Nadel & Ciarlo, P.C.

New York City Real Estate Law Blog

Buying low in New York may mean purchasing a short sale property

In general, New York has one of the most expensive real estate markets on the East Coast, as well as one of the most competitive in the country. Potential buyers and homeowners often struggle to find a property that fits their needs that they can successfully make an offer on. However, some properties just won't sell.

The issue with the property not selling usually stems from a discrepancy between the price the seller wants to charge and the perceived value of the property. Some sellers simply have unrealistic expectations for financial gains on a real estate transaction, while others may only want desperately to get out from under the burden of an upside-down mortgage.

The basics of rental security deposits in New York

Security deposits exist to protect a landlord's interest in a property. Irresponsible tenants could cause substantial damage to a unit well beyond the standard wear and tear likely during a rental period. If a tenant leaves without finishing their lease or if they cause major damage, the security deposit on the unit helps reimburse the landlord for their losses.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion about the rights of tenants and landlords to the funds from a security deposit. Understanding what New York allows and does not allow makes it easier for both parties to assert their rights and comply with the law.

Overcoming a dispute with your neighbors

Having a good relationship with those who live close to you can add quality to your life and give you a sense of community. Even if you are not on particularly good terms with your neighbors, you likely do what you can to keep things civil. However, if you are finding that your neighbor's behavior is no longer tolerable, you may be curious as to how the law could help you.

The options you have regarding resolving an existing dispute with a neighbor will largely depend on the nature of that dispute. The following are some tips on how to handle some of the most common neighbor disputes.

What does your pre-qualified mortgage mean?

You want to buy a home or apartment in New York, and so you reach out to a mortgage lender. They ask you for some information, you provide it, and then they tell you that you are pre-qualified for a certain amount of money. What does this really mean?

The biggest pitfall here is that people -- especially first-time homebuyers -- often assume that they are guaranteed that much money. They cannot believe how fast and easy it was, but they think that's what they can spend.

Information that should be in a lease

Whether you are a landlord drafting a lease for a new property or a tenant considering the lease before signing -- it's very important to read through it carefully -- you need to know what should be in that document. It's a legal contract that helps define your rights and roles moving forward. It's more than just the price of the home or apartment.

So, what should be in the lease? A few key things include:

  • How much the monthly payments will be
  • If there are discounted options, such as a one-time yearly payment
  • The amount of the deposit
  • The exact dates and times that the agreement covers
  • The physical address that the property occupies
  • What unit the person is renting out, if applicable
  • The landlord's name and the basic contact details
  • The date on which the two entered into the agreement by signing the lease
  • Any options to renew the lease and how they work
  • Rent increase policies
  • Payment options
  • What appliances and furnishings the unit comes with
  • What the policy is for keeping the deposit
  • A checklist for previous damage to the apartment
  • What happens if the tenant misses a payment
  • If the tenant gets a grace period or not
  • Whether or not the utilities are included and, if so, which ones are
  • What the policy is for evicting a tenant
  • If the tenant is allowed to sublet the space

Understanding the laws on tenant eviction

When a person is renting an apartment or home from a landlord, they have the entitlement to security. This means that they cannot simply be evicted with no notice and with no reason. However, since the landlord legally owns the property, the landlord can evict the tenant under certain circumstances.

Both landlords and tenants should make sure that they have a good understanding of the law regarding eviction. By doing so, they will be able to act within the law at all times and stand up for their rights.

What are the advantages of a pre-foreclosure sale?

If you have been struggling to keep up with your mortgage due to unemployment, medical bills or perhaps overwhelming debts, you may live in fear of foreclosure. Foreclosure occurs when lenders decide to essentially cut their losses by taking possession of your home and selling it to gain back what they are owed.

Foreclosure is best avoided because it will result in you losing your home as well as having your credit score substantially lowered. There are several ways to avoid foreclosure if you act early. One of the ways to avoid foreclosure is to go through a pre-foreclosure sale.

Common disputes when buying or selling a home

In an ideal situation, you will have a great relationship with the person that you are buying your home from or selling your home to. It is a relationship that requires honesty, transparency and good communication.

However, because of the complex nature of real estate transactions, disputes can commonly occur. The following are some of the most common causes of real estate disputes that you would be wise to watch out for.

Avoiding tenant disputes as a landlord

Being a landlord can be difficult because you will often have to balance questions of personal interest with the desire to avoid disputes. It is important that you set boundaries with your tenant early on in the process of renting, and that you put everything in writing so that you can avoid misunderstandings in the future.

The following are some things that you should do as a landlord if you want to effectively avoid tenant disputes.

What is a special forbearance?

Life is unpredictable. No matter how much we try to plan for the future and allocate our finances accordingly, events happen that can change our situation. Unexpected hardships can arise if we unexpectedly lose our jobs or become ill, for example.

When unexpected hardships arise, we may struggle to be able to pay necessary expenses such as our mortgage for a certain amount of time. As a result, it's common to fear foreclosure. If you are struggling financially and want to avoid foreclosure, seeking special forbearance could be a great option for you.

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