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Remaining competitive in a regulated environment.

Rental housing providers in New York City continue to face new challenges imposed by governmental legislation and regulation. Recent changes in building facade inspection requirements alone will place additional burdens on many building owners. The Rent Stabilization Association (RSA), as the largest industry trade association representing over 25,000 owners and managers of approximately one million units of regulated housing, provides services and information owners need to keep up with these continually changing demands.

On April 28th, RSA will sponsor a seminar, "Local Law 11 - Understanding New Facade Inspection Requirements," to address the changes in facade inspections. Department of Buildings Commissioner Gaston Silva and Ronald K. McCain, DOB's Technical Director of Local Law 11198, will be joined by Herbert Gallin of Herbert Gallin Associates PC, Gary Zaremba of Artisan Restoration Group, and Alan S. Epstein of Epstein Engineering PC, in an examination of legislative and regulatory changes resulting from enactment of Local Law 11 of 1998. Advance reservations are required. The fee is $35 for members and $60 for non-members. For information call (212) 214-9200.

RSA promotes this interaction between governmental agencies and private industry as part of its responsibility to lead in a vital industry. All of our members will benefit from this seminar - whether they are able to attend in person, or whether they learn about the answers to frequently asked questions through our communications network.

Our communications network has recently expanded, too. RSA broadens a powerful base with an interactive site on the internet, Member and non-members alike can visit our site to get the latest information concerning legislative, regulatory and legal issues affecting rental housing providers.

The new web site is another direct link for members to communicate with RSA via E-mail. Feedback is critical to a service organization, and e-mail will allow members to relate their experiences in every area of property management. As an information exchange, will provide advice on dealing with state, local and federal agencies.

On-line capabilities bring RSA's lobbying activities to a much wider audience. Around the globe, Internet users will be able to learn about New York City's arcane systems of rent control and rent stabilization. Our goals of reviving free enterprise in the housing market and maintaining its economic vitality will be broadcast worldwide.

Application for membership is now available on-line. New owners of regulated housing, as well as owners of other, unregulated housing and professionals in the field, can visit the site to learn about the many property management tools RSA has developed in response to member needs. These services and products are constantly evolving to reflect changes in the economic and regulatory environment.

One significant change is reflected in a new property and liability insurance program that RSA has recently endorsed. Produced by Acordia Northeast, the program now offers automatic Lead-based Paint Liability coverage in the package policy on an occurrence basis. Owners won't have to purchase a separate lead paint liability policy.

This new program improves a previous offering from Acordia that many of our members found highly successful. Lead liability coverage in the program will provide for limits up to $51 million per location.

Computerized property management, available through our Real Estate Accounting for Landlords and Managers program, has enjoyed growing success. Realm Express is a comprehensive program for smaller owners who may not even own a computer, but want the advantages of computerized billing and accounting. Realm Online is for the larger owner who wants to harness the latest technology available to improve or expand a real estate portfolio.

The Realm property management systems maintain and update all hardware and software programs, implementing the latest technological and governmental changes required. Realm provides for the unique requirements of rent regulation, including Rent Guidelines Board-ordered legal increases each year. An 800 support line guides owners through day-to-day operations. Realm also features an automatic link to the RSA Rent Registration Service.

Owners of regulated housing are required to register legal rents with the Department of Housing and Community Renewal by July 31st each year. RSA's Rent Registration Service electronically transfers registration information to DHCR's database and ensures that current rents are on file. With recognition of a four-year statute of limitations on rent overcharges, many owners who had not previously registered are turning to RSA's Rent Registration Service to come into compliance and avoid severe financial penalties that could otherwise result.

Other properly management tools highlighted at include our tenant screening service, Court & Credit - updated in response to the latest changes in the Fair Credit Reporting Act; Fuel Purchasing Program, allowing members to use bulk purchasing power to save on heating oil; Window Guard service; Health Insurance program; and Legal Services Plan, a program developed to help members reduce their legal costs.

In a year of challenges, RSA continues to help. members remain competitive in the operation of rental housing in a highly regulated environment. To learn more about our services, visit our web site at, or contact Michael Printz at (212) 214-9255.
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Title Annotation:Focus on Property Management: Preparing for 21st Century
Author:Strasburg, Joseph
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Apr 21, 1999
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