Every spring Real Estate movers and shakers in the co-op, condo, and apartment world gather in New York City for the Cooperator Expo. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the latest in building services, network with property managers and board members, and share tips, tricks, and advice with all kinds of industry experts.
CITIBIN caught up with Anthony Maldonado, Resident Manager at 201 East 79 St. at the Cooperator Expo in May 2023 to discuss everything from trash enclosures to NYC’s new setout laws. And rats. We also talked about the tremendous success Anthony has been seeing with getting rid of rats since setting up CITIBINs on the property.
It started with rats
Anthony remembers first finding out about CITIBIN after trying to find a solution to rodent issues plaguing his building. “A rat situation, that’s how I came across CITIBIN,” he said before adding that he’s a huge fan of our trash enclosures. He also helped us to understand what exactly a resident manager (sometimes also called a super or superintendent) does anyway.
What does a resident manager do anyway?
As explained by Anthony, his responsibilities as a resident manager involves seeing to everything from the mechanical systems to managing a staff of 17 – including porters, doorman, handymen, operations, and security teams. He also oversees day-to-day situations that any resident may encounter, which could include the many rat sightings pre-CITIBIN. Anthony also reviews alteration plans, “making sure contractors have licenses and are doing what they’re supposed to.” That includes a recent three-year multimillion-dollar renovation.
A $30 million renovation project
Anthony also shared some of the stress involved in completing a $30 million building exterior renovation project that took several years to complete. The exterior reno project started in March 2021. “The project had already started going on before then,” Anthony said. The building received special permissions during Covid to move ahead, but as explained by Anthony, it was a series of trial by error until they got everything right.
Now about those rats…
As most Manhattan residents of even the toniest buildings can attest, the rat situation in NYC became something of a plague during the pandemic. It still is to a great degree.
Maybe it was all that eating out, or staying home, but Manhattan residents reported a drastic uptick in rat sightings during the pandemic. But getting rid of the rampant rats hasn’t been a picnic for building managers, supers, and porters. “It was all over the news,” Anthony said. “Everyone recalls the rat issue we have in the city during Covid. Everyone was dining outside, and it attracted the interest of all the rats. You’re eating outside and the rats are outside.” What could go wrong? In Anthony’s building, residents started to report seeing rats outside, “I think it was highlighted more because residents saw it more. More eating out, more trash and more rats.” Anthony said the building management wanted to be more proactive to control the issue immediately. “It’s something that was taken very seriously,” he said.
CITIBIN and the new NYC setout rules made a huge difference
Rats and mice are not new. They were here before us; they will be here after us. But they don’t have to share our living space. And in many ways, that’s what the new setout laws are all about. By changing the set-out time from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m, providing rats less time to nosh on leftovers, they’ll stop crawling all over our streets in search of tasty tidbits.
When asked about the new setout laws Anthony said “I was very on the fence about the hour changes. But the rat situation in my area has improved a hundredfold.” I love it.
Through a combination of setting trash out later, using CITIBINs as a waystation until pickup, and using a humane but committed exterminator, Anthony said rats near their building are a thing of the past. “Ask anyone, even at the residence across the street from me. It’s a complete difference. I don’t see any rats in our area anymore.”
At one point, Anthony was getting emails weekly from some residents. “We used to have our residents scared to walk out on the street because there were so many rats out there. It was a buffet for rats.” And it was a smelly one. “We used to have a cage for garbage,” Anthony said. “ That trash is out there baking. Letting out odors. The time change of setting it out later helped a lot, but mostly it’s using CITIBINs, which Anthony said are beautifully made. We couldn’t agree more. “Trash bags are an eyesore,” Anthony said. “With CITIBINs it’s secure and the rats can’t get to it. It’s sleek, it’s beautiful and people can’t randomly open it either. It’s not that typical black can.”
But it isn’t only raves. Anthony said that because of the later trash setout times, they had to hire another member on their trash team. “There’s a little bit of working around it and it does cost more, but in the long run it was worth it. Our residents are happy, the rats are gone, and the streets near our building our clean. It’s a win/win.”