Holiday Covid Update: Stay Safe and Strong New York!

With the holiday season upon us, and Covid cases continuing to spike across the country, New Yorkers are urged to stay vigilant and maintain public health guidelines to reduce the chance of transmission or contraction of the disease. Governor Cuomo cautions “We should be on high alert and we should be even more diligent, because the virus spreads across state boundaries, and we’re in the party season. All I can do is warn New Yorkers and ask them to remember what worked for us: discipline and smarts.”

While NY currently has the third lowest positivity rate in the nation, and is being vigilant in requiring testing or self-quarantine after traveling out of state (, we need to maintain our social distancing, wear masks, and gather outdoors in small groups, in order to keep the numbers low. As the cold weather comes on, many restaurants are adding tents or other outdoor enclosures, along with propane heaters, to extend the season so New Yorkers can continue to interact without fear of contagion.

When it comes to holiday celebrations, New Yorkers are warned to keep indoor gatherings small, stick to your “quarantine group,” and get a Covid test before and after spending time indoors with a larger group, to protect yourself and those around you.

For info from NYC, visit:

For info from the Governors office, visit:

Even in the year of Covid, New York City has a festive feel as the holidays approach. Get outside and enjoy it—but wear a mask, keep your distance from others, and stay safe! Happy Holidays!
The angels are up and the lights are on the tree at Rockefeller Center
Saks has decorated its windows and the light show is on!

Please Follow Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order to Stay Safe & Healthy

We at Douglas Elliman will continue to do everything we can to assist our clients in combating the spread of COVID-19. This includes providing you and building staff with the most up-to-date information as it becomes available. Visit this link on our website for the latest updates:

We hope that life in our great City will return to normal before too long, but in the meantime, we urge you to follow the Governor’s public health directives, outlined below, to protect your own health and that of your neighbors, staff, friends, family and our greater community. Wishing you good health and safety in this very difficult and challenging time.

NYS on Pause

Residents Should Prepare for Potential Coronavirus Disruptions in Building Services

Douglas Elliman continues to monitor the information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMC). As you can tell from what is reported through the media and the various government agencies, the situation is fluid and evolving daily. As the virus spreads, the chances that residents and building employees will become ill increase. Obviously, we must hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

The continued spread of the Coronavirus could affect your building staff in a variety of ways. Staff members may become sick themselves, may be unable to come to work due transportation issues, school closures may require some staff members to stay home to take care of children, and some staff members may be unavailable to work in order to take care of an affected family member. No matter what the reason is, we must prepare to operate with a diminished staff. We have instructed the building staff not to come to work if they have any flu-like symptoms, whether or not confirmed to be infected with the Coronavirus. Service providers may face the same challenges.

A slightly reduced staff may cause mild service reductions: fewer trash pickups, no deliveries to apartments, etc. A more severe reduction may suspend the ability of the staff to perform work in apartments. The most severe reductions may require resident volunteers to step in to perform essential tasks such as trash removal and security. Should this occur, the resident manager will post resident volunteer sign-up sheets. Apartment alterations may need to be suspended.

As in any crisis situation, communication is key. If your building has BuildingLink or a similar service, please be sure that your contact information is up to date. Otherwise, please be sure that the resident manager has your phone numbers and email addresses.

Many residents of the building would no doubt desire to be informed if anyone who resides or works in the building has been exposed to the virus. In order to lower—to the extent we can—the building’s risk, the staff will continue to perform extra cleaning in highly trafficked areas to reduce the chance of transmission.

Nevertheless, as an added precaution, we request that any tenant who believes that they have been exposed to the virus follow public health protocols, and inform either your DEPM Account Executive or your resident manager. Should a resident so inform either Douglas Elliman or the Resident Manager, we will notify residents and staff, mentioning only that a person may be affected. We will not release the name, or the apartment number.

If any occupant or member of your household tests positive for the Coronavirus, you and the members of your family must be quarantined for 14 days in the apartment pursuant to the Department of Health and CDC guidelines.

We have instructed the building staff to encourage all contractors, vendors and delivery persons who enter through the service entrance to wash their hands and any guests or delivery persons entering through the lobby to cleanse their hands at the dispensers before proceeding further into the building. In addition, we have asked the building staff to refrain from greeting anyone by physical contact ( i.e. Handshakes, high fives etc.) and remain at least 6 feet away from others when possible.

The Building staff members have already been instructed to follow NYC Department of Health guidelines as they relate to cleaning and cleaning products. Further, for the protection of staff members, they are encouraged to ask the following questions before entering a home to perform work:

Has anyone in the home had a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath?

In the 14 days before the visit, has anyone in the home traveled outside the United States or recently had contact with a person suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19?

If the answer is “yes” to either question and the visit can be postponed, the staff will politely ask to reschedule the visit in 14 days or when the resident or household member is feeling better.

If the visit cannot be postponed, the staff will politely ask that the individual remain in a separate room with the door closed, where possible.

Thank you for your cooperation in these difficult times. Please contact your resident manager or DEPM Account Executive for additional information or questions. Looking forward to a return to normal in the future and sending our best wishes that all our residents stay safe and healthy throughout this unsettling situation.


Looking forward to better times in the future when our beloved City can return to its normal self and we can all once again take advantage of the good things in life. Stay safe and healthy!




NYC’s Proposed New Facade Inspection Rules May Increase Costs for Co-op and Condo Owners

While not yet finalized, New York City’s Department of Buildings plans to release a stricter set of requirements for its Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP, also known as Local Law 11), for the 9th Cycle of the law, which begins in February 2020.

These safety regulations address the condition of the facade, balconies, architectural details, etc. of every building over six stories tall. Should the proposed changes take effect, building owners can expect the scope of work and the cost of Local Law 11 inspections to increase significantly. Proposed changes include:

• More comprehensive facade examinations and more detailed reports
• Rather than the single scaffold drop currently required, the new regulations will require scaffold drops every 60 feet on each exterior wall fronting the street or any other area where the public may walk

• Probes will be required on cavity walls to ensure the safety of areas behind the facade
• Qualified Exterior Wall Inspectors (QEWI’s) must now have three years of relevant experience with buildings over six stories, rather than one, as in the past, as well as relevant experience and knowledge of NYC building codes and facade rules

• Building owners will be required to post the building’s facade condition certificate in the lobby in a manner similar to elevator certificates

Once the property has been inspected, the QEWI must submit a report rating the facade as Safe, Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program, or Unsafe. If Unsafe conditions exist, the property must immediately install a sidewalk shed to protect the public walking past, and correct the problem within 90 days.


The next cycle of NYC’s Local Law 11, or Facade Safety Inspection Program, begins in February, with stricter, more costly, requirements for inspecting building facades.

NYC Climate Advisory Board Appointed in December

New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act, which includes Local Law 97, was passed in April 2019, as part of the City’s goal of making New York City carbon neutral by 2050. In December, the newly created 15-member Climate Advisory Board met for the first time, tasked with providing advice and recommendations toward the implementation of the new legislation.

“Progressive cities like ours must lead the way on climate change, and that’s exactly what this Council did with Local Law 97. The Council is proud of its appointees to the Climate Advisory Board and looks forward to working with them and with the administration’s appointees to continue the fight against climate change,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“We are proud to take a leading role in executing the Green New Deal,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca. “We look forward to working with a broad range of stakeholders to help establish best practices to tackle the largest source of our city’s emissions, our buildings. We owe it to future generations to meet the challenge of global warming head-on.” Buildings currently account for approximately two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions in NYC.

The Local Law 97 Advisory Board is made up of architects, engineers, property owners, representatives from the business sector and public utilities, environmental justice advocates, and tenant advocates. In addition to providing guidance, the Advisory Board is also required to prepare and submit periodic reports on the results of implementation once the law is fully in effect.

The City’s goals are ambitious and laudable, but they will take time, effort and expense to implement. We are working closely with all our client boards to start early and budget wisely to meet the target dates set for by the City and to avoid any fines by meeting requirements in a timely manner.


NYC’s Climate Mobilization Act meets the challenge of global warming head-on. Currently, buildings account for about two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions in the City.

Low-Cost Options for LED Lighting

One of the options for reducing your property’s energy budget—and helping to improve the Energy Grade that the City gives it—is to replace existing lighting with LED bulbs. And there are currently numerous incentives being offered by ConEd and other entities to help offset the cost of converting to LEDs.

Increasing your building’s energy efficiency will not only help avoid future fines, as New York City implements the increasingly stringent rules of its Climate Mobilization Act, but will also add value to every apartment, as buyers look to own in those properties that can demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.

As one of the easiest and least costly ways of addressing energy efficiency, converting to LED lighting should be part of your building’s sustainability initiatives.

Screen Shot 2019-11-21 at 1.02.09 PM

Recycling: How to Improve Resident Compliance

Recycling is mandatory in New York City, with the goal of decreasing the 12,000 TONS of garbage that must be exported out of the City every single day. While 77% of this waste is recyclable, only 20% is actually being recycled currently. Since the closing of the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island in 2001, there has been no landfill in the City of New York. There is also no incinerator, so all our garbage must be exported for separation, treatment and disposal, at a huge expense to taxpayers.

Residents in multi-family buildings recycle at just half the rate of those in single-family homes, for a variety of reasons, ranging from anonymity of disposal to lack of information, poor communication and lack of financial incentives.

Some buildings have had great success in their recycling efforts, using a variety of strategies, including the following:

• Communication: Be sure to provide clear signage and well-marked receptacles in all garbage rooms. The Department of Sanitation will provide free signs to display. Inform existing residents as well as new buyers who are moving in. Hold an informational/social event to inform residents, such as a lobby drop-in to hand out organics pails and recycling bags.

• Education: Take advantage of all 3 additional Department of Sanitation curbside collection services for buildings of 10 units or more: organics, clothing and the e-cycle program for electronics. Inform residents of all these programs and provide bins in the basement for these specialized items.

• Containers: The City gives out free organics pails that can be distributed to residents.

• Enforcement: Gentle enforcement is key to compliance. Some buildings impose fines after a third offense. The board should decide what is the best strategy for your building.

• Rewards: Thank people for good recycling efforts. Some buildings have even held a pizza party for staff and residents as a thank you for good recycling compliance.

• Create a Team: Create a team of owners, residents, managers, and building staff to work together to make the system work. The board may want to appoint a committee to research and implement a plan to improve recycling in your building.

• Convey the Benefits: Saving money on chute cleaning, reducing policing efforts by staff, avoiding fines, preventing rats, improving staff morale if recycling rules are followed—these are some of the benefits of recycling. Collecting organics can help cut down on rats because all the food is placed in completely airtight containers, and not in garbage bags that can rip and leak and that rats and other pests can bite through. And the long-term goal is to reduce the City’s waste removal costs…which will save taxpayers money.

• Education: Free training for staff is available through Union 32BJ and also at the Department of Sanitation.

• More Information: Visit to download recycling guides and info and to learn more about how to educate your staff and residents to help improve recycling in your building.

fresh kills

The former Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island was closed in 2001 and has since been reclaimed as a beautiful public park. Reducing NYC’s waste stream through recycling can help reduce the 12,000 tons of garbage we export daily…by as much as 60%, if New Yorkers are committed to the program.

Energy-Reduction Strategies

With deadlines looming for New York’s stringent new energy use regulations, building owners, boards and unit owners are looking at ways to make their properties more energy efficient. Unit owners can initiate some important energy saving measures that will have significant impact on the entire building’s consumption. Such as:

  • If you have through-the-wall or window-installed air conditioners, make sure they are the most energy-efficient models available. Be sure to seal them during the off-season.
  • Upgrade to high efficiency windows
  • Install thermal window shades, plastic insulation, weather stripping and/or draft stoppers to keep the heat in during cold weather and the AC in during hot weather.
  • Install low-flow toilets and showerheads to reduce water consumption
  • Replace incandescent or coil style light bulbs with LED bulbs
  • Change air filters semi-annually
  • If you have an in-unit water heater, turn the thermostat down when you are out of town, or year-round as long as the temperature remains comfortable
  • Shut down computers and other devices when not in use, and unplug chargers from the wall
  • Turn off lights and air conditioners when not in use
  • If you have an in-unit washer and dryer, use cold water only, and be sure your unit is an energy-efficient model
  • When it comes time to replace your dishwasher and/or refrigerator, buy the most energy-efficient model
  • Put rugs or carpeting on at least some of the floors
  • Use “smart” power strips that shut down when not in use or flip off regular power strips when not in use
  • Consider a “smart home” system, such as Alexa or Apple Home, which allows you to control appliances from your smart phone
  • Seal the door to the elevator or common hallway to keep heat or air conditioning from escaping
  • If you have ceiling fans, change the direction depending on the season: push warm air down in winter and up in summer
  • Vacuum and dust refrigerator coils; this can increase efficiency significantly
  • Be sure AC units and heaters are not blocked by furniture or other barriers
  • Inform your Super or Manager of any leaky faucets or running toilets to reduce water consumption.

Modern kitchen interior with smart appliances in black color coordination

Energy efficient appliances and fixtures can drastically reduce your property’s energy consumption.



City Code Compliance Update

Keeping up with New York City’s ever-changing building regulations is a full-time job. That’s why our compliance department is constantly on top of new Local Laws and other safety issues that impact the properties we manage. Due to the expansion of the City’s Façade Inspection regulations, properties need to inspect and repair their exteriors on a regular basis to ensure the safety of balconies, parapets, brick, stone and other materials that overhang the sidewalks. The City’s Benchmarking program continues to expand in an effort to reduce carbon emissions throughout the five boroughs. Starting in 2020, buildings will be given “grades” from A to D, based on how energy efficient they are. These ratings may impact property values, adding to the incentive to improve energy conservation efforts in areas from lighting to heating and air conditioning.

Another new City regulation requires that all automatic elevators have “door lock monitors” installed and operational by January 1, 2020. The purpose of the monitors is to prevent elevators from operating unless the all the doors are closed on every floor of the elevator shaft. It also prevents the exterior elevator doors from opening if the elevator cab is not at that floor. The new safety requirement is designed to prevent anyone from being caught in an elevator door while the car is moving, or from falling into an open elevator shaft.

At Douglas Elliman Property Management, client safety and building compliance are of paramount importance. Your building manager is working to ensure that your property meets all City regulations. If you have any questions about building code compliance, don’t hesitate to contact your manager or our office at 212-370-9200.


A new City regulation requires that all automatic elevators have “door lock monitors” installed and operational by January 1, 2020.

NYC’s New Climate Mobilization Act

On April 22nd, 2019 Mayor DeBlasio signed into law the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA), affecting all buildings over 25,000 square feet throughout New York City. This is the City’s third significant piece of legislation designed to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in New York City by 80% by the year 2050. The CMA follows “plaNYC2030” in 2011 which eliminated #6 oil and spurred the oil-to-gas conversions in NYC buildings, and the “oneNYCplan” in 2015, which introduced Local Law 84 (Benchmarking) and Local Law 87 (Energy Audits and Retro-commissioning), both designed to further incentivize buildings to reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions.

The first year of enforcement is 2025, and will be based on each building’s energy usage in 2024, compared to a citywide baseline of 2005. Most buildings will require significant capital expenditures to become compliant with these new regulations. In an effort to help building boards and owners finance these upgrades, the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) is creating a low interest, long-term funding program that will hopefully be available to all housing sectors.

It’s imperative that all buildings begin now—if they have not already—to learn about their current energy efficiency level and to plan and begin to implement a long-term strategy of compliance in order to avoid paying fines when the enforcement period begins in 2025. Every CMA Plan should begin by reviewing the building’s LL84 Benchmarking report, which will reveal its EnergyStar score and upcoming Letter Grade, which will be issued in 2020. By verifying the parameters used in the Benchmarking report, buildings can be sure that the score is accurate; scores take into account number of units, number of bedrooms, square footage and other facts about the building, so it’s important to be sure the City has the correct information. Each building’s Energy Audit and Retrocommissioning Report also includes a series of Energy Reduction Measures, with projected savings, estimated budget, and payback period. This is a key list of where to begin to reduce energy consumption and improve the building’s score.

We will keep all of our properties apprised of the ongoing developments of the Climate Mobilization Act. The goal of reducing emissions is a worthy one, but it will certainly take time, effort and significant investment. At DEPM, we will work continuously with our building boards and owners to help meet these requirements as they continue to evolve.

For more information on this legislation, visit this link:

Climate Mobilization Act

Multifamily Solar Array

It’s imperative that all buildings begin now—if they have not already—to learn about their current energy efficiency level and to plan and begin to implement a long-term strategy of compliance in order to avoid paying fines when the enforcement period begins in 2025.