Some of the most hard-fought real estate litigation in New York can arise when the city or a government agency seeks to take private land for public use. The government's power of eminent domain, also known as condemnation, is broad. The rights of private landowners are protected to some extent by the U.S. and New York State Constitutions, which provide that the government must pay the landowner fair compensation if it takes private property.
Disputes between or among co-owners of real estate are fairly common in New York. People end up as co-owners of real property for a variety of reasons. In many cases they bought the property together as a business venture. Sometimes beneficiaries under a will or trust jointly inherit the property. And sometimes unmarried couples jointly purchase a property to live in.
Real estate litigation can be complex and the outcome can decide the future of a development or an investment. This is particularly true in Manhattan, where an adverse outcome in litigation can be a significant financial setback for a developer, property owner or lessee. When the stakes are this high, you need the best representation you can get.
According to a lawsuit brought by a business association in East Harlem, the city was late in filing an eviction order against property owners who have held out against a development project. In 2010, a state appeals court ruled that the city had the right to buy out the landowners to move the development forward, but according to the owners' lawsuit, there was a three-year timeframe for filing the eviction order. The city was apparently four months late.
Sometimes when a New York condominium owner seeks to renovate or otherwise alter the structure of the property, the alteration agreement or the condo's bylaws are ambiguous. This type of situation can lead to disputes between owners and management. Ideally, such a dispute can be resolved outside of court, but occasionally it is necessary to litigate for a favorable outcome.
A condominium dispute is unfolding in Upper Manhattan. According to a lawsuit that was filed with the New York State Supreme Court, the Lenox condominium building in Harlem has a defective roof, widespread leakage problems and basic structural flaws. The building's board of managers has sued the former sponsor, whom the lawsuit has accused of breach of contract and fraud.
Real estate disputes come in all shapes and sizes. A particularly heated dispute, which could have ramifications for many residents of downtown Brooklyn, involves the possible redevelopment of Long Island College Hospital into condominiums and a "medical mall."