Notify Four Parties When You Change Managing Agent
A managing agent is designated by an owner to be in control of and responsible for the maintenance and operation of the building and to authorize, on behalf of the owner, the correction of any emergency conditions or the making of any emergency repairs. A managing agent must be an individual over age 21 and must reside in the city or customarily and regularly attend a business office maintained within the city. An owner or corporate officer who meets the qualifications may be designated to serve and can be registered as the managing agent.
Over the course of business, you may need to replace your managing agent. Changing your managing agent can be a complicated procedure. But one step you should be sure to take before changing your managing agent is to notify the following parties:
- The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD);
- The state Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR);
- The city’s Department of Finance (DOF); and
- The tenants of your building.
Failure to notify these government agencies and your tenants can result in fines, rent cuts, unpaid tax bills, and needless confusion.
You must register your building each year with HPD. As part of that registration, you must give information to HPD about your managing agent. If you change your managing agent between filings, or if your managing agent resigns, Section 27-2101 of the city’s Administrative Code requires you to notify HPD of this change. If you fail to do so, you may face fines of $250 to $500.
Also, if you don’t register, HPD won’t be able to notify the proper person about violations at your building, and you may end up with uncorrected violations on your building’s records—and penalties for those violations. If you don’t get notice of the need for repairs and have a chance to fix it yourself, HPD may send its emergency repair unit to your building to fix the violation before it becomes an emergency.
How to notify. Resubmit the annual property registration form to HPD with the new managing agent information. You can update the registration forms online with HPD’s property registration online system, but you still need to print, sign, and mail the form to HPD. You don’t need to pay another filing fee.
When to send. The deadline for notifying HPD varies, depending on the following circumstances of the change in managing agent:
- Managing agent dies, is disqualified, or declared incompetent. You have eight days from the date the agent dies, is disqualified (that is, moves her home or office out of the city), or is declared incompetent, in which to file an HPD property registration form designating a new agent.
- Managing agent resigns. When a managing agent resigns, he’s required to notify HPD and you, as the owner. His resignation becomes effective eight days after he files the notice of his resignation with HPD and sends you a copy of that notice. You must file a property registration form designating a new managing agent by the end of that eight-day period.
- You dismiss managing agent. You can designate a new managing agent at any time, but you must file the property registration form designating the new agent before he starts his duties.
How to fill out form. Complete the entire form, not only the managing agent portion. For everything except the managing agent information, include the same information as you did previously. For the managing agent information, give the new managing agent’s name, address, and telephone number. Remember, the building’s managing agent must be at least 21 years old and live in New York City or have an office there—a post office box isn’t good enough.
The new managing agent must sign his name in the space provided at the end of the form. And you, as the owner, must also sign and date the new property registration form.
If you are an individual or a corporate officer and no longer employ a managing agent, you can designate yourself as the building’s managing agent on the registration form if you meet the legal requirements for a managing agent.
Notify the DHCR if there has been a change in the managing agent. The changes are required to be reported within 30 days of the event, pursuant to Section 2523.8 of the Rent Stabilization Code. That way, you can be sure that the DHCR will notify the right person of any tenant complaints filed against you and of any orders it issues that affect you. Also, the DHCR needs to know the right person to contact for additional information it may need to decide a complaint.
How to notify. Fill out the DHCR’s “Report of Change in Ownership or Address” form. It says “RA-44 (1/12)” in the lower left-hand corner. You can download this form from the DHCR’s website at http://www.nyshcr.org/Forms/Rent/#owner. On the form, check off the applicable box in line 4 that says you’re changing your managing agent and fill out Section A.
Where to send. Send the form to the DHCR’s Office of Rent Administration, Gertz Plaza, 92-31 Union Hall St., Jamaica, NY 11433.
Editor’s Note: Send the form to the DHCR by certified mail, return receipt requested. Or deliver the form in person and have a copy stamped with the date for your files. This way, you’ll be able to prove that you filed the form, in case there’s ever a question. For example, suppose that after you’ve filed the form, the DHCR still sends documents or requests for information to your old managing agent, and then you lose a case because the DHCR says that a complaint wasn’t answered or information wasn’t supplied. You’ll have a better chance of winning on appeal if you have proof that you filed the form. You’ll be able to prove that you notified the DHCR of the change in agents and that it should have sent information requests or copies of tenants’ complaints to you or your new managing agent.
Some owners have their building’s tax bills sent to their managing agents. If this applies to you, make sure you notify the DOF of your new managing agent and his address, even though you’re not legally required to do so. Otherwise, the DOF will continue sending tax bills to your old managing agent, causing you to miss tax payment deadlines.
How to notify. You can update account information and change mailing address on the DOF’s website at http://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/taxes/property-update-property-and-billing-information.page.
If you’ve changed managing agents, Section 27-2105 of the city’s Administrative Code requires you to notify your tenants of the change when you send their rent bills.
If the managing agent collects the rent, you must also notify tenants of the change in managing agents by regular mail. The notice must be postmarked at least 15 days before the next rent payment is due. The notice must include the name and telephone number of the new managing agent authorized to collect rents. Here’s an example of a notice:
Please be advised that as of June 1, 2017, I have hired a new managing agent for your building, who is authorized to collect rents on my behalf. Here is the name, address, and telephone number of the new managing agent: