Q&A: Rules for Non-Union Supers

Q&A: Rules for Non-Union Supers
Q “I am a board member of a condo in Rego Park, Queens. Our superintendent is leaving and we are looking for a new one. This position is non-union. I know that by law, supers who belong to Local 32BJ must live in the building. But what about non-union supers? Do they have to live in the building? If the answer is no, what happens in cases of emergencies?”

—-Concerned Board Member

A “In New York City, the Housing Maintenance Code requires that owners of multiple dwellings with nine or more units must either perform janitorial services if they reside in the building, or provide a janitor,” says Jamie Heiberger-Jacobsen, president and founder of the New York law firm Heiberger and Associates, PC. “In addition, Multiple Dwelling Law Section 83 states in pertinent part: 'Whenever there are thirteen or more families occupying any multiple dwelling and the owner does not reside therein, there shall be a janitor, housekeeper or some other person responsible on behalf of the owner who shall reside in said dwelling, or within a dwelling located within a distance of two hundred feet from said dwelling, and have charge of such dwelling…'

“The question arises, then, whether a co-op with 13 or more units must have a superintendent living either at the building or within 200 feet of the building in order to satisfy the requirements of both the Housing Maintenance Code and the Multiple Dwelling Law.

“Fortunately, this question was answered in 2007 by the First Department of New York’s Appellate Division in Hatcher v. Board of Managers of 420 West 23rd Street Condominium, which affirmed an earlier decision of the Appellate Term. The Hatcher decisions hold, in relevant part, that a condominium building satisfied its janitorial requirements under the Housing Maintenance Code and the Multiple Dwelling Law where owners lived at the building and provided an off-site janitor and the janitor did not service more than 65 units.”

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2 Comments

  • our buidilng is trying out supers our building is 14 stories the one that is here now is missing some of his papers, plus he is very lazy. he did construction before
  • 1 For a coop with 140 apartments, how many superintendents are required by law ? 2 Is it mandatory by law to hire only union superintendents in NYCity ?