Young person’s landlord group talks shop

By Adam Pincus | February 11, 2009 12:47PM

Even as the economy weakens, new legislation is being considered in Albany that could increase expenses for landlords. To the old-timers who have lived through multiple real estate cycles, such shifts are part of the rough New York City real estate landscape. But for younger landlords, the new conditions can be bewildering.

To confront the new laws during this tougher economy, a small group of residential landlords aged 23 to 34 began gathering once or twice a month to discuss the altered environment. The group as yet has no name.

“Every day the market changes, and there are different laws. A lot of us don’t have as much experience … I figured it was a good idea to share strategies,” said one of the event’s founders, David Zar, vice president of Zar Properties, owner of about 300 residential units in the city.

Young building owners, sometimes lacking in experience, have a different style than their elders, he said.

“I think the younger landlords … have a more hands-own approach to building management as opposed to older owners,” Zar said. At the meetings they exchange tips on troublesome tenants, hear from guest speakers and suggest contractors.

Eight landlords attended the sixth, and most recent meeting, held at Zar’s Midtown office at 49 West 37th Street Monday night. They included Zar, Robert Sedaghatpour, a principal and managing partner of a company he would not identify that owns 220 units in Harlem; a young “third generation” landlord who owns about 2,000 apartments whom Zar would not identify; and five other landlords with between nine and several dozen units each, Zar said.

Although groups such as the Rent Stabilization Association already exist to provide advice to landlords, Zar said his nascent group was not created as competition.

“The RSA is more back-end. It is not competition whatsoever. They encouraged us,” he said.

The next meeting date has not been set, but is expected to be in March, he said.