building superintendent and a resident manager
? Thanks.
Post Your Answer

Question # 1326: I'm a super of a 54 unit, upper east side building in NYC I do not have an
apartment though I am on call 24/7. Am I entitled to an apartment?
Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Law states that for a building of your size that a super must live in the building or with in 200 feet of the building. This is true for Rental and coop buildings, however it may not be true for a condo. Also, as long as there is 24 hr janitorial services or at least a doorman there 24hrs, then most likely a super does not need to live at the building or near it.

Question # 1325: In a rental or co-op or condo when the person in the apartment does not leave you the key to their apartment is the super responsible to drill out there bottom lock if the tenant locks themselves out of there apartment? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: The Owner/Board, should have some type of house rule implemented. In my building if I don't have a spare key then you have to call a locksmith at the residents expense. However, if the building is a rental, then you should have a master key for the entire building, if you do have to use the master key to give a resident access because he/she didn't give you a spare then the owner should charge them. Obviously the later in the day/night the higher the charge. Joseph Shkreli

Question # 1324: A tenant is concerned about some kind of pollution leak in his apartment which is above the boiler room. He thinks its Radon! Besides carbon monoxide are you aware of any other type of problems that can occur to any apts that are above the boiler room or next to the boiler room.
Thanks in advance. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: NY Fire Codes states that all boiler rooms are to be tight so that no smoke can go into the building. This means all holes where pipes go through need to be sealed. There a fumes, smells, vapors that go be produced in the boiler room. Also, Radon is not common in NYC Buildings. PGrech.

Question # 1323: I've seen ad's for super jobs where they say that as the super, you're job is to collect rent. I've lived in apartments my whole life and have never seen a super collect rent. Usually tenants send rent to the "rental company office". Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: NY STATE law states you must be a licensed real estate broker to collect rent. Pgrech

Question # 1322: I have looked all over for answers to this question, I live in the Fingerlakes area of New York state, recently upon renewal of our leases it is stated that we are to pay for all of our utilities, including: heat, hot water, water, sewage, trash and our electric of which the only meter that is individual to each apartment is for electric. The Bill for the other utilities is in the name of the owners, however they are estimating how much each unit is suppose to pay for the other utilities that are on one single meter. So I am paying for my 90 year old neighbor to have his heat on 80-85 when our heat is comfortable at 70. How is this legal??? I asked the office manager what the estimate would be for the utilities and was told 70.00 per month at the most by the office manager, my first bill was just under that, my second bill however was 167.00, way over that estimate, again, how is this legal??? Any help with answers would be great. thanks. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: I took a while to answer your question as I made many attempts to find you the answer. I was not able to find an answer. I am sorry. If you do find one, please let us know so we may post it. Your best bet is to ask an attorney who is in real estate.

Question # 1321: I own a co-op in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  Each unit is responsible for it's own boiler.  Do I need a permit or to file plans with the city to install a boiler which only provides heat and hot water for that unit only? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Yes. The plumber who will do the installation will know what kind of permit you will need. IF the plumber states you do not need one, (as the plumbing and building codes are changing) then get it in writing that you do not need one.

Question # 1320: Is there a proper time frame that a Super should stay at their position upon
accepting a new Super's position at a new location? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Every one should give proper notice of leaving their current position. Usually 2 to 4 weeks notice. Pgrech

Question # 1319: Upon receiving a new Super's position, how much time can I expect to be given,
for me to move my family from my current Super's position and apartment? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Between 2 to 4 weeks. Pgrech

Question # 1318:  I got a painters job in class A building, I think I am in the union at the present time. My hourly rate is 13 per hour. I want to know what my hourly rate as per the union. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Which Union? If its local 32bj then your position falls under "others". Currently that hourly pay is $18.9408 for persons who have been in the union prior to starting their job. IF you never were in the union before then they can hire you at 80% of union wage which is $15 and change per hr.

Question # 1317:  I am a super of a 40 unit building, in Brooklyn. I have Down blast exhaust fans system and was wondering what are good times to set the timer for, without burning out the motors. Post Your Answer

Question # 1316: I live in a three family house in Brooklyn, is my landlord required to provide a carbon monoxide detector? Post Your Answer 

Question # 1315: I live in a building with 75 apartments. Our Board President fired our super three months ago. I know we are required to have a 24 hr super living on-site. What kinds of fines are we facing for not having one? Please respond as soon as you can so I can help our building solve this situation. Post Your Answer

Question # 1314: As a shareholder in a coop, is there a bureau that I can file a complaint with, regarding the buildings lack of sufficient heat or hot water and rodents and water bug problem?  It is a 15-16 story building in Queens, New York. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: Call 311. They will put you through to the heat complaint line. Try to talk to your board or owner first. Try to work it out. PGrech

Question # 1313:  The loft I live in has an industrial stove that I love, but no hood (although the ceilings are 18 foot high and I have large windows) and gas pilots that are on all the time. Is this legal and to code to have it in a rental apartment? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: As far as I know Yes you are ok. Its not the size that counts but what use. I would check with a licensed plumber to be on the sure side.

Question # 1312: I have been living in an apartment building for over 10 years and our building directory has never been changed or updated and looks sloppy in that you can see the wires.  What can I do to get the building management to replace and update our directory?  Would you know how much it would cost to replace a building directory for 45 units? Thanks.  Post Your answer

Answer/Comment: Actually its the Post office that requires by law to have a directory and that the directory is maintained current. Talk to your letter carrier. As far as how much, that all depends on what has to be done and what style etc and installation costs. PGrech

Question # 1311: Our shady co-op Board President fired our Super three months ago and has not filled the position. He is using a temporary maintenance company in the meantime. Our old super is planning on suing the building for discrimination (which is likely true) and we can't afford these kinds of problems. We are now without a super, and as a building with 75 units we are required to have one. What legal problems are we facing without a super, and what can we do to get him re-instated? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: The codes states that a super or janitor must be living on the premise or with in 200 feet of the property, unless the owner has 24 hr janitorial coverage. If this maintenance company is on call  24 hrs then it would seem that the code has been met. If your building uses Number Six oil then the Fire Dept requires some one with a number six certificate of fitness to be at the building when ever that boiler is in use. SO find out if the building uses number six oil and if it does then you are in violation of the fire dept code. If your building does not use number six, and your janitorial company does provide 24 hr 7days a week coverage, then all requirements have been met. PGrech

Question # 1310: I was hired as a painter in a class A building and by now I guess that I am in the union 32bj, but I don't know the hourly rate as per the union. As of right now I am getting 13 per hour, what should be my pay per hour? Post Your Answer

Question # 1309: I am a super of a 40 unit building, in Brooklyn. I have Down blast exhaust fans system and was wondering what are good times to set the timer for, without burning out the motors. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: NYC building codes require that exhaust fans run 24 hr/ 7 days a week. However, i run mine from 5 am to 11pm 7 days a week. It is up to you. If you get a violation, most of the time its an order to correct with out penalty.  Again, most of the time. ask yourself "how lucky do you feel?"

Question # 1308: The hallway in my building has a ceiling light fixture that has detached from the ceiling and being supported by the two electrical wires that power it. Management claims this is not a violation. I would love to prove him wrong. Could anyone tell me if this is an actual violation and if so where can I find it in the code? Thanks in advance. Post Your Answer

Question # 1307: what do I have to do? I was out of my house for a month when I came back 2 weeks later I had my guest over so I opened my closet in my bedroom and had this awful smell when I took
out the blanket out it was wet and I thought it was some moisture, and then I started to take out the pillow and all my clothes from there all my blankets, rugs, clothes and whatever that was in the closet smelled and had mold over the pillows... and the back of the closets the huge board was wet so I moved the furniture out from the walls and I saw water stains on the walls and thought the huge closets the walls were destroyed. Not so bad, but still, and it had this awful smell like (mold). What do I have to do? Where do I go? I live in a condo and I have insurance, and my windows from the back of the closets was steamed and all the paint from the walls and windows were chipped off.   PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP!!!!!!
Post Your Answer

Question # 1306: How Good is the HPD Cert? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment:  they are very good. But they are only as good as the person who earned them.

Question # 1305: Can someone please help me I really need to know if my husband will be entitled
by the judge to extra months of stay in our apartment after him getting fired the next day for asking the higher bosses for a raise. He kept the building clean maintained everything as it should and we don't understand why this is happening to us. We have 3 children aged 11,5,and 1 and one is in school we cant just take him out this is all just very upsetting to me and scary if anyone out there can help with maybe ideas for a lawyer or something. I'm the on that also posted question 1300 still waiting for some help we really have no one else to turn to. thanks again. Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: New York is an "employment at will" state. If your employer hasn't broken a discrimination law or violated his union contract, you have no rights, only good will. Once you ask for a raise or a promotion you have to be ready to move on. No manager should keep a disgruntled employee in their building, it's not a good risk. Sorry for such a cold answer, but it's the way things work. Hope they'll let you live in the apartment for a while with no access to sensitive areas. Norman Saul

Question # 1304: Is a super of an apartment building entitled to free cable? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: No. That deal is made between the cable company and the super. In small buildings supers may get a discount. In larger buildings it may be free or $5.00/month. In any event cable has nothing to do with your job. Please NOTE also that if you have a small building and you do not have a phone by the building you are entitled to either a free phone or reimbursement for your home phone. That deal you make with the owner. Same with Garage. Some buildings pay for the supers garage, some don't, some supers get a discount. This deal is made between the super and the owner of the building. Peter Grech

Question # 1303: I live in a multiple dwelling coop in Manhattan. I live on the 2nd floor. It is excessively hot (average indoor temperature is over 80 Degrees) and the wall where the riser is is 94 degrees. Also there are hot spots on my flooring and vibrations. I am not over the boiler but am over an ac/heating unit for security area. Is this a normal indoor temperature? Is it normal for the wall containing the riser to be that hot? The managing agent says it's normal and I need to live with it. I am a senior citizen and it is so hot even with windows open I cannot breath well. Thoughts? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: I have run into this problem once before in NYC.  An apartment was too warm because the risers in the walls (steam or water pipes that deliver heat throughout the building) were heating up the unit. I would make sure that your radiators are off and get the heat just from the walls.  If it is still too hot, you may have a case for them to rip out the walls, insulate the pipes behind them, and then put the walls back, but this is a big job. As for the vibration, this should be corrected. Peter Grech

Question # 1302: I am an experienced building porter working in Westchester in a residential condo for 4 years and I am going to school for my FSD, fire safety director in NYC, will be moving to NYC in 4 months. How do I find employment as a building porter in the city, or doorman because I am a part time doorman front desk attendant in the same building sometimes also. I want to stay in the union so how do I apply to management companies? Post Your Answer

Answer/Comment: First of all let me congratulate you on taking the Fire Safety Director course! The Fire Safety Director Certificate will get you in the door of almost any commercial building with a Class E system in NYC. Start walking around Manhattan as a FSD someone will snatch you up.!!!!!!!!!!

Question # 1301:  Does any body have the most educated idea, or if not, may be you can direct me to
a company, or some one who can tell how much oil does a multi family building generally uses yearly per apartment in the Bronx. The building I am most interested in has 72 units, and has about 8500 SF of living space. I believe it was built in 1923,it is a brick building, what I am trying to determine is the yearly fuel cost to this building by finding the closest amount of oil an  apartment uses yearly. Thank you. Post Your Answer  

Question # 1300:  Is it possible to get fired the very next day you ask the owners of the building you work for for no apparent reason especially since you asked them for a raise that was promised you a couple months back. Also am I entitled to remain in my apartment a little longer than 1-2 months especially if there are kids going to
school involved. How can I get help for my situation? Post your Answer

Question # 1299: My landlord is keeping most of my security deposit ($1,900 of $2,300) because he
said he needed to paint 3 coats of the highest quality paint in our 850sq ft. apartment in Brooklyn, after we moved out. Keep in mind, when we moved in over 4 years ago, the place was not even painted, with the exception of two walls, a
disgusting lime green. My wife and I spent $500 on top quality paint and did the job ourselves. Now, he says the cost of paint and labor (done by the super) adds up to $1,900! Isn't the place supposed to be painted every three years, at no
cost to us (code 27-2013)? What can I do? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: yes the apartment is required by by code to be painted once every three years "AT THE REQUEST OF THE TENANT" and this rule applies to Rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments only.
If the walls were white and you painted them a color, the land lord is entitled to charge you to make the walls white again. It can be white or an off white. if you can not get the landlord to be reasonable, file a small claims court action.
Peter Grech

Question # 1298: I am an owner in a condominium building in jersey city. We have a resident
superintendent and we have been told by our board that we must have a resident superintendent due to the fact that New Jersey law requires live in superintendent where there is a boiler in the building. Is this true? Post your answer

Answer/Comment:  Sorry I cant help you. In NYC this is true but not for boilers/heating reasons but for janitorial reason. In NYC it is covered by state and NYC codes. I would ask your managing agent the question for the answer.
PLEASE do send me his answer. We would like to know - should this question come up again.
Thank you.
Peter Grech

Question # 1297: If called to work on your day off (such as for snow removal) are you required to
go? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Employees are required to work 40 hours a week 2ith 2 days of rest. The Boss can call and request if you can come in to work due to an emergency. But bear in mind maybe he is calling you because he likes the productivity you offer (you do a good job) also bear in mind our present economical situation a lot of people are out of work so if the boss calls you in to work count your blessings. Roberto Cardona

Answer/Comment: In a union building you would not be required to go.  However if the building is non-union it is a personal decision you would have to make. The possibility is there that you may not have a job after the storm. Peter Roach

Question #1296: With which gas I can replace R600a in domestic refrigerators and what will be the results Post your answer

Answer/Comment: R502 would perform just fine, good results. You can also use 409a, 404a and 134a. You can also use a very popular refrigerant called "hot shot", which is a blend of refrigerants and can boil off at different temperatures. Roberto Cardona

Question #1295: I just recently found out I was being paid under minimum wage for the last three years is there a way to recover my loses? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: I would sit down with your boss and discuss it with them. Perhaps they were not aware, perhaps their calculations are based on other benefits. Sitting down with them is the first step and the proper way to go about it. If nothing results from the sit down, call New York State. I do not know which department handles min wage claims. research it on line or go through the phone book. Peter Grech

  Question #1294: How long do you have to move once a super is fired from his job? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: That all depends. Usually between 30 and 60 days. I heard less time, and I have heard in some cases more then 60 days. Peter Grech

  Question #1293: I work as a live in super attendant in Brooklyn, NY. When I first started working, it was me and my wife, so we were fine with a one bedroom apartment. Two years later, she got pregnant, and now we have twins. Landlord still do not want to give us a bigger apartment. So is two of us, and two babies living in small one bedroom. I was wondering if is regulated by the law how big apartment he has to give us? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: The landlord is under no obligations to give you a bigger apartment. The super's apartment is designated as such. NY STATE Law states in general that for every person there must be at least 80 sq feet of space. This does not include children under 4. so, unless your apartment is less then 160 sq feet you have no legal recourse. Also note, that if you do make an issue, the landlord may terminate your employment. Peter Grech

  Question #1292: The super of the building where I live became violent towards me. I was standing at the door of the court yard, the door wasn't closed all the way. He saw me and pushed the door really hard. I almost fell and the door hurt my back and shoulder. He started to curse at me because I wasn't supposed to be at the court yard with my dogs. He looked like if he wanted to hit me. I told him, if he touches me again, I will call the cops. In the past he has been arrested. And now I fear he may do something to me. What should I do? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: You should send a certified letter to the management company and or the landlord. Management will know how to handle this best. Peter Grech

  Question #1291: I'm looking to get in to the field of being a super, but everyone is telling me that I need a #6 boiler license & the standpipe. how and where do I obtain these licenses? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: STA has classes in number six burner aka P-99 and in standpipe and sprinkler aka F10/98. Our classes begin today, Tuesday Dec 9, 2008 for sprinkler and Monday Dec 15, 2008 for Standpipe and sprinkler. email me at  Peter Grech

Answer/Comment: It will take a lot more then #6 boiler license and standpipe/sprinkler license to get a super position, well one that you will be happy with anyway. I know a lot of reputable people who are seeking a super's position and are very skillful and people savvy and haven't had much luck. Basically what I'm saying is that not reputable management company will hire someone with no experience in this field, for the simple reason is that you have no track record and that means your a gamble. No management company will take that gamble, in this field the stakes are too high. Joseph Shkreli

  Question #1290: I have been going to a few interviews and was asked how old are you. I think in this industry once they see you mature, they don't want to hire you. Very sad, because that is when you have all your experience, maturity and you are at the top of your game. Management looks for younger men with no experience so they don't have to pay them a higher salary. There is no respect for the "experienced and mature" worker. I guess once you reach 40 you should just take all your experience and die. Superintendents getting older, watch out, when they start looking for excuses to fire you!! Just want to add my 2 cents. Happy Holidays to all! Post your answer

Answer/Comment: It sounds like someone asked an illegal question to me; check with your lawyer or union rep. It's prob. not worth the cost to fight, but that's up to you. Norman Saul

  Question #1289: Hello, I am the new president of my coop. We recently fired our super of two years b/c of failure to do his job (he had been on probation for a year with no improvement). We have given him 30 days to vacate the premises, but it has been made known to me that he will continue to occupy the apartment after the 30-day period. He has a family with two toddlers. Our supers, as part of the job, get an apartment, utilities (electric and gas), a phone allowance and garage space. Is he still entitled to these items after the 30-day period? We have a new super who is currently residing in an empty shareholders apt during this time. What is the worst case scenario that I can expect? Thanks for your time.  Post your answer

Answer/Comment: You should consult your coops attorney. I am sure he will agree, that you would have to file for hold over proceeding or something like that. In the mean time you would need to Charge the ex super rent. Again, this is a legal matter. Do not waste time on this, speak to your attorney. Sorry can't be of any more help. Peter Grech

  Question #1288: I have a resident that has from time to time verbally attacked my staff. She yelled at my handyman this week to a point that I think it could be called abuse. Mother F'er this , lazy F**k, Scumb*g, it was bad. All because he didn't run to her apartment when she called. he was involved in a repair and said that he would come in a 1/2 hour. Can anything be done legally? We have notified the board and I know they don't like her in the building or her personality and how she treats the staff. I think they're afraid of her. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Try talking to the resident. I mean a sit down talk not a complaint session. This is necessary to start a trail of attempts to cure this situation. IF this fails then you need to send a formal complaint in writing to the board and to the managing agent stating the facts and asking for a solution. If you are union and board has failed to act or cure the situation, you would then contact your union and seek advice from them. If all else fails, and you have followed all of the above, then there is nothing you can do, other then try your best. We cannot satisfy everyone. The very last step would be to bring in an attorney. This would only be done when you have reached an end and feel cornered and threatened. Always keep your board and manager in the loop of all the steps. Keep a diary of when, where and what. Peter Grech

Answer/Comment: You should go to your management company supervisor, they could and should send a letter to the tenant. They will start a paper trail, just in case later on they have to go to court, they will have some kind of proof. Mike MacGowan

  Question #1287: Our 5 story building is heated by twin Weil McClain gas atmospheric boilers. Wet steam and distribution problems have produced insufficient heat in those apartment units just over end of return line while over heating other units (possibly due to boiler excessive firing). Have been advised by highly reputed heating/piping company to try turning down the firing prior to going through expense of installing new drip returns in boiler room in hopes that condensation will be lessened, thus reducing water blockage and improving steam distribution. Having such strained resources this seems a good strategy, however some believe this would decrease the heat output to the individual units. If this is true what is best recourse to improving steam distribution? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: While I do not know your system, and while systems even though maybe similar all are different. When it comes to this kind of issues, BALANCING the heat distribution is one major factor. Second, is VENTING.  Your boilers maybe OVER SIZED. Peter Grech

Answer/Comment: You have the very common problem of uneven heating that takes your very reputable steam expert to solve, as every old building is different in its piping, delivery, etc.  You have not given us nearly enough information about your system to solve your problem, even if it could be solved on a board like this.  The best advice is to go to a trusted contractor that can look at your exact conditions and propose a solution. That being said, In all building the steam will heat the closest units first, so a thermostatic valve or vent (depending if you have one or two pipe steam) installed in the warmer units will help balance the system.  Reducing the steam pressure - which sounds counterproductive - may actually deliver steam faster through the building.  And if your pipes are 'waterlogged' you must remove this water to that the steam can flow using traps or drain piping.  Finally, look into the steam control system to make sure it is based on outdoor temperature. Joe Lambert

  Question #1286: Hi, I wonder if anyone has any information that can help me with my situation. I am a superintendent of a co-op building in Manhattan and I have recently separated from the mother of my 2 year old child. She has taken me to court for child support and her attorney has claimed that I am falsifying my income. I have submitted 2 pay stubs and a w-2 form which coincide as far as total yearly gross income. Here is where I need help...Her attorney is claiming that I am falsifying due to the fact that the apartment in which I reside is worth 3-4k a month. This brings my total gross income up substantially. The judge asked me if I get a 1099 form for the value of my apartment and I said NO, as far as I understood, the apartment was included in my income. Does anyone know what gives here. Can the value of my apartment be considered income? Any help with this is GREATLY appreciated. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Apartment cannot be counted as part of your income, is is simply a tool that you use to perform your job.  For example, if a trucking company rents vehicles to perform their job, those vehicles are not considered part of their assets and they are just something that they are using to perform their daily operations, same way you are using your apartment to perform your duties.

Answer/Comment: Tread very lightly on this issue. As far as I know the apartment is given to the super because the super is on call 24/7 and because State and City Codes require it. Thus it is a wash. Your attorney needs to research this more. Good Luck Peter Grech

Answer/Comment: I believe that to be true, that you have to claim it, also your tips and bonus money. Curt Bergeest

  Question #1285: Where can I get certified for swimming pool maintenance? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Swimming pools come under the control of the Health Dept of the City of New York. You need to contact them. try 311 first. Please Note: New Federal laws are coming out in December 19th, 2008, regarding swimming pools. Peter Grech

  Question #1284: In New Jersey, if a refrigerator supplied by the building breaks, is the building responsible for paying for the spoiled food? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: I am not sure about New Jersey as always, check your lease. If the lease says it then that is the end of that. If it is not in your lease, then that is the end of that. Most likely, the landlord is NOT responsible for the spoiled food unless you can prove he was negligent. Peter Grech

  Question #1283: I will be moving to Greensboro, North Carolina in the next month, is there some information you can give me, that may help me in my future search for my stand pipe license and #6 boilers license in Greensboro? Post your answer



  Question #1282: This is November, when and where will I be able to take the #6 boilers operation license test and what will the full total application fee be? is there a book that I can study before taking the test? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: This test is given by New York City Fire Dept. It is given Monday through Fridays, but not on holidays at 9 Metro Tech in Brooklyn. You can look on line to find the manual you would need to study. Application fee for the test is $25.00 Peter Grech

Answer/Comment: We offer courses for these certificates of fitness, please see this link

  Question #1281: The building we super recently got violations from the dept. of health and mental hygiene for "shaky" childproof bars on the hallway windows. These windows have wood frames and it's not possible to make the bars tighter by tightening the screws. Is there anything else that could be used to make the bars not move when pulled on? We were in the process of replacing the windows when the inspectors came in and gave the violations. These windows had been like that for at least the past 40 years and never got a violation until now that they're being fixed!! Also was wondering if it's a violation to put lewan(sp?) (1/4" paneling) over open window frames (for a day) after the old window has been removed and until the new one is installed. Post your answer



  Question #1280: I would like to know when the classes will be offered again for F-1095 and P-99 Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Please contact Mr.Peter Grech at 1-212 370 1052 he will provide all the information you need to know about the dates and times for our courses. Roberto Cardona

  Question #1279:  We have a one pipe steam heat system in the building. One of our 2 problems is that when heat comes up, the banging of the pipes sounds like someone is hitting them with a hammer. Also the air vents leak, I was told this happens because either the pipes are not pitched right or that the tenants are shutting the valves and then opening them, but no one wants to admit it. They just want the problem to go away. By the way, this is a 96 unit building and half of it has this problem. Any advice would be great Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Your problem is greater then what you stated. Mostly its water and air that is trapped in the pipes and radiators that is causing the noise. Radiators need to be pitched slightly towards the riser so that the water can leave the radiator. Air Vents do not cost a lot of money  about $10. But it would seem there is another issue. With out knowing when the water hammers i.e. beginning, in the middle or at the end of the cycle it is hard to determine the exact cause. My best guess is that there is too much pressure  and that there is too much water in the boiler with causes water carry over which in turns sends wet steam up to the radiators. Peter Grech

  Question #1278:  Do you guys help members to find a superintendent job? Post your answer

Answer/Comment:  We provide, on our website, jobs that are available as we hear of them and people looking for a super posts their openings. At meetings, other supers and vendors do at times state they know or heard of a job opening. In January we have a workshop on resumes and on job interviewing. Beginning January 2009 the job listings and postings on the web will be accessible by members only for the first two weeks that we get notice of an opening. (After the two weeks, we will release the information to the general website) We also plan to have a job opening bulletin emailed to those members who request it, as an opening becomes available. Peter Grech

  Question #1277:  Is it legal in NYC for a certificate of fitness for sprinkler holder to drain and re-fill a sprinkler system? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: The fact of the matter is you would have to drain any area where the pipes may freeze in the winter. You don't want the pipes to freeze and burst. You would have to fill that area in the spring. In our standpipe and sprinkler course we place strong emphasis on inspecting your systems, in case you have damaged or painted sprinkler heads in which case you would need to drain that certain line, replace the head and place the sprinkler line back on line. But most important make sure you put on record or log book. (preferably on the back of the monthly inspection sheets) Roberto Cardona

  Question #1276:  Do you have an example of a contract/lease agreement a smaller building (24 units) which I could use for a super, live-in position?  Post your answer

Answer/Comment: No we don't. If you do create one, just keep it fair, and keep it simple. Peter Grech

  Question #1275:  I live in a rent stabilized apt. My bathroom has a steam pipe riser which is used to heat the room. On a couple of occasions I've bumped against the pipe when the heat was on, and it was very hot and painful. Is my landlord obligated to install pipe installation? He said that he may charge me to do this. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: I don't know about rules, but as you said, the riser is used to heat the room.  If you put insulation over it the room will not get heat.  A cold bathroom is no fun.  I have seen people put insulation on the lower parts of the pipe to protect little children who may touch the pipe, but if you want a warm bathroom, maybe it is best to leave the insulation off. Joe Lambert

  Question #1274:  The tenants above my apartment are being very noisy since I moved in, every Friday and Saturday they have loud parties from the afternoon to the next day in the morning. I've tried and tried taking to them about it, called the police and nothing has happened. In that one bedroom apartment there are living seven adults and five kids. On the weekends their guests are greater then twenty people, they stand outside of the building hanging out and go in and out the apartment, like they live in a club, what should I do about it? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: You need to file a complaint with the landlord and the managing agent. You also need to file police reports. All this is required as a paper trail should it go to court. I wouldn't threaten the landlord or managing agent with withholding rent at this point in time. See what they can do first. Peter Grech

  Question #1273: Please tell me the probationary period for new supers in a Bronx co-op. I've seen articles where it says 6 months but also 90 days. Thank you. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: This would depend if you are union or not. Not sure for the Bronx, but 32BJ Resident managers have 6 month probation. Working supers is also 6 months, according to the 2006 agreement XVI paragraph 6. Now if you have a different union I don't know what is the period. If you have no union, then it is what the employer says it is, within reason. Peter Grech

  Question #1272: Should a super of a 30 unit condo. have a porter to help with garbage and snow removal? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: There are no codes or laws on when to hire additional help for a super, as in hiring a porter. However NYS laws limit a super to 65 families, before he needs additional help. Peter Grech

  Question #1271: Does a 30 unit building (its a condo) need a live-in super? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Please see Question 1270 below.

  Question #1270: I work for a condo in Brooklyn, it has 30 units [26 resident and 4 commercial] does the condo have to have a live on premises super? What is the pay I should be making, I've been working at this building for 13+ years and still make the same as when I first started. In 1995 my earnings were $23,677 In 2007 my earnings were $22,950. What can i do about this? I did ask for them for a raise and they gave me a $75 a week raise, but I feel that isn't right, after all these years working without any raises. I cant live on this amount, they also give me $200 a month towards  electric, gas, phone was $150, they recently raised it $50 when I asked for the raise my electric bill alone is $350-400 a month since the hike in Kwh from Con Edison! Post your answer

Answer/Comment: No they do not have to have a live in super. The super must however be within 200 feet or one block from the building. We don't get into what super's earn or should earn. However, to me what you are earning is some what on the low side. I would ask them again to raise you salary to keep up with the times. You didn't say if you were a full time super or not? That maybe another way around this, to remain a part time super and get another job (or building in the area) to make up the difference. Peter Grech

  Question #1269: How can I find an address in NY or the Bronx to take the boiler permit? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: FDNY building at 9 Metrotech Center will provide the information you need to take and pass the test as well as set you up with the dates when the tests are given. Take train and get of at jay street and borough hall when you get off ask any police officer outside who would be more than glad to inform you the quickest way. (about a 4 block walk) good luck on the test. Roberto Cardona

  Question #1268: Do I need to file a permit in New York City to change my boiler to gas? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Yes and you would need permits for the gas work done by the plumber. You would also need to dispose of the oil tank according to DEP regulations, which may require another permit depending on the size of the tank. Peter Grech

  Question #1267: I am a landlord and am having trouble with the teens in an 8 family. They have realized that the door to the roof can be kicked open and do so, it seems nightly. Can I chain the door and lock it completely or do I have to go to the cost of placing a door with an alarm on it Post your answer

Answer/Comment: You can NOT lock the door to the roof. This is in violation of New York Fire Dept. Sorry. roof doors are a problem in many buildings. alarm is the best way to go. This may deter them from going onto the roof. Installing a bright light or lights on the roof may also discourage them from going up there as teens usually like the dark. Just be careful of aiming the lights downwards as not to disturb neighbors. Calling 911 might help also. Peter Grech

  Question #1266: I have an apt in Port Washington with 1 living room, 2 bed rooms, is there any violation if I put a bed in the living room? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: No. There are no codes against it. Not sure why you plan to put a bed there, but if you plan to get a room mate or add more people to live in your apartment, that may be against your lease. Your lease would state the maximum number of people allowed to live in the apartment. Peter Grech

  Question #1265: I have a 2 family house in Nassau county, does the NYS law require me to change the boiler room door to automatic fire rated steel door? Which code is it? Post your answer



  Question #1264: Our buildings water, mainly hot water, has been discolored over the past few days, and I am trying to investigate the causes. I have been told that it is likely from internal sources. Any information? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Browning of water is usually caused by disturbance. Construction in buildings or street. Browning of the water usually is seen more in hot water then in cold because of the water being hot - the noncondensables fall out of solution and become visible. NYC water pipes are very old, and thus contain a lot of noncondensables. The boiler hot water coils should be as well as the building riser lines should be flushed, this would help. If your building has a water tank for domestic use water, (the ambiguous roof wood tanks that line the NYC skyline) NYS law requires this tanks to be cleaned and sanitized once a year. Peter Grech

  Question #1263: I want to know names and address of schools or programs to be a super? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: You just asked a very good question. However, the answer it's not easy, because some schools age, giving out programs and sometimes are stopping them, because on the reduced request on all those classes. How it is possible? Because, they're only looking for the numbers and if the bigger numbers won't add up, that's not a good sign for their business. STA though, doesn't look for numbers and here you'll never represent a number. You'll always have a name and the weight of your name will be all up to you to decide, on how you like it to be. Claudio P. Nikita

  Question #1262:  How many residential units in a elevator building is required in order for a Superintendent to have a full time Porter? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: NY City states that no person who performs janitorial services may service more the 65 units. There is NO mention for example if there is more then 65 units, the building must hire full time porter. Just means a super can't do more then 65 units. Thus if there is more then 65, Part time or full time help would be required. Peter Grech

  Question #1261: I want to know where can take one course (class) for certificate low pressure oil boiler P-99 and dry standpipe systems F-99? I need to get license because I have to start to work superintendent in Manhattan. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: You can probably look to find those classes at different accredited technical colleges or schools through the five boroughs. However, you'll be surprised on the price and you'll learn the trade from some guy that knows everything from the books. The real secrets of the trade however, you cannot sometimes get them directly from the books. You certainly need to get the best from the guy with experience on the field. Our club offers you what you need to know in order to successfully pass the F.D.N.Y. exam, get your certificate and also be able to successfully maintain your boiler. Don't loose anymore of your precious time, come and find many more answers from all your unanswered questions. Claudio P. Nikita

Answer/Comment: We offer courses for these certificates of fitness, please see this link

  Question #1260: I would like to take the Sprinkler and Standpipe Certificate of Fitness and I wanted to download it on the FDNY website, but which study materials do I download?  Is it F-95, F-96 or F-98? Post your answer

Answer/Comment:  Which certificate depends on which system your building has. Each certificate is for a specific system. Also note, that you will need a letter from your employer, and a diagram of the system in the building. Peter Grech

Answer/Comment: We offer courses for these certificates of fitness, please see this link

  Question #1259:  I recently started working as a handyman and the superintendent told me to by a cell phone which I did and is for work purposes only. We do have radios to communicate during work hours. I think my employer should pay for the cell phone being it is a business phone. Is this so? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: If you are in a union building, then the employer should pay for the phone, if that is a requirement of the job. If it is a none union then you can ask to be reimbursed. If the super says No, then I would ask directly the manager of the building about reimbursement. IF no, and it is an non-union building then you have to make up your mind which to do, give up the phone and maybe you will loose your job or just get the cheapest plan possible and eat the cost, to keep your job. Peter Grech

  Question #1258:  Are there any duties listed by the 32bj or the RAB scope of work for a working superintendent? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: No. There is no scope or work or list of duties or job descriptions by the union or the RAB. This is because every building is different and has different needs. Management makes the list of duties for the building employees as needed for that building. Peter Grech

  Question #1257:  What is the responsibility of the super regarding cleaning/maintaining elevators? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Cleaning of the elevators is part of cleaning the building. Walls need to be wiped down. If wood walls, then a furniture polish like Pledge should be used from time to time. If the walls are metal, then a spray metal cleaner should be used from time to time. If the metal is embedded with crud, then you would need to hire a professional metal cleaner to get the metal nice and clean, and the super can maintain it. Floors, if vinyl tile, then that should be swept, and moped often. The vinyl tiles if they pre waxed, then a spray buff kind of wax should be used to maintain the shine, if they are waxed with a commercial wax, then the tiles should be stripped once or twice a year and new wax put down. To do this, the super needs a buffing machine. If marble or granite floors, then sweep and mop is good. If carpet, vacuum and shampoo the carpet as needed. Light fixtures need to be cleaned as needed. The fan, the elevator company needs to clean that, the pits, the elevator company cleans those also. Peter Grech

  Question #1256:  I just wanted to know how to find out the apartment buildings that are looking for supers over the internet.
Post your answer

Answer/Comment: If you go to our jobs page, near the bottom there are about 7 links to other websites the at times have positions to be filled for supers. Peter Grech

Answer/Comment: Well, there are different ways to search for a job if that's your only reason. For instance you can try, and probably many others. However, you'll probably want to be in a place where people that are looking for a Super will come and you'll certainly be there. In this particular case, you're on the right path. You can come and join our club. Here, we're sharing our experience with you and you'll probably have more chances to find what you're looking for then just standing on the front of your computer and hope for the best. Claudio P. Nikita

  Question #1255:  We are about to renovate a pre-war coop in Manhattan, including gutting the kitchen. Are there building code regulations on the cfm required for venting of gas ranges? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: No direct venting is required. Venting of the Kitchen is 5 cfm as the minimum.  But since you are gutting out the kitchen, I am sure your architect will know. There are new building codes going into effect, and I have not had time to read the 2000 pages of the new codes. Peter Grech

  Question #1254:  I live in St Lawrence county and want to install a older wood a double wide home...Are there minimum requirements for the distance on each side of the stove and to the rear of the stove? Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Yes there are minimum distances from walls, and or fire proof walls. While every township has its own rules, I would contact your Local Fire Dept, and ask them. If they dont know they should be able to tell you who to ask. Note, don't just as a fireman, ask the captain. You can also call the township and ask, but try the Fire Dept first. Normally its 3 feet on all sides. Peter Grech

  Question #1253:  I am taking over management of some condo buildings in Manhattan. One loft building in Tribeca with six units and a large townhouse cut into twelve apartments. Can I hire a freelance Super? I want the garbage dealt with, the elevator cleaned and then vacuuming and the sidewalk swept twice a week. Can I just assume they will work two hours each day they come, then budget in 2 extra hours each week for being on call. I would want the super to be able to deal with the heat, etc when the time arrives, etc. Is there an hourly rate freelance guys charge and then sign a contract per week? Do they need their own liability insurance? What does an employee Super get paid per hour? Part time vs. full time? Do you recommend any freelance Supers who do these smaller buildings without too many needs? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Freelance is not the correct term. It would be a Part Time Superintendent. It is legal to hire someone on a part time bases. You would still need to have workers comp and liability insurance. Law requires you to hire some one with in a block from the building or with in 200 feet. However, as long as the super can provide 24 hours service this limitation usually goes not enforced. You would need to post the supers, name and phone number in the lobby where city inspectors can see it and call if they need to get in. Email Ray at  or  as it happens Ray and Roberto provide this kind of services. Peter Grech

  Question #1252:  I know someone who installed a kitchen range fan in their apartment in the Bronx without the owners permission. The venting goes out through the brick wall of the building to vent outside. besides pissing off the owner of the building, is there any kind of city violation involved? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Yes. A permit was needed to do the venting. Also Approval from the landlord / owner was needed too. Peter Grech

  Question #1251: I live in a apartment that does not have a boiler; I have to heat my apartment with a electrical heater-isn't this against the law? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: You need to check you lease. In the old days and the law still applies there was what was known as Cold water Flats, where the renters had to pay for their own heat and hot water. Also depends on the size of the building you rent it e.g. Large then 6 apartments or not. Your lease will answer your question about heat, how many apartments in the building will also determine who pays for what. Peter Grech