When you pay rent on your apartment, you have a right to livable conditions in your home, and coops are no exception. Whether the ceiling falls in your kitchen, there’s mold throughout the house, or you have excessive water damage or flooding, you need to know your rights when it comes to unlivable conditions in New York coops.
When you live in a coop apartment, things work differently than if you were renting from a landlord. In a coop situation, you own a share of the building you live in through a cooperative corporation.
You still don’t own your apartment, which makes the corporation something like a landlord, but with some discrepancies. You’re responsible for certain fees, which can include property taxes and maintenance fees, among other bills. What does that mean for the condition of your apartment?
Because the cooperative corporation is still the owner of the building—not you as the person who owns the shares—they are still responsible for its condition. You can find more details in the proprietary lease regarding who deals with what problems, but the cooperative corporation has a responsibility to keep living spaces livable.
Yes. The Warranty of Habitability is a law that pertains to leased living spaces, like apartments and condos. It states that any leased living space must be fit for human habitation and stay that way as long as someone resides in it.
There are no exceptions for coops in New York, which means that if your apartment becomes unlivable, the cooperative corporation is breaking the Warranty of Habitability law. If you have already notified the corporation of any damages and they have failed to fix them, you need the help of an attorney.
If your coop apartment has become unlivable, DDC Law Firm can help you file a claim against your cooperative corporation. Call us at 718-667-1301 or contact us online for a consultation.
Sales of Property and Status of Tenants in New York State
It’s a seller’s market here in New York. But for a landlord looking to unload a property, a problem
tenant can get in the way of a successful sale.
It’s important to know the steps to take, and the laws surrounding what you can (and can’t) do to get
tenacious tenants to leave.
With a fixed-term lease, unless you have a reason for asking your tenant to leave, you must wait until the
However, with month-to-month tenants, you must follow these timelines when giving notice:
You must give tenants sufficient notice, per the guidelines above, before you expect them to move out. Landlords cannot force their tenants to leave the property, and if you plan to terminate your tenant’s lease early, you must have a reason for it.
If your tenant fails to leave the premises, then you can file an eviction lawsuit, and a sheriff will remove
When showing a home while the tenant still lives there, you can’t knock on their door at the last minute
and demand to enter the space.
You must make sure you show the home at a reasonable time of day. You must also give at least 24
hours’ notice, so the tenant has time to make arrangements to leave the property.
DDC Law Firm has 60 years of experience with laws regarding sales of property and status of tenants in New York State. Our Staten Island real estate attorneys can help you understand your rights as a landlord.
Call us today at (718) 667-1301 or contact us online to request a consultation.
Commercial Properties and Local Regulations: What Are Your Rights?
Do you lease commercial property in Staten Island?If you’reatenant or landlord of commercial property, you may be wondering about your rights and how local regulations can affect the way you do business.
You may need assistance from experienced Staten Island attorneys like the experts at DiVernieri, DiVernieri & Cotter, LLP. But this article will answer some of the most common questions about commercial properties and local regulations in Staten Island
Where can I build commercial property?
Staten Island is divided into residential and commercial zones createdto benefit residents and businesses, alike. Depending on the type of building you own, local regulations may dictate the distance from the street, the amount of parking available, and the signage you can place in front of your location.
By dictating where certain types of commercial properties can be built, these laws are designed to help:
What details about the property must a landlord disclose to tenants?
Staten Island landlords are required to disclose zoning regulations that may affect prospective tenants. They must also disclose information about the condition of the building, which may affect tenant use. The landlord must disclose details about compliance with accessibility laws and also local ordinances that may govern energy use in the building
Do I need a contract to lease my commercial property?
If you’re a commercial landlord in Staten Island, it’s important to have a contract that outlines your tenants’ rights and responsibilities. Eviction in New York State is an expensive and arduous process due to landlord laws that favor tenants. A contract can help ensure every party involved is clear about their duties and obligations
Need Help with Commercial Property Contracts?
DDC Law Firm is made up of experts in Staten Island real estate law who can help ensure your commercial property meets all zoning requirements. We can help you with real estate contracts to protect your best interests as a Staten Island landlord or business tenant
PMI is required on conventional loans if the loan to value ratio is greater than 80%. MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium) is required on all FHA loans.
What Is Mortgage Insurance?
If you’re making a down payment of less than 20% on a home, it’s important to understand what mortgage insurance is and how it works. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) isn’t just for people who can’t afford a 20% down payment. It’s also for people who don’t want to put down 20%, so they have more cash on hand for repairs, remodeling, furnishings, and emergencies.
What Is PMI?
If the concept of buying insurance on your mortgage sounds a little odd, you're probably a newcomer to buying property or never put down a small down payment. Most lenders require PMI when a home buyer makes a down payment of less than 20% of the home's purchase price – or, in mortgage-speak, the mortgage's loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is in excess of 80% (the higher the LTV ratio, the higher the risk profile of the mortgage). And unlike most types of insurance, the policy protects the lender's investment in the home, not yours. On the other hand, PMI makes it possible for people to become homeowners sooner.
PMI allows borrowers to obtain financing if they can only afford (or prefer) to put down just 5% to 19.99% of the residence's cost, but it comes with additional monthly costs. Borrowers pay their PMI until they have accumulated enough equity in the home that the lender no longer considers them high-risk.
PMI costs can range from 0.25% to 2% (but typically run about 0.25 to 1%) of your loan balance per year, depending on the size of the down payment and mortgage, the loan term and your credit score. The greater your risk factors, the higher the rate you pay. Also, because PMI is a percentage of the loan amount, the more you borrow, the more PMI you’ll pay.
How Long Do You Carry PMI?
On a conventional loan, the borrower can request that monthly mortgage insurance payments be eliminated once the loan-to-value ratio drops below 80%. Once the mortgage's LTV ratio drops to 78% – meaning your down payment, plus the loan principal you’ve paid off, equals 22% of the home’s purchase price – the lender must automatically cancel PMI as required by the federal Homeowners Protection Act, even if your home’s market value has gone down (as long as you’re current on your mortgage).
For an FHA loans greater than 90% LTV MIP stays on for the life of the loan, If less than 90% LTV MIPis required for the first 11 years.
Mortgage insurance costs borrowers money, but it enables them to become homeowners sooner by reducing the risk to financial institutions of issuing mortgages to people with small down payments. You might find it worthwhile to pay mortgage insurance premiums if you want to own a home sooner rather than later for lifestyle or affordability reasons. Adding to the reasons for doing this: Premiums can be canceled once your home equity reaches 80% if you’re paying monthly PMI or split-premium mortgage insurance.
Call New Dwelling Mortgage to further discuss if a loan with PMI is right for you!
The state of New York established legal protections for same sex couples in 2011 with the passing of the Marriage Equality Act, before the 2015 nationwide legalizing of same sex marriage. Even in the face of this record of support, it is still important for you and your partner to establish your wishes in regard to your estate, and to have documents in place outlining what should be done if one of you requires intensive medical or end-of-life care. Legal documents can be particularly valuable for couples who are not legally married, as their relationships can be more vulnerable to family challenges.
Creating an estate plan is important for any unmarried couple, but same sex couples can be more vulnerable to outside challenges without formal documents in place. Even married couples can have some understandable concerns that about their susceptibility to legal disputes over assets. By creating a will, you make your desires concerning matters of assets, custody, and other vital concerns clear to everyone.
Without documents in place, the state can begin an automatic distribution of your assets, and it is important to remember that the rules regarding who receives what were put in place before same sex unions gained legal recognition. This can make claims from your partner harder to honor, especially if you are not married.
While your will dictates who should receive the different assets you leave behind, documents like health care directives and power of attorney protect you in situations where you might be unable to act in your own interest. Health care directives will specify what you want in a circumstance where you need intensive medical or end-of-life care. As part of your wishes, you can specify what your partner's role should be in making decisions, and their level of access to you. Giving your partner power of attorney establishes that they can act in your interest if there are legal matters you are unable to address. Documents like health care directives and power of attorney can protect you if there is a dispute over your estate before you have passed, or if attempts are made to challenge your partner's place at your side should you be hospitalized and unable to express yourself.
If you and your partner have ideas for your final arrangement that clash with what your family members might want, conflict can ensue. Your final arrangements document establishes your wishes for whether you want to be buried or cremated; what type of ceremony you desire; what you want for a burial marker; and who should address the costs associated with these arrangements. While this document may not be considered legally binding, it establishes your wishes clearly, and can put a mercifully quick end to any interference of your final resting plans.
Families and conflict seem to go hand-in-hand and most families have that member or topic that always erupts into a full-scale argument. Everyone wants their opinions heard and taken seriously, while no one wants to admit that they are wrong. If you love your family but you are not loving the way they seem to enjoy constantly bickering, then you need to talk to an estate planner right away.
When you pass away, the New York State probate court is going to want to see if you have left behind any instructions on how your assets are to be handled. Those instructions are part of estate planning, and if you have not left anything behind then the courts will do their best to distribute your assets as fairly as possible.
An estate planner takes all of your assets and your final distribution instructions and put them into a format that the courts recognize. When your estate hits probate, your estate planning will kick in and tell the probate court exactly how to distribute your assets. As long as your will is considered legitimate, then the probate court will follow your instructions.
One of the more important acts of your estate planning is to have the probate court approve the executor of your estate that you have chosen. The executor is the person who works directly with the courts, helps distribute assets, and resolves any disputes. It is important that you choose an executor who wants the job, has a steel resolve, and will be able to handle your family's constant bickering.
Your will, which is a key component of your estate, outlines exactly how you want your assets distributed after you have passed on. Keep in mind that you might not have any assets to distribute to your beneficiaries if your entire estate had to be liquidated to pay off your final expenses.
Your executor will make sure that the funds get distributed as per the instructions from the probate court, and the court gets its instructions from your will. If you have no will, then your bickering family could keep your estate tied up in probate for a very long time.
In any legal situation, it is always best to plan ahead, if possible. When it comes to estate planning, you have your entire life to decide that you want to see an estate planner and get your life in order. But since you have no idea what tomorrow brings, a long wait could mean that you never get your estate set up before you pass away.
A qualified estate planner can help you to put together your estate, fill out the proper forms that dictate where your assets are to go, and put all of your final instructions in writing. Once your final instructions are in writing, the probate court and your executor will be able to act without interference from your bickering family.
If you have not made an appointment to see a qualified and experienced estate planner, then now is the time. With one simple appointment, you can give yourself peace of mind and take away any chances that your assets will get mishandled after you have passed on.
Property investors who are new to the landlord business can make mistakes that can affect their business. But what many new landlords do not know is that they could be making mistakes that violate the law. The Fair Housing Act seems like a basic piece of legislation to anyone who is renting property out for an income, but there are ways to violate the Fair Housing Act that might not even see coming. If you want to avoid unknowingly breaking the law, then you should become more familiar with the Fair Housing Act.
Your property has been proven to be in a safer part of town, which could make it an ideal rental for a single female. The college housing you bought has a reputation for being very safe, which you feel would be good for female students. Yet, if you try to advertise your properties as being safe for women, you are violating the Fair Housing Act. Even though you have the best of intentions, you are still violating the law by insisting that your property is better for one gender than another.
Let's say you rent an apartment to a single female and, after a series of events over months, you start dating that female tenant. By the word of the law, you are violating the Fair Housing Act as it could be interpreted that you are exchanging sexual favors for preferential treatment.
If in your advertisement for your rental you either specify no kids or you have a higher rental rate for kids, then you are violating the Fair Housing Act. Many new landlords try to directly appeal to single tenants because single tenants, in the long run, tend to be easier to deal with. But if your advertising or your actions exclude families or pregnant women, then you are violating the law.
It seems obvious that you are not allowed to discriminate against physically disabled potential tenants, but that goes beyond offering a lease to a disabled person. Once you agree to allow a disabled person to become a tenant, you must also allow that tenant to make the physical modifications to the property that they need to live.
Modifications would include wider hallways, ramps, and special alarm systems that disabled people require to be able to live safely on their own. The tenant would be responsible for the installation of any new equipment and to pay for any alterations to the property, but you as the landlord cannot deny your disabled tenant the ability to modify the property to suit their needs.
In the course of doing business as a landlord, it is possible for you to make many mistakes that would wind up being violations of the law. Before you actually start renting properties, you need to spend time becoming familiar with the law and understanding the subtle ways that you could violate the Fair Housing Act without even meaning to.
People who are looking for a new apartment will find many different ways to make the process easier. But sometimes an easier process does not mean that it is more reliable. If you are out there trying to rent a new apartment, you need to learn how to avoid the rental scams that could cause you years of expensive problems.
A landlord who wants to deal in cash only is someone who is trying to prevent a paper trail from being established. Whenever you do a transaction with someone like a landlord, you want the paper trail to be as detailed as possible to protect yourself. Be wary of landlords who only want to deal in cash and landlords who insist on not using a lease.
The Internet has helped to make transactions between landlords and tenants easier, but it has also opened the door for fraud. If you are trying to rent an apartment from a landlord who only deals with people through the Internet, then walk away. There is a chance that you will send your deposit and first month's rent through the Internet and never hear from that landlord again.
Landlords that prefer to work online only will create elaborate videos and picture slideshows for their properties to get you to rent. You should never rent an apartment that you cannot see in person first. For one thing, seeing the apartment in person gives you a chance to get a feel for the neighborhood and the whole property instead of just what you see online.
If there is anything noteworthy about the property owner, then that information will usually pop up during a standard Internet search. Do not forget to check out the owner of the property before signing any kind of lease. The worst time to find out that your landlord was committed of fraud is after you have signed a legal agreement with them.
Little elements of a lease, such as making sure the owner you have been talking to is the owner identified in the lease, are important when looking for an apartment. Before you sign your lease, you should take the time to read it and do not be afraid to ask any questions about suspicious items.
One popular scam for apartment hunters is talking to someone who claims to work for a landlord only to find out that the middleman was a scam artist who took all of the potential tenant's money. Insist on only dealing with a landlord, and insist on valid identification to prove the landlord's identity.
Renting an apartment can be a stressful time, but that stress can get magnified when the apartment hunter gets mixed up with a scam artist. As an apartment hunter, you should always do your homework and insist that all of the right forms are used to prevent any kind of rental scam.
The Internet has created a lot of great industries and allowed commerce to flow into places it normally would not take place. But the Internet can also be a place where criminals pull off scams that hurt honest people. If you are apartment hunting, then you will want to be careful when using the Internet to find and rent apartments. There are plenty of red flags to look out for as you are trying to find your next home.
While email and texting are convenient, they can also be used as a shield by people who have nefarious intentions. If you are trying to rent an apartment from a landlord online and the landlord refuses to give you a phone number or meet you in person, then that is a sign that something about the situation is not right.
To the generations before the Internet, the idea of renting an apartment without seeing it sounds ridiculous. But with the newer generations doing so much business online, it is not impossible to think that a landlord would ask that a new tenant put down the deposit and first month's rent without seeing it first. That can sound convenient, but it is something you should never do. You should always be allowed to see an apartment before renting it.
In some cases, tenants may think that renting an apartment without a lease is great for them because they are not locked into a financial agreement. But a lease protects the landlord and the tenant, and you could be asking for a lot of trouble if you move into an apartment without a clear outline of what is expected from both sides.
One of the tell-tale signs that an apartment listing that requires a deposit and first month's rent is a fake is when the description is very hard to read. If the description of the apartment has numerous spelling errors and horrible sentence structure, then there is a good chance that you are dealing with a scam artist.
While it is nice when a potential landlord seems to be a nice person who wants to help, it can be a red flag if that person seems too willing to rent you an apartment. A landlord who is too eager is trying to hide something, or they are hoping that you will sign the lease before finding out some terrible secret about the rental. Always put your guard up when you are dealing with a landlord who seems way too anxious to get you to sign the lease.
Most potential landlords will request permission to check out your credit report because they want to see if you are going to be able to pay your rent. But when a potential landlord starts asking you for your bank account number, social security number, or credit card number, then it is time to look for a different rental.
The process of finding a new place to live can be complicated, and it is only made worse by criminals who are out to steal your money. Always be vigilant when dealing with potential landlords and get away from a transaction that starts to seem suspicious.
Your city or town will periodically conduct tax assessments on some or all of the properties within the city or town limits. Depending on the laws in your area, you might get a letter about a pending assessment or you might have to read about it in the local newspaper. At the end of the assessment, your city tax department will send you a letter informing you of the outcome of your assessment.
In every city or town in the United States, a tax assessment can be contested by the property owner. Before you decide to go through the process of contesting a tax assessment, there are a few steps you should take to make sure you are doing the right thing.
In most cases, homeowners and tax assessors differ on the value of a particular property. If you feel like your assessed value might be high, then you should do some research to see if your assessed value is in line with the rest of the state. If your value appears to be high in comparison, then you may have a case for fighting a tax assessment. If your new tax amount falls in line with properties similar to yours throughout the state, then you might not have a chance of winning your assessment.
You might find out that your assessment is a bit high, and that could inspire you to fight it. But fighting a tax assessment can take a long time and require you to put in a lot of hours in paperwork and hearings. If, in the end, the best you can realistically expect is a drop of maybe one to five percent in your assessed value, then the fight might not be worth it.
One method for fighting a tax assessment is to have your home appraised by a professional organization, and then compare your recent assessment to a few homes of comparable value in your area. It can cost anywhere from $300 to $500 to have your home appraised, and you would probably have to hire a real estate agent to help you find comparable properties in your area. In the end, if you do not get a reassessment that at least pays back what you spent, then you have wasted your time.
When you call to discuss your assessment, some tax assessors will offer to review your assessment over the phone. After collecting all of the data and taking the time to put together a compelling case, you might want to pass on the phone discussion and request a formal hearing. If you do not get the results you want at your hearing, remember that you can dispute your hearing results as well.
Assessing a home for tax purposes needs to be an exact science. If you receive your assessment report and the description of your home is inaccurate, then you should fight the assessment. It is every homeowner's right to question their home's assessed value, and you should be prepared to collect a lot of data to present your side as you try to get your new tax bill lowered.