Nadel & Ciarlo, P.C.

New York City Real Estate Law Blog

How can you protect yourself against aggressive tenants?

You love being able to lease out your duplex, but you also know that whoever you bring in needs to be a safe, respectful tenant. How can you make sure you protect yourself as a landlord and only work with people who are respectful of your property?

Here are a few tips for keeping yourself safe. First, unless you live on the property, there's no reason to give away your home address. Simply give your tenant a phone number or email address where he or she can reach you in an emergency or when he or she needs to talk to you. If you would like to be paid via check, it's a good idea to opt for a P.O. box, so no disgruntled tenants know where you live.

2 cooperatives sue over construction of low-income homes

Real-estate disputes can happen for any number of reasons, but for these families, the cost of construction defects has left them in a serious conundrum. In June 2009, buyers started to purchase homes through a city program that offered low-income residents a way to purchase a home. Now, the board of each complex the program used is suing the Briarwood Organization, stating that construction defects have created millions of dollars in repair bills and hurt the values of the homes.

Briarwood is in local Bayside, and it is run by a fifth generation of a local family. The firm works with many city-based projects and has over 600 total units in the Bronx and Brooklyn. In 2010, the company head even talked about how high-quality homes were being built with Energy Star appliances.

The process of a real estate transaction

A real estate purchase is relatively straightforward. There are a series of steps that you need to go through to create, sign and finalize a contract. Working with a real estate agent and attorney can help you protect your interests when you purchase a home.

To start with, you should make an offer and create a contract for that offer. Your attorney or real estate agent helps create a binding contract that you sign. Your signature means that you are committed to moving ahead with the purchase, but you can include contingencies. For example, you might state that you'll go ahead with the purchase if there is a home inspection by a third party or only if you can get a loan approval.

Arbitration can help you settle disputes quickly

Arbitration is one option you have if you're struggling with a real estate dispute. With arbitration, you can choose to have binding or non-binding settlements. Arbitration helps resolve disputes quickly and cost-effectively, while also keeping your dispute confidential. Any dispute that goes to court will have public exposure, which you may not want.

When you select an arbitrator, choose one that has experience in real estate. With the arbitrator having a background in real estate, he or she can help you and the other party understand the laws and regulations that affect your case. He or she can also help guide you toward an amicable solution.

Try these alternatives to foreclosure if your home's at risk

Foreclosures can be terrifying. You could lose your home, a place where you raised your children, had many of your major life moments and have planned to stay. Fortunately, a foreclosure isn't the only option you have.

There are several alternatives to foreclosure that you can try. The very first thing you should try to do is to bring your payments current. You should pay the lender the full amount due and any back payments, fees or fines if possible. You can get your mortgage reinstated up to a day before the foreclosure sale. There are a few ways to get the money to do that, whether it's getting another job, borrowing from a credit card or selling items you own. Whatever you do will likely only be a temporary fix if your finances are that tight, so consider using an additional alternative while you are current on your debts.

What can you do to get along with new neighbors?

When it comes to living next to neighbors, you probably want to get along. The last thing that anyone wants is to live through a feud with someone who is angry at them. There are some things you should do and not do when you're communicating with your new neighbors.

First, do consider how your neighbors live before you move into a property. If you hear loud music when you look at the property, there's a chance it's a daily occurrence. You should also look at what the view is like from your property. Can your neighbors see you in your home or garage? Will the things you normally do be obvious or even obnoxious to your neighbors?

You should understand what's in your lease or rental agreement

A tenant leasing agreement has a number of different facts about the lease in it as well as restrictions, obligations and other legal matters. There are several things that will be listed in each lease including the names of the tenants and landlord, the term of the lease, the address of the unit, if the tenant can have pets and how much the security deposit will be.

The leasing agreement will likely also discuss subletting. Subletting is when the landlord leases the property out, and then the tenant leases it out to someone else. Many landlords do not allow subletting, since it can bring in other people that he or she does not agree to have in the building. Others like subletting, especially if it means filling the apartment when a tenant is unable to pay or wants to move out early.

These tips can help you buy the right home

Buying a home can be a major decision that changes the course of your life, so it's one you probably have thought about for long time. There are many secrets to buying a home, and a few of these tips can help you make a good purchase.

First, if you plan to buy in the future, don't do anything that could damage your credit between now and when you go to find a mortgage. You want to show lenders that your credit is in good shape and that you're dependable.

You can file a claim if a co-op is negligent

Living in a co-op can be a great experience, but it can also come with its own downsides. Here's a scenario to consider. If you recently had your entire apartment refinished, spending lots of money, and then had your home flooded, you'd be looking to see who would be liable for the damage. Your apartment is a co-op, meaning there is a manager who takes care of the general building while you own your own home through a shareholder status.

You'd have to reach out to the management to ask what can be done about the damage, but it's likely you'd find out that it won't cover it. Now, you have to make a claim with your homeowner's insurance. So, who actually should cover damage like this?

What to look for when you want to buy a short sale or foreclosure

When you're ready to buy a home, one thing you might be considering is looking for a foreclosure or short sale. Both homes tend to be at fair market values or lower, making them a potentially great deal. There are some things to know about this kind of transaction, though.

For instance, these homes sometimes sell quickly to those who have cash or funds ready, so you may need to be quick or look at multiple properties to find the one that's right for you. Foreclosures could come with hidden problems that you don't know about; if no one has been living in the home, there's a chance that damage has been done or that repairs are needed that could cost thousands.

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