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Covenants and Easements

If you’ve ever been involved in buying or selling real estate, you might’ve heard about “covenants” and “easements,” and maybe even had to go through some bureaucratic pains to deal with them. They’re certainly an important part of any discussion about the sale of property, since they can seriously impact how you use and enjoy that property. But what is a covenant or an easement, and how could it impact the sale of your property? Continue reading “Covenants and Easements”

The Warranty of Habitability

When you sign a lease to rent an apartment, there are a few basic expectations you probably have about your new residence. One is that you will actually be able to live in the space you’ve rented. While this might seem like a reasonable request, there are many landlords who do not hold up that end of the bargain. Fortunately, the law protects your right to livable conditions, with what is known as the warranty of habitability. Continue reading “The Warranty of Habitability”

Landlord Groups File Lawsuit to Block New Rent Laws

Several groups that represent landlords in New York have sued to block new rent-control measures that were recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The new laws limit landlords’ ability to raise rent on rent-controlled apartments, even after their current tenants leave. This limits landlords’ ability to make money on those apartments, which they argue is an unconstitutional deprivation of their property rights. Continue reading “Landlord Groups File Lawsuit to Block New Rent Laws”

New York State Passes New Rent Laws

After much opposition, the New York State Legislature recently passed new rent laws that offer more protections to tenants located in New York City.  The underlying goal of the new laws is to maintain affordability and stability in a city which nearly 65 percent of residents are renters. Continue reading “New York State Passes New Rent Laws”

Landlord Who Bilked Banks out of Millions of Dollars Sued for Harassment

An East Village landlord who was recently arrested for allegedly taking out millions of dollars in loans through fraudulent means is also facing a civil lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. According to an article by Crains New York Business, it is alleged that the landlord illegally harassed tenants in the rent-regulated apartments he owned by attempting to have them evicted so he could charge higher rents.

Continue reading “Landlord Who Bilked Banks out of Millions of Dollars Sued for Harassment”

New Law Grants Tenants Greater Protection from Gentrification

Mayor de Blasio recently passed a law that would grant greater protection to tenants and prevent landlords from forcing them to move out of rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments.

The law is designed to prevent landlords from forcing tenants to move from rent controlled and stabilized apartments so that landlords can then re-rent the apartments and charge higher rents.  Violation of the new law will result in significant fines.  Landlords may face penalties for a first time offense ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for engaging in prohibited tactics in an attempt to get tenants to vacate.  Fines up to $20,000 may be imposed for additional violations.

Continue reading “New Law Grants Tenants Greater Protection from Gentrification”

New Bill Proposal Aims to Give More Rights to Tenants

 

A major problem for many buildings in New York City is leaking water which causes plaster to collapse and mold to grow.  Many residents who face this issue are renters and not home owners. As such, these individuals have to wait for their landlords to address the problem while the problem, itself, persists or worsens.

Two years ago, New York City adopted a law that required landlords repair the “underlying conditions” that cause mold to flourish and ceilings to collapse. The problem is that in New York City, which houses nearly 3.5 million apartments, there is only enough resources to target 50 buildings a year for “underlying conditions orders.”

Indeed records show that since the law was passed in 2013, the city has targeted only 69 buildings, including thirty six in Brooklyn, twenty in the Bronx, eight in Manhattan, four in Queens, and one in Staten Island. Continue reading “New Bill Proposal Aims to Give More Rights to Tenants”

Attorney General Focuses on Landlord-Tenant Harassment Claim

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into the allegedly illegal tactics used to force rent-stabilized tenants out of their homes implemented by multi-million dollar landlord, Steven Croman.

According to reports, the Attorney General is investigating potential violations of city and state laws, including numerous infractions related to tenant harassment.

This week Schneiderman issued a “cease and desist” order to one of Cromans employees, ex-NYPD officer Anthony Falconite.  Tenants allege that Falconite, a private investigator, has engaged in a campaign of harassment and intimidation in an effort to force them out.

According to recounts by numerous tenants, Croman regularly files frivolous lawsuits, ignores repairs, and resorts to a number of unsavory tactics in an effort to remove current tenants so that he can rent units at much higher rates. Continue reading “Attorney General Focuses on Landlord-Tenant Harassment Claim”

Buyouts as a Method of Tenant Harassment

As New York City rent prices continue to increase, the demand for housing has made rent-controlled apartments an even more precious commodity. Indeed, many landlords seeking to earn a sizeable profit in the current sellers’/renter’s market have engaged in “buying out” their tenants’ lease agreements.

In some situations, a buyout can effect a sizeable and worthwhile payout to both the landlord and the tenant. However, there has become an increasing trend of meager buyout offers to lower-income tenants. These paltry offers, if successful, have the potential to displace lower income individuals in the face of New York’s ever increasing rental prices. Furthermore, recent reports have suggested that these buyout offers have been used more as instruments of illegal tenant harassment than simple mutually-beneficial business propositions. Continue reading “Buyouts as a Method of Tenant Harassment”

Bronx Landlord Accused of Race Discrimination

A Bronx landlord is accused of discriminating against prospective black tenants, telling them there are no vacancies available moments after telling white applicants that the building has open apartments. According to the lawsuit, secret recordings were made by undercover testers that allegedly revealed blatant discrimination by the landlord via hidden microphones.

The Fair Housing Justice filed the federal lawsuit against J.J.A. Holding Corp., a company accused of lying to prospective black tenants who were inquiring about two buildings in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx. In both cases, audio recordings catch rental agent Ray Brij-Raj telling the black candidates that there were no vacancies in the buildings right after he told white candidates there were, the suit alleges. Continue reading “Bronx Landlord Accused of Race Discrimination”