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Ask an Expert: I can't stand my super. What can I do about it?

By Teri Karush Rogers | October 29, 2013 - 1:48PM

Q. I really can't stand the super in my co-op building. He's obnoxious and acts like a shareholder. What's a girl to do?  Help! 

A. There's no need to suffer in silence, say our experts.

"There is only one shareholder in the equation, and it’s not the employee," says property manager Thomas Usztoke of Douglas Elliman Property Management. "Make your issues with staff known to the property manager and the board of directors."

Co-op and condo attorney Robert Braverman of Braverman Greenspun agrees: "Speak to the managing agent and convey whatever instances of unprofessional conduct took place. The managing agent can then make recommendations to the board as to what, if any, further steps should be taken."

Those steps may be along the lines of a conversation or a formal warning. If things don't improve, your board could seek to replace the super.  Since you live in a co-op, the super is very likely a part of the union and termination would be subject to union rules. 

"However, that does not prevent the removal of an unsatisfactory superintendent," says co-op and condo attorney Dean Roberts of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus.  "You will have to convince management and the board that the super should be replaced as the power to do so rests with them. Normally this process requires clear documentation with a number of writeups and warnings prior to termination. However, the severity of those incidents dictates the number required for termination."

For more details, see How Do You Fire a Super Who Belongs to the Union?


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Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she covered New York City real estate for the The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri holds a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University. 

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