Q&A: A Problem Superintendent

A Problem Superintendent

Q I think we have the world’s worst super. I live in Queens. Our super doesn’t do repairs to any problem in the building. He farms out all projects to more expensive contractors. He always wants to be compensated for any work that is done in someone’s apartment. The janitor is only there to take out the garbage and nothing else. I asked the Salvation Army to pick up furniture and he asked them for money causing them to leave. The board said that we cannot fire him because he is in the union. What can we do?

---Frustrated in Forest Hills

A “The board is entitled to define the super's job description consistent with the union collective bargaining agreement (CAB), says partner Laurent Drogin of New York law firm of Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP . “Assuming he is a "working" super, and that the janitor is the sole employee working under him, it is reasonable for the board to split the duties between the two, and allow the super to supervise the janitor in addition to his direct work responsibilities. If the building is a member of the Realty Advisory Board, the board should seek its advice. If the building is not a member of the Realty Advisory Board, some experienced managers would take the issue to the union in its attempt to formulate the job description, so as to be sure that what the board is asking of the super is in fact allowed under the CAB, and this is good practice.

“The board should immediately direct the super to stop demanding “tips” which in reality amounts to extortion or an illegal bribe.

“If the super refuses to adhere to a reasonable job description, or continues to demand payments from outside vendors, he should be written up. After the second offense, he should be put on probation. After a third offense he may be fired, but expect that he will file a union grievance.”

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5 Comments

  • My Super is a pathological liar. And a bad one at that. He stands in my face and tells me lies. I end up spending hours of research about the lies about my apt. The President of the board, is the same. I spend hours on end. doing research. I guess what I have to do is contact management each time. I live in a co-op. The latest lie, the knob on my radiator spits scaulding water. He told me it's my responsibility to replace. I have been living here for 27yrs.
  • The shareholders in co ops should take back their power and stop the dictatorships from Boards and Supers who have no leadership or experience or skills. There are no rights for shareholders . The renters Unequivocally have much more rights. Time for change or buy a Condo. Write your Senators :Govenors and have sign off on the Bills sitting for over 10 yrs in the Senate -let them know you want protection against these abusive Boards
  • Margaret Ann Dunphy on Sunday, January 31, 2021 1:04 AM
    I live in a co-op in forest hills, queens. The Super is weaponizing heat against me by withholding it? I have written many times to the Board with no response. The manager is will doing nothing as well. I have to use a spacr heat to get heat. Who i contact?
  • We have a very bad superintendent in Jackson Heights Queens. When we brought this problem to their attention they brought a Bully to shut anyone at the meeting, and who shut a board member's opinion a plain bully. That bully the management brought doesn't even live in the building and says that he was a real Estate Investor. ( sure protecting the management to change or fix by the board members. The superintendent not only leaves all work and garbage to the potter but has the laundry room disgustingly dirty. Mold in the soap containers, dryers with years of no maintenance, very dirty basement. He also smokes in front of the building and shows others to do the same. Because of this, there are cigarette buds all over the sidewalk and garden. We had a complaint to the management, but the management protects him somehow. The building and people had many complaints but nothing has been done because we got to a point to need a lawyer and Not many want to spend the more than $2000 + needed to pay a lawyer Just to start a case. What can be done in this type of situation?
  • The superintendent from my building which is a co-op forced his way into my home demanding to see what was going on in my house when I was paintingI need a good lawyer to sue any recommendations ?