Sunday, December 25, 2011
Currently there are 57,599 real estate salespersons in NY & 55,162 real estate brokers.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Yet, to be clear, this is not about misleading borrowers, but instead investors. So, all those homeowners out there cannot point to these charges as justice for their personal foreclosures. Instead, this suit is about selling the loans on the secondary market to investors who believed those homeowners / mortgagors / borrowers were more credit worthy than they actually were in the macro.
Its likely that this is not the end of these types of suits and no criminal charges have yet been filed.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
To learn more:
Specifically, Chapter 85 of the Code of the Town of Brookhaven, “Zoning” and Chapter 29 of the Code “Fees” were amended. Click here to view the amended changes.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
A good PR move by the mortgage empire, but not much substantively there. Yet, if you are facing eviction, Santa coming down the chimney one more time would be good for the kids.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Context is needed to provide more of a background of what this actually means, and how it impacts the local community. Pursuant to the Suffolk County Tax Act, the county is “authorized to take real property for unpaid taxes”, though the homeowner has a chance to keep his or her home through a redemption process. If the property is not redeemed within a six month window after the county tax deed is recorded, a homeowner’s only recourse is to apply for a hardship exemption extending that window.
Before this new law was passed, only an illness to the applicant, the applicant’s spouse, parent, or child (including one that is adopted) was an acceptable hardship. By adding grandchildren to this list, the legislature has shown both a surprising awareness of its community’s changing familial structure, as well as the ability to efficiently address and correct an issue with current statute.
Current economics dictate that more and more families need to help each other out, generally resulting in the family unit containing multiple generations under one roof. Grandparents let their children move back into the family home, this time bringing along grandchildren in the process. Other times, a parent may not be in the picture at all. The grandparent then becomes the de facto parent, but does not qualify for the same exemption a biological parent would under the old law.
While it should be noted that only new applications for hardship under the law include the provision for grandparents, the Suffolk County Legislature made a simple and logical change to an existing law that stands to benefit many in the community.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Qualification for the program is based upon your monthly income with reference to the number of household occupants. So first check out your paycheck and than see if you qualify.
Also, you can qualify regardless if your energy bill is in your name or part of your rent. Don't be ashamed if you need help, instead get the heat on because with a good night's rest you will be more productive and perform better at work. Thereafter, you can help someone else in need in the future.
While its still unclear what the extent of involvement in mortgage problems the CFPB will have, at the least, this new project provides a centralized place to submit complaints under the scary auspices of the government. Additionally, it is hoped that this new project will bring more attention to what has been this generation's epidemic, the housing bubble bursting. Maybe this project can help to light a fire under loan servicers to throw out their fax shredders and actually acknowledge receipt of workout documents and requests for information instead of blankedly claiming that the borrower has failed to comply.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thanks to our event sponsor - PDE Title Services, LLC, this course will be offered on the following dates:
- 1/11/12 - Bridgehampton
- 2/29/12 - Manhattan
- 3/28/12 - Melville
Registration for this free Continuing Legal Education course in Bridgehampton on Long Island is now available. Click here to register.
Property Wars: Real Estate Issues Incident to Divorce
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The New York City Housing Court (“NYCHC”) maintains a database of every matter that passes through its court. “Okay…so what’s the problem with that?” you may ask. Well, a Landlord may obtain this information for a fee from one of the various organizations who purchase this information from the Court. This practice may result in prospective tenants being rejected and/or blacklisted for a housing application due to the Landlord’s perception that the prospective tenant is a “problem tenant” due to the tenant’s name surfacing in a search. However, an attorney has challenged this operation as it paints an incomplete and unfair picture with respect to prospective tenants.
For example, the information obtained does not include a tenant’s reasons behind filing or their ultimate disposition of the case. Meaning, even if the tenants were “in the right” for bringing and/or defending an action, the Landlord is not privy to this information. Instead, the Landlord merely ascertains that the prospective tenant has been a party (it does not even specify whether the tenant brought the action or is defending it) to a NYCHC action and may subsequently unfairly dismiss this tenant as problematic.
As of yesterday, the tenant in Whelan v. Lippman lost the bid to bar the Court System from selling this potentially harmful information to third-party companies by denying the tenant’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The underlying case concerning the “blacklisting” of tenants, however, was not dismissed. We will continue to monitor both the underlying case and any potential appeal of the related case. In the interim, be wary that your potential Landlord may utilize these services when reviewing your application.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Just about a week ago, I was co-instructing our Real Estate School’s course, the Long Island Landlord. We were presented with a thought provoking question about the ability of a landlord to limit the occupants in a rental premises. The buzz and chatter in the room that commenced when we mentioned the roommate law made it clear that this was a hot topic.
If you don’t know about the roommate law, you can read it by clicking here. This law has been around since 1983 for the protection of tenants and occupants, not landlords. So it's about time to know this law.
It is essential for a landlord to know and understand the roommate law because it enables a tenant to prevent an eviction regardless of the terms of the lease. Yet, it is further important for tenants to know and understand what their rights are with relation to occupancy so that they can exercise those rights in preventing such an eviction. This is true particularly with regard to family members who are afforded the greatest rights under the law.
While the rights of immediate family members of the leasing tenant, as defined in the Real Property Law, are great, other roommates are not afforded such broad protection. Nonetheless, and as a matter of illustration, Section 8 landlords can impose occupancy restrictions regardless of the roommate law. This is because the law states: “Nothing in this section shall be construed as invalidating or impairing the operation of, or the right of a landlord to restrict occupancy in order to comply with federal, state or local laws, regulations, ordinances or codes”.
Consequently, we always advise landlords to be familiar with all the laws applicable to their rentals as some lease provisions are void as a matter of public policy according to the tenant-friendly New York State laws.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
At last night's class, Long Island Landlord, a real estate agent inquired whether a landlord could draft a lease to a single family residence, which flat out precluded assignments or sublets. While indicating that a landlord may not, I could not recall the statute or the wording, which was the foundation for this rule and therefore agreed to provide it on the blog today.
Real Property Law §226-b(1) states: Unless a greater right to assign is conferred by the lease, a tenant renting a residence may not assign his lease without the written consent of the owner, which consent may be unconditionally withheld without cause provided that the owner shall release the tenant from the lease upon request of the tenant upon thirty days notice if the owner unreasonably withholds consent which release shall be the sole remedy of the tenant. If the owner reasonably withholds consent, there shall be no assignment and the tenant shall not be released from the lease.
Therefore, a landlord cannot fully prevent a tenant from a right to assign or sublease by unconditionally withholding consent unless the landlord is willing to release the tenant from the lease (in a 4 or more residential unit apartment, a landlord can never unreasonably withhold consent). A landlord should be mindful that releasing the tenant from the lease would result in the tenant being free and clear of all responsibilities, but allowing the assignment or sublease would result in the tenant plus an additional tenant being liable to the landlord, unless there is a novation accompanying the assignment or sublease, which is not required. Therefore, it would seem that except in special circumstances a landlord should only object to an assignment or sublease if they have good cause.
Real Property Law §226-b(6) states: Any provision of a lease or rental agreement purporting to waive a provision of this section is null and void.
Therefore, you cannot draft around this provision. Yet, there are certain properties the statue does not apply to such as a rent stabilized apartments. To be clear, the statute does apply to single-family residences.
WARNING - Read the statute prior to relying on this blog to be sure its applicable to your specific situation and to comply with its notice requirements.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Take a look at your insurance policy before you do anything about your claims. Read the policy, review your deductibles, determine the procedure, but act quickly so that the insurance company can't disclaim coverage for untimely notice. Yet, read your policy and learn your rights. Remember, insurance companies are not excited to pay claims and you need to be a great advocate for your own rights, you may even want to hire a lawyer if you get into a dispute with your insurance company about coverage. If you believe that they should pay based upon what your policy says, don't just take their denial as being correct, fight it. Be clear, each policy is different, so you have to read your policy before you act.
It's likely you have a Hurricane Deductible in your policy. New York is one of many States that have Hurricane Deductibles in homeowners' policies. These deductibles are a charge of a percentage of the claim, instead of a flat fee, prior to the policy paying. Some are in the neighborhood of 4% of a claim. So, it can get quite pricey. The States (territories) that have these deductibles are Washington DC, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
The reason it's a good idea to look at your policy is that this deductible may not be triggered by a tropical storm. Each policy is different, but the downgrade in the storm may have saved you thousands of dollars in your deductible. Good luck.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act
In a landlord-friendly decision, the Appellate Division, Second Department (with jurisdiction over Long Island, among other places) just ruled that minor children of tenants cannot sue landlords for injuries resulting from exposure to lead paint under this Act even if they take possession with the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy.
To be clear, we are talking about the law that requires disclosure of known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards to a purchaser or lessee. A law that real estate agents should be very familiar with.
The Court held that the purpose of the act was to establish disclosure obligations triggered upon the lease or sale of property. The case is Brown v. Maple3, LLC and can be found by clicking here and the applicable law, RLPHRA, is 42 USC 4851. The clear rule is that infants residing with lessors are not within the zone of interest protected by the statute. The statute is about disclosure, not about strict liability for injuries.
Nonetheless, the Court did note that the door is not closed on the minor children and suggested that they instead pursue a claim under common law negligence. This means if you are injured in a residence as a result of lead exposure, your rights may be limited, but that you still do have rights and you should pursue them.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Recently, there have been developments in technology, notably, smart phone applications which allow persons who bank at large franchises to take snapshots of the front and back of a check in order to immediately send it for deposit. This can be useful-or detrimental-when it is done by a Seller at a real estate closing.
Cell phone applications now make available the option of taking a photograph of the front and back of check for immediate deposit.
Beware of this as the Buyer because Sellers should not be depositing checks without Buyer's awareness or consent, or until such time has passed that it is acceptable to do so.
This can be an extremely efficient way to deposit funds and move forward in a deal in the best case scenario-when everything goes smoothly. In fact, this can help where Seller is going to turn around and purchase a house after selling their former residence.
However, it does not always work out where that is appropriate. Checks should be monitored because there may be situations where they are initially presented (and deposited unbeknownst to the Buyer). If Seller immediately deposits, then the deal goes bad by bickering, which we all know is possible, by the end of the closing Seller now has money they are not entitled to.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
In contrast to the rule on transfer tax, just discussed, Federal Law provides that such a transfer of property incident to divorce does not work a gain or loss concerning capital gains tax; hence no stepped-up in basis results.
§ 1041. Transfers of property between spouses or incident to divorce
No gain or loss shall be recognized on a transfer of property from an individual to (or in trust for the benefit of)—
Recently, I attended a meeting of divorce attorneys in a group called the Collaborative Lawyers Association of New York (alternative dispute resolution for divorce). At the meeting, our group had mixed feelings if a transfer of real property between spouses at divorce was for no consideration (no tax) or for fair market value (tax). Ethically, the attorneys agreed that this matter required further research.
As it turns out there is a taxable event according to the New York Code of Rules and Regulations.
20 NYCRR 575.11(a)(10): A conveyance from one spouse to the other pursuant to the terms fo a divorce or separation agreement is subject to tax. (There is a rebuttable presumption in such case, that the consideration for the conveyance, which includes the relinquishment of marital rights, is equal to the fair market value of the interest in the real property conveyed.).
The takeaway is that even though you and your spouse own a piece of property already, when you transfer it to each other as part of a divorce settlement, you will be taxed or you are committing tax fraud.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
- Both agents (listing & buyers) work for the same company
- At the company (brokerage house) there is a boss (broker of record)
- Both agents (listing & buyers) have to report to the boss if the boss so requires
- While reporting to the boss confidences of the seller or buyer may be required to be shared
- The seller and buyer should know this limitation on their confidences before retaining the agents and either consent to it or not permit a dual agent with designated sales agent representation