Jack Jaffa & Associates Unveils New Software for NYC Landlords
Amid tightened property violation reinforcement, landlords find alert tracking software effective in controlling complaints and fines.
Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) December 22, 2010
Feeling the pinch of the economic downturn, landlords have increasingly moved to take the sting out of what was once, in the not so distant past, little more than one of seemingly unavoidable annoyances of owning commercial real estate.
Building violations, the wide range of penalties that almost all commercial owners receive at one time or another, used to eat into the bottom line in nibbles rather than bites.
While the current choppy economic times may have been enough to push most landlords to re-examine what were once thought of as trivial and inevitable costs, the city, facing looming deficits in the future, has also taken steps in recent months to make these penalties more painful and to accelerate the time owners have to deal with them.
“It used to be that if you missed a hearing date for a violation, you had a year to reschedule. Now it’s 45 days and the penalties have jumped if you don’t respond in that time frame,” said Michael Jaffa, an executive at his family’s firm, Jack Jaffa & Associates, which provides software and other services that help landlords and property management companies track and deal with building violations.
“Fines that used to be $2,500 were raised this year to $8,000 and $10,000,” Jaffa said.
In recent months, Jack Jaffa & Associates unveiled a new line of software that Michael Jaffa said the company had been developing for many months.
The programs allow building owners and property managers to receive alerts and track violations as well as opt electronically whether to have Jaffa take care of the infractions for them. Michael Jaffa said that his family’s company has streamlined a process that had become difficult for many landlords and even experienced property managers to negotiate.
Owners can receive building violations for a host of reasons. Tenants or visitors to a building can trigger them by reporting a problem in a building such as litter or a non-functioning elevator. Building owners can also receive penalties if work is being done on a property either without a permit or with one that has expired.
Even seemingly innocuous offenses are closely tracked by the city, such as whether a building’s boiler has been inspected and properly filed.
“It isn’t the late 1980s when the City was lax in enforcing violations. They’ve sent the message out loud and clear that they’ll be enforcing and collecting on all outstanding violations and compliance issues,” Jaffa said.
Negotiating the bureaucracy in dealing with a violation is not for the faint of heart, according to Jaffa. A number of different city agencies such as the Environmental Control Board, the Department of Buildings, and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development issue summons and each has its own system for curing the offense.
“Sometimes landlords don’t even get the notice that they have received a violation, because it’s sent to the property address and not the managing agent of the owner’s office,” Jaffa said.
“It’s also difficult for owners to deal with these violations and time consuming. An owner will go in and find out that he or she filled out the documents incorrectly, or provided insufficient documentation that the problem has been ameliorated in order to get their fine reduced.
“Our software and services streamlines that whole process and makes it completely transparent.”
Jaffa said that his firm helped convince city officials last year to create a one-time three-month period during which owners could cure outstanding offenses at a lower charge than the maximum that is assessed against those who have either overlooked or ignored past violations.
You can view December’s issue of The Jack Jaffa Report, “2010- A Year in Review”, by clicking here.
By Linda O’Flanagan – Real Estate Weekly
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For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2010/12/prweb4907194.htm