Rate Your Building’s Energy Efficiency

Beginning in May, the City’s “Benchmarking” regulations will be expanded to include all
buildings over 25,000 square feet (under the earlier version of the law, buildings of less than 50,000 were not required to benchmark). As part of Local Law 133 of 2016, which expanded LL 84, owners must report water and energy consumption annually through the City’s online portal (https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager). Failure to report can carry fines of up to $2000 per year. The City will use this information to create metrics to track and compare the energy efficiency of similar buildings, and ultimately will release a rating for each property, which will be available to the public.

A better rating will have a positive impact on property values, giving owners an incentive to take action to cut back on water and energy consumption, as part of the City’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% between 2005 and 2050. We at DEPM care deeply about energy conservation and have instituted many improvements in our client buildings, including converting boilers from oil to gas, replacing incandescent lights with energy saving LED lights, installing new windows and more. Our managers are working with all their properties to implement conservation initiatives in the coming year. For more information on the City’s Benchmarking program, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/business/benchmarking.page

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New York City’s Benchmarking program is part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan to reduce carbon emissions.

A Brass Plaque Signifies A Great Manager

As you walk down the streets of New York, you probably notice the buildings that look well-tended; their perfect landscaping, crisp awnings, and beautiful architecture stand out in a City filled with lovely architecture. Many of these properties display elegant plaques indicated which company handles their management.

Douglas Elliman Property Management has cast brass plaques available to be mounted on your building’s facade or displayed in the lobby. These signs are custom made and can be created in whatever size and shape works best: 8″ x 10″ rectangle, 9″ x 9″ square, or similar. Let the world know that you have New York’s top property management company taking care of your building. Speak to your managing agent to get one today!

DEPM sign

Speak to your Managing Agent to get a beautiful cast brass plaque to display on your building.

Mayor Passes New Smoking Policy Rule

On August 28 2017, Mayor de Blasio signed Local Law 147/2017, requiring all multi-family properties in New York City to create a smoking policy for the building. The law does not dictate the contents of the policy, leaving it up to landlords, Boards and managers to do so. Once created, the written policy must be distributed annually to all residents. Building owners must comply with this new law within one year of the enactment date. Now is the time to discuss this issue with your property manager, so that the Board has plenty of opportunity to create and distribute the smoking policy by the August 28, 2018 deadline in order to avoid fines for noncompliance.

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All multi-family buildings in NYC are required to distribute a smoking policy to all residents by next August.

New Law Requires Bed Bug Reporting

NYC’s new Local law 69/2017, effective on November 6, requires multiple dwelling
property owners to obtain the bedbug infestation history from all tenants and unit
owners, including whether eradication measures were employed for a bedbug
infestation. Starting in December 2018, owners will be required to report information
for each unit to HPD for the previous year (from November 2017 through November
2018). Such reporting will be required every December for the previous year. Your property manager will be working to ensure that your building is in compliance by next year’s deadline.
For more information, visit: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/owners/Pests-owners.page

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Business Credentialing Services Ensures Vendor Insurance Compliance

How many contracting jobs are underway each day in your building? There may be an
exterior maintenance company working on the façade, a unit owner renovating a kitchen, repairs being made on the boiler, an installation going in on a rooftop deck, and
potentially a host of others at any given time. Verifying that every vendor, contractor, sub-contractor, supplier and service provider working on your property has proper insurance certificates in place can be a non-stop task. Obtaining, filing and tracking these important documents is a time-consuming prospect, yet one that is essential in order to protect the property and all its residents from risk.

DEPM has begun working with Business Credentialing Service (BCS), a risk management company that screens vendors to ensure that they are in compliance with all of DEPM’s requirements BEFORE they begin any work. Requirements may include a
Certificate of Insurance detailing the compliant policies and limits, a Hold Harmless Agreement between the contractor and DEPM, a copy of the contractor’s W-9, a Contractor’s License if they are required to carry one in New York State, the company’s
Federal Employer Identification Number, and Office of Foreign Assets Control watch list
We are continuing to expand our database of vetted suppliers, contractors and vendors—all of whom pay an annual fee to BCS, so this service does not add to your
building’s expenses—and intend to require all businesses working in DEPM buildings to
be certified by BCS. Your property manager is working with our executive management
team as we continue to implement and expand this important new service.

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Nick Zoppi of Building Credentialing Services addressed DEPM’s managers at our June in-house Seminar to explain how BCS can help protect client buildings when hiring contractors.

NYC Violations Amnesty Program Ends 12/12/16: Act Now to Reduce Penalties, Remove Interest

Nearly every building in New York City has been cited at one time or another for a violation of City Code, whether it be overdue inspection reports, failure to paint pipes the required colors, or more serious issues. At Douglas Elliman Property Management, our managers constantly monitor any violations, making sure that they are corrected, and filing with the City to ensure that the correction is registered, and the violation removed.

The new Local Law 45 established a 90-day program to settle outstanding violation judgments, allowing buildings to receive reductions of up to 75% on any penalties and removal of all interest due.

DEPM has retained the law firm of Cohen Hochman & Allen to review any outstanding violations on all of our client buildings, and determine the reduced violations due. This service is at zero cost to our clients; CH&A receives ten percent of the reduction as their fee. CH&A is working with SiteCompli to ensure that all of our client properties are analyzed to receive the maximum reduction in violation fees.

The Amnesty period runs through December 12, 2016, which means that all requests for reduced penalties and interest must be submitted by that date. Properties then have six months to certify that the violation has been corrected. If you have any questions about the Amnesty program, please contact your property manager, call us at 212-370-9200 or visit the NYC Department of Finance web page at bit.ly/LL45Amnesty.


By filing with the City before the December 12 deadline, your property could save up to 75% on violations fines and interest payments.

Avoiding Noise Disputes

Most of us live with neighbors a mere few feet above and below us and possibly even a few inches from side to side. It’s likely that at some point we’ve had noise issues, even though we tend to think of ourselves as the ‘disturbee’ rather than the ‘disturber.’ All multi-unit dwellings have established rules that boards and managers work hard to communicate to all residents, and enforce throughout the property.

“Our building requires that 80 percent of all apartment floors are covered with carpeting or area rugs,” says one East Side Board President. “If you choose to have exposed hardwood floors instead, owners can install foam or other sound insulating material between the underlayment and the flooring.”

Boards and managers need to be sure that all residents are aware of the house rules regarding noise. This includes sound abatement requirements as well as neighborly basics such as “quiet hours.” Many buildings request that noise levels from parties, music, television, etc. be kept to a minimum after 10 pm, for example.

Circulating a list of house rules periodically to all residents—including both unit owners and sublettors—is a wise idea. Informing residents of scheduled renovation work or other contracting jobs can also help minimize the impact of short-term noise from such projects. For example, if a building resident is planning to do redo their kitchen or install a new bathroom, let the neighbors know the expected dates of the work, so they will be aware that there will be some noise and inconvenience, but they’ll know that it won’t last too long. Or if the building or the City needs to do some sidewalk or street work out front, requiring jackhammers, let residents know what timeframe to expect. It’s easier to live with a noise problem if you know it’s temporary.

By ensuring policies are disseminated to building residents and addressing noise complaints via a clear and open line of communication, managers and boards can minimize the sort of disturbances that upset people living in our properties.


Most of us live with neighbors a mere few feet above and below us. It’s likely that we’ve had noise issues at some point.