Bedbug beagle is among 270 exhibitors at an expo

A rare moment of breathing room among the exhibitors.

If you wanted to check out eight companies that exterminate bedbugs, 10 that manage properties or 11 that offer building security, well, you’re too late.

They were among the 270 exhibitors Tuesday at the Co-op and Condo Expo held at the New York Hilton, where some salespeople literally would have caught your eye, grabbed your arm or thrust material into your hands in the hope of generating income.

Seminars on everything from “the future of wired/wireless communications” — the future? — to “everything you need to know about underlying co-op financing” might have tempted you.  Why, I’m not sure.

Whether you were shopping for fire alarms or attorneys, you could have found such resources at the event, which filled three floors of the hotel’s “halls.”

Like me, you also might have stumbled upon a couple of exhibitors with products worth more than a glance.

Among them was something called “Climbup,” an “ecologically friendly,” if ugly, objét that calls attention to itself around the feet of furniture to trap bedbugs.  Intrusive as it is, maybe it works.

Too, you could have met a sweet bedbug beagle, who needed neither dishes of candy nor raffles to draw attention to the Dial A Bug booth. The floor was, incidentally, littered with an appealing throng of big black plastic cockroaches.

Another standout for me — perhaps I should get a life — was a family owned outfit that provides various janitorial and maintenance services to buildings that don’t have or want full-time staff. N.Y.C. Super Services targets both low-rise and larger buildings for maintenance, repairs and building system upgrades. (I didn’t find a Web site.)

Among other exhibitors was the Hutton Group, which aims to help co-ops (mostly in the outer boroughs and elsewhere) convert into condos. Linda Hutton explained to me that such a conversion helps shareholders increase their equity almost overnight.

“Manhattan is a tough market,” she conceded, “a very tough market.”

Had you attended the expo, you would have had your pick of architects, air duct cleaners, door and windows vendors, elevator servicers, engineers, insurers, interior designers, laundry servicers, and storage-room installers (including one, Bargold Storage Systems, which charges nothing but a percentage of the monthly fee).

You know, I really should get a life. (And if you’ve read this far, maybe you’ll want to consider getting one as well.)

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

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Guest post: 10 rules for renting your condo right

by Ron Gitter

What appears to be the beginning of a beautiful landlord-tenant relationship can turn ugly faster than you think.  So notes lawyer Ron Gitter, whose sage advice has graced this blog before and whose Web site contains much more valuable information.

Perform your due diligence when you intend to hand over your precious property to a stranger, or even a friend or relative, he counsels.

For your peace of mind and financial security, consider all the issues that might have an impact the tenancy.  Be upfront about any conditions in the apartment that may be of concern to the tenant.

At the same time, there is no reason for your relationship with your tenant to be of the love-hate variety: He or she gets to live in a great apartment in the Big Apple and you receive a significant and, sometimes, obscene amount of rent.

Where we live, that’s peaceful coexistence.  The 10 or so suggestions below should ensure that war doesn’t break out:

(Flickr photo added by Mr. Wright)

1. Comply with all condo rental requirements: You must submit a rental application to the managing agent.  Even before the lease is signed, make sure that your proposed tenant understands that financial disclosure, various documentation and a background check may be required prior to the building’s approval of your tenant.

2. Check the creditworthiness of your tenant: Continue reading

Most property managers really tick me off

For some folks, arrogance knows no bounds. (Image from the New Yorker.)

Possibly the biggest bane facing buyers, sellers and their brokers is property managers. You’d be hard-pressed to find one of us who praises any of them.

In a purchase of a Chelsea co-op that finally is scheduled to close on Thursday, the behavior of the  property manager of the building in which my buyer will live strains credulity.

It took this dame one and a half weeks to get back to the listing broker and me – only by e-mail – regarding the hefty board application that we submitted.  Her delay alone is unacceptable. Continue reading