Nadel & Ciarlo, P.C.

New York City Real Estate Law Blog

Landlord sentenced to jail for mortgage fraud

It sounds like a story straight out of the 80s: A New York City landlord does everything he can to strong-arm tenants in rent-controlled apartments out of his buildings so that he can void their leases and collect the much bigger income when he charges the new tenants the current market rate. Meanwhile, he defrauds the banks by lying and claiming that he's already receiving those sweet market-rate rental fees -- which convinces them to lend him millions.

Like a lot of the movies in the 80s that featured those kinds of stories, the landlord finally got his comeuppance: A year in jail at the notorious Riker's Island for the bank fraud alone. Meanwhile, he's still got to face the accusations and lawsuits that are mounting from his victimized tenants.

Neighbor fence disputes: Things to think about

Imagine this: You just moved into a new home and you want nothing more than to deal with that old fence that separates your yard from the neighbor.

While this sounds simple enough, there are a few questions you need to answer. First off, who does the fence belong to? If it's on your property, it goes without saying that you can do what you want. However, if it's on the property line, your options may be limited to a certain extent.

What’s the best way to collect past due rent?

You hope that your tenant pays in full and on time every month. There is nothing better than knowing that you can trust this person to live up to his or her end of the rental agreement.

Unfortunately, you also know that there are times when this doesn't happen. There are tenants out there who believe that it's okay to miss payments or pay late.

Property boundary disputes: Questions to answer

There could come a time when you find yourself locked in a border dispute with your neighbor. While you hope this doesn't happen, it's more common than many people realize.

With this in mind, you need to clearly understand where your property begins and ends. This is the only way to move forward with confidence.

What’s the best way to enforce your rights as a landlord?

Do you own a residential property or commercial property that you rent out to a tenant? Are you facing the difficult situation of a tenant who is behind on rent and/or unwilling to pay for one reason or another?

While every lease situation is unique, it's important that you know your legal rights and the type of action you should take. Here are some of the specific procedures that may come into play:

  • Nonpayment rent proceeding, such as serving notice of nonpayment to the tenant
  • Settlements, including installment terms, partial payment, and out of court resolutions
  • Initiating an eviction
  • Holdover actions
  • Rent demands
  • Three, five and 10 day notices
  • Construction eviction claims
  • Plenary action
  • Supreme Court action

Zoning issues can lead to real estate disputes

It may be the buyer's responsibility to look into the zoning regulations before attempting to purchase any property, but it's also wise for the seller to be very aware of what the zoning looks like in advance. This can help to avoid disputes.

Remember, the issue may not be as clear-cut as someone trying to buy a building in a residential area for commercial use.

Valid reasons for terminating a lease

As a landlord, it's your hope that you never have to terminate a lease to evict a tenant. If you can avoid this, it probably means you are getting along fine. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing what could happen in the future. There are many valid reasons for terminating a lease, including the following:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Violation of a clause in the lease agreement
  • Violation of a responsibility of the law

Failure to pay rent, for example, is one of the most common reasons for terminating a lease. You hope that your tenant pays in full and on time every month, but there is no way to guarantee this.

Are you asking these questions before signing a lease?

There is no denying the fact that signing a lease will impact your life in many ways. This is why you need to be careful about entering an agreement that doesn't have favorable terms.

While both the landlord and the tenant need to agree on the terms, you are in the driver's seat. Here are some of the many questions you can ask to clear the air:

  • What is the term of the lease? You need to know how long the lease will last, as it will allow you to better plan for the future.
  • What happens if I need to break the lease? While you hope this never happens, you don't know what the future could bring. It's best to know your rights upfront.
  • What is the cost of rent and when is the payment due? Along with this, you should also ask about the way in which you can pay your rent.
  • Are utilities included in the price of rent? You need to know what you are responsible for, as this will help from a budgeting perspective.
  • What happens if something needs repaired? You want to know that your landlord will take care of any issues in a timely manner.

More developments focusing on millenials and baby boomers

When it comes to comparing baby boomers and millenials, plenty can be said about their differences in how they view the world. However, when it comes finding affordable housing in New York City, it turns out that these vastly different groups have many things in common.

After all, millenials working on meager salaries may be ambivalent about buying their first apartment; often because they believe they are priced out of the market. Baby boomers who are empty nesters may feel the same way when attempting to downsize. There may be difficulties in finding a property with the right amenities that is located close to things that they need. 

Questions to answer about real estate disclosure statements

When purchasing a home, you want to collect as much information as possible. This often comes in the form of real estate disclosure statements.

With real estate disclosure documents in hand, you have a better idea of what a home has to offer, including anything that may be wrong now or went wrong in the past.

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