RealFocus 2023 Recap: NYC Agency News, Best Practices, & More!

This year, SiteCompli’s RealFocus conference brought the best compliance leaders and industry experts together in one place. Here’s a quick RealFocus 2023 recap, with more deep dives to come with need-to-know information for your portfolios:

Important Announcements & Updates

Andrew Hoyles, Senior Manager, Compost Outreach & Education at DSNY reviews the latest updates for property managers

The most important part of every RealFocus is getting critical compliance information directly from the experts. And with the highest amount of city agencies in attendance, this year was no exception. Here’s just some of the updates we heard at this year’s RealFocus:

Parking Garage Updates From The DOB

Attendees got visual overviews of the right way to conduct newly required parking garage inspections, along with an announcement of the newly adopted rule coming on October 24th – the day after RealFocus! Most importantly, parking structures in Subcycles B and C (community districts due in 2025 and 2027, respectively) must submit an early annual observation by August 1, 2024. You may choose to submit a full inspection early by that date in lieu of the observation. Remember – annual observations are also due every year in between filing submissions, and must be kept onsite.

Responding To Hearings With OATH

Did you know that a significant amount of OATH hearings that are attended are dismissed? It underscores the importance of ensuring hearings are attended – whether by your team or by your trusted experts. OATH has revamped the way hearings are held over the last few years, so make sure you’re aware of changes like how to request an in-person hearing, or how to prepare for phone hearings (the new way most hearings take place).  Click here to review OATH’s infographic on the best way to respond to a Summons. And of course, if you have questions about Summonses in your SiteCompli or InCheck account, just ask – we’re always happy to help connect you with the right expert or walk you through the hearing process.

Understanding New Rules From The DSNY

The Department of Sanitation reviewed this year’s adjustments to trash setout times, and the expansion of the curbside composting program. They also discussed the Alternate Setout times program (2023 applications have closed, but will be available again in 2024 – learn more here). Specifics were also discussed regarding the new food-related containerization laws, and what exactly you can compost & separate. The DSNY can also provide signage for your properties helping residents understand what’s required, and what they need to do. You can order signage from the agency here.

Mitigation and Prevention With The DOHMH

Members of the DOHMH were on hand to meet and interact with RealFocus attendees, and share information about allergen hazards & rat mitigation. Rat mitigation is an important citywide compliance trend, especially combined with the related changes in DSNY regulations and a renewed focus from the Mayor and Council. DOHMH reps reviewed the rat inspection and escalation process, along with visuals and steps on signs of pest activity. They also discussed the importance of integrated pest management, and provided copies of their IPM toolkit to attendees (you can access it online here).

HPD Changes and Requirements

Lots of information was shared during HPD’s presentation at RealFocus (don’t worry – we’ll go into detail on all the news in future posts). One noteworthy mention: civil penalties for specific infractions are increasing as of December 8, 2023. Specifically, penalties for registration are doubling and then some – increasing from $250 – $500 to $1,000 – $5,000 for properties with more than 5 units. Daily penalties for initial heat violations are also increasing from $250 – $500/day to $350 – $1,250/day, with an expanded range of $500 – $1,500/day for subsequent violations.

Yegal Shamash, Assistant Commissioner at the Department of Buildings, explains parking structure requirements

As always, stay tuned to the blog for deep dives on these topics, and ongoing updates from the agencies and the City Council.

Honoring The Best In The Business

Once again, SiteCompli was thrilled to acknowledge some of the industry’s best during this year’s Checkmark Award ceremony. Here’s the full list of winners in 2023:


  • The Pioneer Award: Luis Santiago, Fordham-Bedford Housing
  • Community Leader of the Year: Francis Synmoie, NY Residential Works
  • Compliance Changemaker: Artie Carminucci, Related Management


  • Trailblazing Team Award: DTN Management
  • Organization of the Year: FirstService Residential, New York

Organization of the Year 2023 – FirstService Residential New York, with SiteCompli CEO Seth Dotterer

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners – we’re so thankful for the work you do, and the awesome example you set for our industry!

Sharing Information & Ideas Together

Our favorite part of RealFocus is interacting with you and your teams. Whether it’s helping you make connections to industry partners, getting you the answers you need, or sharing new tools and features, we love being able to help your team directly!

We’re thankful to our awesome RealFocus partners and speakers for making this day possible, and to you for joining us and bringing great questions!

While RealFocus is technically a single-day event, it’s just the start of how SiteCompli can help you take charge of your compliance. We’re looking forward to helping your team close out the year strong, and start 2024 with your compliance action plan ready to go.

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About the Author

Kristen Hariton

Kristen Hariton is the Vice President, Product Engagement at SiteCompli, focused on exploring new solutions and innovations in property operations tech. When she's not sharing the latest industry trends, changes, and updates, she's planning her next adventure to Walt Disney World.