Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label Landlord-Tenant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Landlord-Tenant. Show all posts

Friday, August 27, 2021

Evictions Evictions - Get Your Evictions - US Supreme Court Opens the Floodgates

On August 27, 2021, the US Supreme Court opened the floodgates for evictions throughout the United States in the case of Alabama Association of Realtors v. DHHS

Landlords, have you called your attorney yet to start the eviction process? 

Investors, are you ready for the housing market to swing because of a flood of inventory? 

Tenants, have you started to make moving arrangements and tried to settle your arrears for less money? 

Wow, can you feel that tsunami coming? 

Make no mistake, this is the first domino to fall in our housing market's shift into a buyer's market on fundamentals. Are you ready? 

For the legal context of what transpired, the CDC had issued a moratorium on evictions in counties with substantial or high levels of COVID-19, which we explained here. That moratorium was thrown-out by the District Court for the District of Columbia, but that Court knew that the issue would get to the Supreme Court so they stayed (a/k/a, paused) the effectiveness of their Order overturning the moratorium until the Supreme Court could weigh-in, which we explained here. Now, the Supreme Court has weighed-in and the eviction moratorium is ineffective, unlawful, and unenforceable. 

To be clear, the Supreme Court did not weigh-in on the policy of an eviction moratorium. They didn't rule as to whether it is a good idea, good policy, or needed for our country. Instead, the Supreme Court ruled "that the statute on which the CDC relies does not grant it the authority it claims." In plain language, the eviction moratorium was thrown-out because the CDC's basis for imposing the moratorium does not afford it that power.

You see, Executive Branch agencies, like the CDC, can't do whatever they want. They need power before they act, which comes from Congress. Without that power, they can't do anything. They can't issue regulations, rules, or directives. This power, called an enabling statute, was missing from the eviction moratorium, according to the Supreme Court, which explained that the power relied upon by the CDC was meant "to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination," not eviction moratoriums. According to the Supreme Court, "our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends." 

Knowing that, you should be wondering if Congress will act and impose its own eviction moratorium? 

For landlords, investors, and tenants that is a really important question given that the Supreme Court acknowledged, in its decision, that "[a]t least 80% of the country, including between 6 and 17 million tenants at risk of eviction, [fell] within the moratorium." 

However, we doubt that Congress will issue another moratorium because it can't get anything done with its division in the Senate. Further, the Supreme Court reminded Congress, in its decision, that a federal "moratorium intrudes into an area that is the particular domain of state law: the landlord-tenant relationship." 

As a result, evictions are about to flood the court systems. Are you ready for the eviction tsunami? 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Tenant's Rights During Foreclosure - New Law

A new NYS law permits tenants who did not occupy a foreclosure premises at the time of the commencement of the foreclosure lawsuit to remain in occupancy for the remainder of their lease term, up to a maximum of 3 years. 

This new law gives tenants greater protection in the event that they happen to occupy a home subject to a foreclosure action, prior to their possession. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused so much chaos, disruption, and hardship to families across this nation (and the world for that matter) and the ability for families to be able to remain in a rental dwelling that is being foreclosed upon for at least the remainder of their lease and up to a maximum of 3 years, can give these families some relief and afford them a little more time to figure out their next move. 

On the other hand, this law could create delays in the purchase and sale of residential homes due to a tenant's ability to remain at a foreclosed home as referenced above. 

Would you even want to buy a house from foreclosure anymore? 

Do you support the new law that gives tenants additional rights during foreclosure? 

How much of an impact will this new bill have on future purchase and sales on foreclosed homes? 

Friday, June 11, 2021

NYS Bill Exempts Co-Ops from Certain Landlord-Tenant Laws

On June 10, 2021, the New York State Legislature passed Assembly Bill A350 / Senate Bill S5105C (“Bill”) which set forth exemptions for cooperative housing corporations (co-ops) in relation to their tenants who are unit owners, purchasers, or shareholders. Once signed by the Governor, the Bill takes effect immediately.

While unit owners, purchasers, or shareholders of co-op units are generally considered “tenants” under their respective proprietary leases or occupancy agreements, if the bill becomes law, co-ops will be exempted from the usual landlord-tenant requirements and prohibitions set forth below:

  • Security Deposit or Advance (GOL §7-108): A co-op will be allowed to collect more than one month’s rent for a deposit or advance from tenants who are unit owners, purchasers, or shareholders of owner-occupied units;
  • Notice of Non-Renewal or Notice of Rent Increase (RPL §226-c): A co-op is no longer required to provide the RPL §226-c Notice of Non-Renewal or Notice of Rent Increase to tenants who are unit owners or shareholders of the co-op;
  • Application Fees (RPL §238-a): A co-op may demand any payment, fee, or charge necessary to compensate a managing agent and/or transfer agent for processing, reviewing, or accepting a tenant’s application where such tenant would become prospective unit owner or shareholder;
  • Credit and Background Check Fees (RPL §238-a): A co-op may charge more than $20, but such fees should not exceed the actual cost;
  • Monthly Maintenance Fees for Late Payments (RPL §238-a): A co-op may charge up to 8% of the monthly maintenance fee for the late payment of such fee if provided for in the proprietary lease or occupancy agreement;
  • Rent” in a Summary Proceeding (RPL §702): A co-op may demand more than the rent in a summary proceeding against a unit owner or shareholder provided that the proprietary lease or occupancy agreement allows for the recovery of other fees, charges, penalties or assessments in a summary proceeding;
  •  5-Day Notice of Non-Payment (RPL §235-e(d)): A co-op may provide another method of sending notice by mail other than certified mail as long as it is set forth in the proprietary lease or occupancy agreement; and
  • Attorneys’ Fees upon a Default Judgment (RPL §234(2)): A co-op may be awarded attorney’s fees in the event of default judgment against a unit owner or shareholder if the recovery of such fees are set forth in the proprietary lease or occupancy agreement.

Essentially, the Bill aims to correct the unintended effects of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 towards unit owners or shareholders of co-ops who are “tenants” only because of their proprietary leases or occupancy agreements.

Do you agree with the Legislature’s corrections? Is it too little, too late?

For pending litigation, it sure seems that this new law affirms that co-ops that previously breached the Housing Stability & Tenant Protection Act as applicable to tenants, are liable, no?

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Landlord Liability for Tenant-on-Tenant Discrimination: Split in the Federal Circuits | New York Law Journal

Monday, September 21, 2020

Commercial Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums Extended through October 20, 2020

By Executive Order 202.64, Governor Cuomo extended the moratoriums for the initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of an eviction of any commercial tenant for nonpayment of rent or a foreclosure of any commercial mortgage for nonpayment of such mortgage to October 20, 2020. This means that no eviction or foreclosure proceeding may be commenced against commercial tenants for nonpayment of rent or mortgage until such date.

There are no moratoriums in place for residential properties by Executive Order. Irrespective of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders, court directives are still in place whereby landlords and lenders are permitted to initiate residential and commercial evictions and foreclosures not based on nonpayment but such proceedings remain suspended until further notice. You can read more about these court directives HERE and HERE. Further, residential evictions remain governed by the Tenant Safe Harbor Act as well, which prohibits courts from issuing a warrant of eviction or judgment of possession against a residential tenant experiencing COVID-19-related financial hardship, among others.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Commercial Eviction and Foreclosure Nonpayment Proceedings Stayed Until September 20, 2020

On August 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.57 which, among others, extended Executive 202.48 and 202.28. Per the Executive Order, the following are stayed until September 20, 2020: 

  1. Commencing a commercial eviction proceeding against any commercial tenant for the nonpayment of rent;
  2. Commencing a foreclosure of any commercial mortgage for nonpayment of such mortgage; and
  3. Enforcing of such eviction or foreclosure.

As to #3, the Executive Order is unclear as to what is actually prohibited in terms of enforcing an eviction or foreclosure, but it could mean that executing a warrant of eviction or conducting a foreclosure sale are currently prohibited. Stay tuned should future Executive Orders or Court Administrative Orders provide clarification.

As to holdover eviction proceedings, the Executive Order does not specifically address them, thus residential and commercial holdover eviction proceedings may be commenced but they remain suspended per Administrative Order 160/20.

As a reminder, for proceedings commenced prior to March 17, 2020, the execution of the warrant of eviction for residential properties is stayed until October 1, 2020. For properties outside New York City, you can read more about the current eviction rules HERE.

In New York City, the execution of the warrant of eviction for residential properties is stayed until October 1, 2020 and until September 4, 2020 for commercial properties. For properties in New York City, you can read more about the current eviction rules HERE and HERE.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

NYC Residential Evictions Stayed until October 1, 2020

In addition to the directives set by the Court in Administrative Order 160/20 which we discussed in our blog HERE, New York City evictions are also governed by the following directives found in DRP 213:

  • Only in New York City, residential evictions are prohibited until October 1, 2020 and until September 4, 2020 for commercial evictions. This means eviction proceedings may be commenced but the Marshall cannot evict residential tenants until October 1, 2020 or until September 4, 2020 for commercial tenants.

  • Beginning August 20, 2020, NYC Courts will begin accepting requisitions who have obtained judgments of possession issued before March 17, 2020. Such requisitions must be presented by motion on notice to the respondent and such motion must include the Notice to Respondent-Tenant and be served by mail and email, if possible. Trials for commercial evictions will also be conducted and virtual trials are strongly encouraged whenever possible. See DRP 214.

  • Beginning August 20, 2020, landlords seeking to enforce a warrant of eviction issued before March 17, 2020 must request permission from the court through a motion on notice to respondent-tenant. Such motion must also include the Notice to Respondent-Tenant and be served by mail and email, if possible.

  • In all matters where all parties have appeared, the judge has discretion to address any unexcused absence for noticed virtual or in-person appearances / conferences. The judge may reschedule with a “final” marking, resolve issues against such non-appearing party, impose sanctions, or issue a judgment of contempt.

  • For deadlines to file an answer in residential eviction proceedings, no adverse action shall be taken based on the failure to file an answer in an eviction proceeding or failure to submit responsive papers to a motion submitted through the Electronic Document Delivery System (EDDS). All other rules contained in AO 160/20 and 121/20 remain in effect.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Evictions Resume, But New Eviction Rules Stay Residential Evictions Until October 1, 2020

On August 12, 2020, Judge Lawrence K. Marks published a memorandum and an Administrative Order on the filing and prosecution of residential and commercial evictions in New York State. Landlords and property managers should take note of the following, effective August 13, 2020:

1.      Evictions commenced prior to March 17, 2020 may continue but it is subject to the following rules:
a.   Proceedings continue to be governed by the suspension of filing deadlines as per Executive Order 202.8 as extended to September 4, 2020 by Executive Order 202.55. This means that the deadline to file an Answer to the Landlord-Tenant Petition or appear, among others, is suspended until September 4, 2020.
b.   Commercial Matters:
  • Commencement and enforcement against tenants facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic is stayed until August 19, 2020 pursuant to Executive Order 202.28.
  • Commercial eviction matters may otherwise proceed in the normal course, subject to the tolling of statutory deadlines by Executive Order 202.8, as extended by Executive Order 202.55, as explained above.
c.   Residential Matters:
  • For all eviction matters commenced prior to March 17, 2020, including those with a warrant of eviction that has been issued but not yet executed, courts must hold a status or settlement conference to address a range of subjects related to the case and COVID-19 concerns.
  • After such conference, the court may take whatever steps it deems appropriate, such as deciding pending motions, entertaining new applications, or allowing the matter to move forward in its normal course.
  • No residential eviction may take place prior to October 1, 2020 or such later date or dates set by law.

2.      Evictions commenced on or after March 17, 2020 are suspended, regardless of whether it is commercial, residential, nonpayment, or a holdover. They may be commenced but will remain suspended until further order of the court. Nonetheless, eviction matters in which all parties are represented by counsel shall be eligible for virtual settlement conferences.

3.      Filing and service in eviction proceedings requires represented parties to commence new matters electronically through NYSCEF, if available, and by mail if not. Unrepresented parties may file papers in person. See AO/121/20

4.      Eviction proceedings should be conducted remotely whenever appropriate.

5.      Commencement papers in commercial and residential evictions proceedings must continue to include the form notice indicating that respondent-tenants may be eligible for an extension of time to respond to the complaint. You can find the notice HERE

6.      New York City eviction matters shall be governed by AO/160/20 and DRP 213

7.      Administrative Order AO/127/20 is superseded and is no longer in effect. Thus, the form affidavit / affirmation from the landlord / landlord’s counsel regarding the tenant’s COVID-19 hardship is no longer required, among others.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Attorney Affirmation/Petitioner’s Affidavit No Longer Required for Evictions and Foreclosures

Effective immediately, landlords and lenders no longer need to submit an attorney affirmation or petitioner’s affidavit with the petition or complaint in an eviction or foreclosure proceeding pursuant to Administrative Judge Marks’ July 7, 2020 memorandum.

This directive amends the procedure for eviction and foreclosure proceedings as set forth on Judge Marks’ June 18 and June 23, 2020 memoranda and as explained in our blogs HERE and HERE. All other requirements and rules stated therein remain in effect. This includes the requirement to serve the Notice to Respondent Tenant or the Notice to Respondent with the commencement documents, as well as rules concerning the calendaring of hearing and motion practice as stated therein.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Landlord’s New World – Sue for Money Judgment, Not Eviction

Effective June 30, 2020, the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (“Act”) was signed into law by Governor Cuomo. Essentially, the Act prohibits courts from issuing a warrant of eviction or judgment of possession against a residential tenant for non-payment due to financial hardship during the COVID-19 covered period, but it allows landlords to obtain a money judgment for rent in a summary proceeding. Alternatively, landlords can simply commence a plenary action for the money judgment in district, county, or supreme court as jurisdictionally appropriate.

The Act defines “COVID-19 covered period” as March 7, 2020 until the date executive orders which closed or restricted public or private businesses, or required the postponement or cancellation of non-essential gatherings for any size for any reason expire. This means that until all businesses are allowed to be 100% open, a tenant may claim financial hardship and not be evicted.

As a result, A landlord who starts a summary proceeding to evict a tenant or lawful occupant for non-payment of rent will not be able to get a warrant of eviction or judgment of possession if the tenant or lawful occupant claims that he suffered financial hardship during the COVID-19 covered period. Tenants and lawful occupants are also allowed to raise it as a defense in the summary proceeding.

To determine whether a tenant suffered a financial hardship, courts shall consider the following, among other relevant factors:

  1. Tenant’s or lawful occupant’s income prior to the COVID-19 period;
  2. Tenant’s or lawful occupant’s income during the COVID-19 period;
  3. Tenant's or lawful occupant's liquid assets; and
  4. Tenant’s or lawful occupant's eligibility for and receipt of cash assistance, supplemental nutrition assistance program, supplemental security income, the New York State disability program, the home energy assistance program, or unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law.

The Act, however, does not prohibit landlords from obtaining a money judgment for rent if successful in a summary proceeding. Landlords are advised to contact counsel to discuss the best strategy to manage their tenants while complying with the various executive orders and laws in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Courts to Reopen for Eviction Proceedings, New Forms Required

Beginning June 20, 2020, courts will accept new eviction matters – statewide eviction moratorium expires (Executive Order 202.28).

To facilitate this, the Chief Administrative Judge released a memorandum setting the procedures for residential and commercial eviction proceedings in New York State.

Now, commencement documents in eviction proceedings must be filed with the court by NYSCEF or mail. Further, until further order, petitions in commercial and residential eviction proceedings based on nonpayment of rent or on other grounds must include the following:
  1. Form petitioner’s attorney affirmation or petitioner’s affidavit (for self-represented petitioners), indicating that counsel / petitioner has reviewed the various state and federal restrictions and qualifications on eviction proceeding and believes in good faith that the proceeding is consistent with those restrictions and qualifications; and
  2. Form notice to respondent-tenants (in both English and Spanish), informing them they may be eligible for an extension of time to respond to the petition in light of legal directives related to the COVID-10 pandemic, and directing them to a telephone number and/or website link for further information.

As a reminder, eviction proceedings based on non-payment of rent by a tenant who is eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under federal or state law or is otherwise facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are prohibited until August 20, 2020 per Executive Order 202.28. In addition to the above forms, NYC currently has directives requiring good faith affidavits to be filed with the petition. You can read more about it HERE. Stay tuned should the Civil Court of New York City update their directives in light of the Chief Administrative Judge’s memorandum.

The memorandum further stays the hearing of the eviction matter until the Executive Orders suspending statutory time periods for legal matters expire. However, eviction matters commenced on or before March 16, 2020 in which all parties are represented by counsel shall be eligible for calendaring for virtual settlement conferences.

Also, the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (NYSCEF) will accept New York City Housing Court matters later this summer.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

NYC Civil Court COVID-19 Directives on Evictions Based on Non-Payment of Rent

Beginning June 20, 2020, any petitioner seeking to commence a summary proceeding for nonpayment of rent shall file with the petition an affidavit by a person with knowledge of the facts, stating the following:
  • Petitioner has made a good faith effort to ascertain whether the respondent is a person eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or otherwise facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Respondent is not such a person; and
  • Facts upon which the petitioner / individual signing the affidavit based such conclusion. See DRP 209.
Similarly, any individual seeking to obtain a default judgment for the respondent’s failure to answer in a summary proceeding based on the non-payment of rent must attach to the application, an affidavit with the above information. See DRP 210.

Lastly, the affidavit is also required to enforce a warrant of eviction that was awarded prior to March 20, 2020 based upon the nonpayment of rent. To enforce the warrant, the petitioner must seek leave of court to enforce the warrant and such motion must include the affidavit. See DRP 211.

The above directives were published in light of Executive Order 202.28 which extended the eviction moratorium to August 20, 2020 for eviction proceedings or enforcement based on nonpayment of rent or foreclosure of a mortgage, owned or rented, “by someone that is eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or otherwise facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The above directives apply to both residential and commercial properties and proceedings in all five boroughs and are all effective June 20, 2020, however, it is advised that the above affidavit also be prepared for eviction proceedings in Nassau and Suffolk County as Executive Order 202.28 applies statewide.

While Executive Order 202.28 and the Courts are well-intentioned, gathering the information required to complete the affidavit may be problematic for landlords. Often, a tenant who has not paid rent, has not reached out to the landlord to renegotiate their rent during the coronavirus pandemic, and is being evicted is unlikely to cooperate with a landlord’s attempt to get information. Nonetheless, landlords are advised to consult counsel in order to ensure that they follow the correct court procedures as one small mistake in filing may cause further delay, or even dismissal, of their court proceedings.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Legislation Prohibiting Evictions during COVID-19 Period on Governor’s Desk

Senate Bill S8192B / Assembly Bill 10290B passed both the Assembly and Senate and is currently on the Governor’s desk for signature. The legislation will prohibit the eviction of residential tenants who suffered financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the bill covers the period from March 7, 2020 until various Executive Orders which placed restrictions requiring closure of and restriction on businesses and establishments, or postponement or cancellation of non-essential gatherings continue to apply in the county of the tenant’s residence (“COVID-19 Covered Period”). Further, the bill allows residential tenants to raise a defense of financial hardship during such period in a summary proceeding and courts shall consider the tenant’s income prior to and during the COVID-19 Covered Period, liquid assets, and eligibility for cash assistance, disability, unemployment insurance, and state or federal programs.

This legislation expands Executive Order 202.8 which imposed a statewide eviction moratorium until June 18, 2020 and Executive Order 202.28 which extended the moratorium to August 20, 2020 for tenants facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike the previous Executive Orders, the legislation does not prohibit the initiation of summary eviction proceedings, it merely prohibits the courts from issuing judgments of possession and warrants of eviction. It does not prevent landlords from obtaining money judgments for unpaid rent.

While this legislation is a softer blow to landlords than a complete prohibition on the initiation of eviction proceedings, the main concern for landlords is that the COVID-19 Covered Period can last well up to 2021. Further, as landlords can only get a money judgment and not an eviction, the judgment does not stop the bleeding and would eventually require landlords to go back to court to obtain another judgment for rent prior to the tenants vacating the property.

A lawsuit has already been filed by landlords to nullify provisions of Executive Order 202.28 which prohibit landlords from pursuing eviction proceedings until August 19, 2020 and which allow tenants to use the security deposit toward rent payments. The landlords argue the Executive Order allows tenants to withhold rent without immediate repercussion and precludes landlords from utilizing security deposits as compensation for damages caused to the unit by the tenant. It is expected that if the bill is enacted into law, litigation will surely follow.

In the meantime, landlords should consult counsel for strategies on how to mitigate their risk due to tenants’ nonpayment.

Friday, May 29, 2020

NY Businesses and Building Owners Authorized to Enforce No Mask, No Entry Policy

On May 28, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.34, which authorized business operators and building owners to exercise their own discretion in denying entry to individuals who fail to comply with Executive Order 202.17 requiring face-coverings when in a public place.

Specifically, EO 202.34 allows business operators and building owners to use their discretion in denying entry and requiring or compelling removal of persons not wearing a face-covering, unless they are under the age of two or are not able to medically tolerate it as per EO 202.17. More importantly, EO 202.34 exempts such business operators and building owners from a claim of violation of the covenant of quiet enjoyment or frustration of purpose. However, the directive must still adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act or any provision of either New York State or New York City Human Rights Law, or any other provision of law.

While businesses and building owners can now restrict entry, they should contact counsel to create a policy that ensures compliance with the anti-discrimination laws and mitigate exposure to discrimination claims.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Victim of Domestic Violence experiencing PTSD deemed Disabled and entitled to Reasonable Accommodation under ADA

In a recent New York City Civil Court decision, the Court held that disability due to domestic violence can entitle a tenant to a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Specifically, in Schuhab HDFC v. Delacruz (Case Number: 64402/17), the court held that the tenant’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from domestic violence should entitle her to a probationary order as reasonable accommodation. Under the Fair Housing Act, a landlord is required to provide a handicapped tenant with a reasonable accommodation for the tenant to keep the apartment (42 U.S.C.3605(f(3)(B)). In this case, such reasonable accommodation was in the form of a probationary stay – instead of the tenant getting evicted right away, she was allowed to stay subject to several conditions to prevent any adverse effect to other tenants and guests.

As background, the case was commenced as a holdover landlord-tenant eviction proceeding by Schuab HDFC against the tenant on the grounds that the tenant used or permitted the premises to be used for the distribution and/or sale of controlled substances. The tenant’s defense was that she neither knew of or acquiesced to the illegal activity. She also requested the court grant her a reasonable accommodation in the form of a probationary stay in the premises as a result of her disability from being a victim of domestic violence.

The Court’s decision narrates and incudes the instances of domestic violence that the tenant suffered from her former partner, the resulting PTSD, and the circumstances which led to her partner’s use of the premises for drug activity as testified by the tenant. While considering the tenant’s testimony and her psychiatrist’s input, the Court agreed in finding that the tenant suffers from PTSD and such disability should entitle her to a probationary stay under the Fair Housing Act.

Consequently, the Court granted the landlord a final judgment of possession against the tenant and other occupants, but also granted the probationary stay in the tenant’s favor as a reasonable accommodation under the FHA. The tenant is required to exclude her former partner from the premises, avoid and preclude others from participating in drug-related activity in the premises for a period of two (2) years. In the event of a breach, Petitioner may move for the issuance of a judgment of possession and warrant of eviction.

Real estate professionals should be aware of this decision in order to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act and limit exposure to claims of discrimination for refusing to provide reasonable accommodations.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Podcast | Tips For Landlords To Renegotiate Lease Terms

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Podcast | Creative Lease Workout Options

Latest Podcast - Sharing creative lease solutions for commercial landlords and tenants who have lost revenue from coronavirus.

Click here to listen to podcast

Saturday, December 21, 2019

New Law: Prospective tenants can obtain history of gas & electric charges incurred

On December 20, 2019, Senate Bill S3585 became law.

This bill's purpose is that it "[r]equires gas and electric utility companies to make available to any landlord and lessor of residential rental premises, upon the request of a prospective tenant or lessor of a residential unit, information concerning gas and electric charges incurred from prior occupants of the dwelling."

The bill's justification explains that "[p]eople should have the right to inquire from a gas and electric company the amount of the bills being paid for heat and electric service by the prior customer before they move into a residence. They should not have to rely on a landlord or homeowner's word about how much it costs to heat a residence."

This new law, Public Serivce Law section 66-p, is effective on 4/18/2020.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Summary of the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 for General Landlord/Tenant Practice

Friday, September 20, 2019

New Law Protects Domestic Violence Victims From Eviction

Governor Cuomo signed Assembly Bill A2665A, which prevents landlords from evicting tenants facing domestic violence or other crimes as a result of a nuisance violation. Landlords may now begin eviction proceedings against perpetrators of violence while the victim of domestic violence remains at his/her residence. 

The stated purpose of the law: 
“[n]o victim of domestic violence, or other person threatened with violence or in jeopardy of harm, should fail to access police or emergency assistance when needed because of the fear that doing so may result in losing their housing through eviction or other actions to remove them from the property.” 
Prior to the new law, landlords could evict victims of domestic violence for creating a "nuisance."

Now, victims can no longer be penalized for violating laws regulating nuisances unless the conduct is rooted in breaches of the lease, illicit activities, or other violations of the law. In short, multiple calls to the police for help no longer serve as grounds to evict a tenant.