August, 2005

The New York City Guidelines Board enacted final rent guideline increases of 2.75% for a one-year lease and 5.5% for a two-year lease, where the owner provides heat, for rent stabilized renewal leases effective October 1, 2005, through September 30, 2006. Where the tenant provides heat, increases of 2.25% and 4.5% on one- and two-year leases were enacted.
The lowest increases since 2002 follow the Board’s annual report showing owners’ operating costs increased 5.8% this year. Over the past three years owners’ costs have increased 29.6% according to the Board, while rent guidelines for that period total only 10.75% or approximately one-third.
After the vote, held before a raucus crowd of nearly four hundred –mostly tenants and their advocates– RSA president Joseph Strasburg quipped, “This is a board picked by the Mayor; this is an election year.”
ACRIS –Automated City Register Information System– is an online system imposed by NYC facilitating access to the city register for many purposes including searching property records, finding addresses and parcels, creating tax forms and calculating taxes.
Via the internet, ACRIS improves the accuracy and speed of accessing information about the ownership of real and personal property while improving back office processing & recording property documents.
The New York City Register is charged by law with creating (“recording and filing”), and maintaining for public inspection, and Official Record of real and personal property transfers and interest in Bronx, Manhattan, New York (Manhattan) and Kings (Brooklyn) counties.
The City Register functions have high visibility, with active constituencies in the real estate and banking industries, as well as the property-owning public. The real property records are used to prove land title ownership (by a “Title Search”), and, based on proved clear title, to provide title insurance without which banks will not grant mortgages. The personal property records are used to establish credit-worthiness.
In addition, the City Register collects cash revenues, from taxes and fees levied against the transactions, and from the sale of duplicates and prints of the microfilms to the real estate and banking industries, and public access users.
It’s difficult to imagine, what with the heat and humidity of August and the constant whir of air conditioners, that the heating season will soon be upon us.
Landlords: If your building has a central heating system, you must provide heat every day from October 1 through May 31. Between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. you must maintain a temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit in your tenants’ apartments when the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m you must maintain a temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit in your tenants’ apartments if the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tenants: If your building owner fails to maintain heat in your apartment, you may report the condition to the City’s Citizen Service Center at 311.

About 55% of American home owners have their heating equipment professionally serviced at least once a year, typically in early Fall, just before the heating season begins.
What about the 45% of home owners who neglect annual maintenance? They pay the following penalties:

  • Fuel bills rise as much as 10-15% as a result of inefficient equipment operation.
  • Annual maintenance extends equipment life as much as 20-30%. This translates to an additional 5-10 years of usage for your heating plant.
  • Heating system repairs typically run into the hundreds of dollars. Most service contractors will tell you that about 75% of all repairs they do could have been avoided with regular maintenance.
  • Most important, annual heating inspections can save lives!

We are pleased to announce that Associate Michael P. Sheridan has been admitted to the New York State Bar, in addition to becoming admitted in New Jersey. CONGRATULATIONS MIKE!