Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label Property Management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Property Management. Show all posts

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

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.

Closed Captioning On TVs In Public Accommodations Must Now Be Provided Upon Request

Televisions in an area of public accommodation that have a closed captioning feature must be enabled upon request. However, business owners will not be penalized if the television does not have a closed captioning feature.

The specific law S1650 signed by Governor Cuomo states:
“A place of public accommodation, resort or amusement. . . shall upon request be required to have closed captioning enabled on all televisions that are located in the public area . . . during regular business hours.”
Owners/Managers of public accommodations should train staff on this new requirement to avoid potential exposure to costly lawsuits.

Monday, January 21, 2019

New NYS Law Requires Equal Access to Diaper Changing Tables in Public Restrooms

NYS Department of State adopted a rule amending 19 NYCRR 1219 and adding 19 NYCRR 1229 to require newly constructed buildings and buildings undergoing a substantial renovation to include diaper changing stations if buildings have publicly accessible toilets.

Effective January 1, 2019, such buildings must meet requirements which include having at least one diaper changing station accessible to any gender available on each floor level with a public restroom. The new rules also address requirements as to accessibility, construction, installation, maintenance and signage of the diaper changing tables.

Failure to comply may result in criminal sanctions pursuant to Executive Law §382(2).

For more details, read the full text of the 19 NYCRR 1219 and 19 NYCRR 1229.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lease Suggestion to Avoid Discrimination

According to the NYC Commission on Human Rights Legal Enforcement Guidance on Discrimination on the Basis of Disability, "a “no pets” policy in a lease, should be clear about the availability of and the process for seeking and granting an exception or modification to the policy as a reasonable accommodation."

As should be discerned, using a form lease is very dangerous and landlords need to understand that a properly drafted tailored lease is about exposure mitigation more than anything else.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Brand New Video CE: Property Investment ONLINE (3.5 CE Credits): ON SALE

Real estate can either be the best investment or largest liability of your lifetime. Starting with basic real estate math, this 3.5 credit real estate continuing education course teaches you how to perform fiscal assessments, isolate a property, evaluate prospective tenants and comply with local protocols. This course focuses on income producing property and is not limited to one subsect of commercial investment. After completing this course, you will be able to increase the valuation of your property listings through obtaining proper financial statements, leveraging capitalization rates, and understanding tax consequences of sales. Learn to be a real estate mogul with Lieb School.

Property Investment ONLINE is a video real estate continuing education course that satisfies 3.5 credits of the total 22.5 credits required by the NY Department of State for license renewal. This course was developed and instructed by Andrew Lieb, Esq., a premiere NY real estate litigator and compliance trainer that focuses his legal practice on real estate brokerage compliance and litigation. This course includes video segments filmed in front of a live studio audience and can be taken on Tablets, IPADs, MACs and PCs with a high speed internet connection.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Enrollment is Now Open for Property Manager Liability: Requirements, Responsibilities and Fair Housing on 2/6/15 in Plainview

Property Manager Liability: Requirements, Responsibilities and Fair Housing

Instructor: Andrew Lieb, Esq., MPH

CE Credits: 3

Price: Free

Date: 02/06/2015 at 1:30pm in

Maximize your client's investment while minimizing your exposure to great liability. Be cautious, property management is a serious business that has many liability landmines for the weary. Do not just dabble in property management. Do not just help out a landlord brokerage client in dealing with their tenants. Learn why the Department of State considers property management to be a licensed activity in this State. Understand how to mitigate exposure to license law liability, premises liability, and fair housing liability. Get real life examples of what can go wrong. Most importantly, learn what must go into your Property Management Agreement and why a top property manager should get paid.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ALERT - Throw Out Your Old Form Leases Immediately

Residential leases are now required to contain a notice to tenant(s) concerning the existence of sprinkler systems.

“Sprinkler system” shall mean a system of piping and appurtenances designed and installed in accordance with generally accepted standards so that heat from a fire will automatically cause water to be discharged over the fire area to extinguish it or prevent its further spread.
See Executive Law 155-a.

Read the new law at Real Property Law 231-a.

The law specifically requires:

  • Notice in bold face type;
  • Notice that a maintained and operative sprinkler system in the leased premises is in - EXISTENCE OR NON-EXISTENCE; &
  • The last date of maintenance and inspection of any EXISTING sprinkler system.
The Bill's Justification states that "According to the Fire Sprinkler Initiative, the availability of smoke detectors, coupled with a maintained and operative sprinkler system installed in a residence, decreases the risk of dying in a fire by over 80%."

As a person that is into living, that statistic is jaw-dropping in support of the existence of sprinklers in residential housing. At the least, this new law provides tenants with the knowledge to make an informed choice as to whether to live in a premises without a sprinkler system. 

Real estate professionals should now immediately throw out any of their old leases and make sure to have a new residential lease prepared that complies with Real Property Law 231-a. Also, cooperative boards must not forget that they are leasing property as well. So, cooperatives that amend their proprietary leases must comply with RPL 231-a or risk the lease being held void. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lease Guaranties & Modifications - Be Sure to Draft Modifications Carefully

The Appellate Division recently addressed a situation where a guaranty accompanying the original lease was enforced post-modification of that underlying lease in 4 USS LLC v. DSW MS LLC where the court ruled that the Guarantee could "recover under the terms of the lease, prior to its modification".

This means that where you make a deal to modify the terms of your lease, you may still be personally liable under the old guaranty for past breaches of that previous lease.

The takeaway from this case is to address the guaranty documents in the modification documents and expressly state the intentions of the parties as to past breaches and their enforceability post-modification.

Real estate agents often only think about getting the functional results that their clients expressly state accomplished - this case is a reminder of the necessity to clean up the past before emerging into the goals stated by your clients for the future.

Otherwise, the past can come back to bite you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why Not to Rent Property to a Family Member

Before letting a family member stay at your house, read and share Andrew Lieb's latest article published in the New York Section of the Huffington Post.

The answer depends on two very important factors:
  1. Do you really need the money from your rental?
  2. Are you actually related to your family member?

The comprehensive article is available through the following link. Full Article

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

5 Tips for Landlords in Wrapping-Up Your Seasonal Rentals

  1. Gaining Repossession: Just because the term of the lease (a/k/a duration) is over does not mean that you, the landlord, automatically gets your seasonal rental property back. In many States, such as New York, the tenant must surrender possession of the property prior to the landlord retaking possession regardless if the lease period has ended. In best practice, a written lease agreement will provide not only when the term is over, but also the mechanism of how, when and where the tenant is supposed to surrender possession (e.g., tenant shall surrender possession by way of turning over the keys to the subject premises to the landlord, in-person, at the subject premises at 12:00 p.m. on September 30, 2014 or at such other time, date and manner as is mutually agreed upon by and between the parties in a signed writing). Such a surrender clause is particularly important for landlords because a landlord who engages in a self-help eviction (i.e., going into the property without the tenant’s permission and changing the locks) is exposed to a lawsuit by the tenant for treble damages for the tenant’s lost use and occupancy of the property. Beyond protecting oneself from a self-help claim, landlords should also motivate the tenant to leave on time by utilizing a holdover liquidated damages clause (i.e., predetermined monies due and owing in the case of a holdover tenant – staying after the expiration of the lease). Courts in many States, such as New York, will enforce this type of clause at a level of three times the previous rent due for the duration of the holdover period.
  2. Damage Inspection: There are 4 steps to a proper damages inspection: (1) Establishing a baseline condition of the property when the tenant takes possession (i.e., countersigned and dated pictures should have been taken); (2) Distinguishing between actual damage and ordinary wear and tear (i.e., definitions should be included in the lease for each category); (3) Determining the condition of the property upon the tenant surrendering possession (i.e., tenant and landlord walk through the property while memorializing the condition in pictures that are countersigned and dated); and (4) Obtaining 2 estimates for repairs from licensed home improvement contractors to establish the cost of repairs.   
  3. Refunding the Security Deposit: A landlord is a trustee for the tenant’s security deposit monies. Where a landlord wrongfully withholds the security deposit, the tenant may be able to sue for those monies on theories such as breach of contract, conversion and breach of fiduciary duty, among others. Additionally, many States, such as New York, provide a tenant with a reciprocal right to sue for attorneys’ fees whenever a lease provides the landlord with such a right (i.e., landlord’s right to attorneys’ fees in the event of breach is standard practice in leases). Consequently, a tenant can frequently hire an attorney, who will be paid for by the landlord, to recover their security deposit.
  4. Lease Renewal: The best tenants continue to renew season after season. For the landlord, this not only makes your budget for operating the property predictable, but also avoids the landlord from having to continually make yourself or your agent available to show the property to prospective replacement tenants. The protocol for the tenant exercising a lease renewal option should be set forth in the current lease agreement, including how notice to renew should be rendered (i.e., mailing a certified mail return receipt letter to the landlord indicating that the tenant shall exercise its renewal option). Additionally, the lease should provide how the rental fee will be adjusted for future seasons by what is typically referred to as a rent escalation clause, (i.e., either at a percentage increase such as 3% or tied to an index such as the Consumer Price Index). Oral renewals and text messages should be avoided as they often result in litigating.   
  5. Brokerage Agreement: Many real estate brokerage agreements provide for additional monies being due to the broker in the event of a renewal of the lease by the current tenant or a member of the tenant’s family. Additionally, smart brokers put a clause in their agreements that provides for a commission being due should the tenant purchase the rental property from the landlord. Reviewing the brokerage agreement that was applicable when the tenant first let the property is a great first step before lease renewal to know how a landlord’s net profits will be effected in future years.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

When it's Family, Choose Your Tenants Wisely

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

National Grid's 811 Service

If you're thinking about landscaping your backyard, installing a wooden deck around your pool, or doing any other project that involves digging, remember to first call National Grid's 811 service. By calling this number, you confirm with National Grid that your digging will not interfere with power lines or pipe lines that are located close to the surface. 811 is a free service that helps keep you and your utilities safe and allows the area to enjoy its services uninterrupted.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Brand New Fair Housing CE Course Offered in Southampton

Property Manager Liability: 

Requirements, Responsibilities and Fair Housing

Maximize your client's investment while minimizing your exposure to great liability. Be cautious, property management is a serious business that has many liability landmines for the weary. Do not just dabble in property management. Do not just help out a landlord brokerage client in dealing with their tenants. Learn why the Department of State considers property management to be a licensed activity in this State. Understand how to mitigate exposure to license law liability, premises liability, and fair housing liability. Get real life examples of what can go wrong. Most importantly, learn what must go into your Property Management Agreement and why a top property manager should get paid.

Credits: 3.0 CE Hours **Satisfies DOS Mandatory Fair Housing Requirement

Date: May 7th, 2014 in Southampton

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Get Out Girlfriend - Evicting Your Significant Other

Guess what? If you are trying to evict a family member and you resort to a summary proceeding, it will likely be dismissed. Instead, you will end up in a prolonged ejectment proceeding in Supreme Court or in the appropriate matrimonial / family part depending on your precise circumstances. This jurisdictional result is
because Family Member Evictions are typically not available in a summary proceeding. However, should an unrelated paramour be considered a family member after all?

See the full published article here...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lease Clauses - by Business Insider

Business Insider has an article called 11 Clauses to Beware The Next Time You Sign a Lease that I thought was better serving to the first time landlord rather than the first time tenant. You see, so often landlords call their attorneys and say how much do you charge for a lease and my firm's standard answer is; what do you want in it as leases range from $300 to thousands and thousands?

While we could spend 3 hours educating the client, than a lease will not be affordable to most weekend warriors. Instead, its best for a landlord to think about, in English, what they want the functional relationship with their tenant to be and then to see an attorney to make it enforceable and to provide additional suggestions.

I found this article to be a great start for first time landlords to think about their tenants' rights and responsibilities before they see their attorney.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Storm Front CE and IDAs Post-Sandy

At last evening's continuing education course, Storm Front, I discussed Bill Number S5776-2013, which relates to permitted use of funds of an industrial development agency.

This bill, if enacted, would amend the law "to allow for the approval of Industrial Development Agency projects for property specifically used in making retail sales in areas directly impacted negatively by a natural disaster".

So, I highly suggest that local real estate agents support this Bill as it will benefit your community. At the least, take a read and understand what an IDA is and how it is applicable to your profession.

Also, at the course, I promised to provide a link to the Building Science & Rebuilding branch of FEMA's Building Code Resource, which can be located here. This is a valuable resource when rebuilding in the wake of a storm to enable a more resilient structure for the next one - as I said, we do live on an Island.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Listen NYC Residents - Airbnb is Dangerous: Be warned

On November 8, 2012, we wrote a blog called Airbnb is Brilliant - NYC Housing. Therein, we said that "[a]   major barrier to their success are local laws that prohibit short term rentals in many municipalities across the Country". We also referenced NYC's rental law and said that maybe Airbnb's helping with housing in the wake of the hurricane would generate enough good will to overturn the City's minimum rental law.

It didn't.

On 5/9/13, a NYC resident was found liable for a $2,400 Civil Penalty for violating AC 28-118.3.2 as a result of renting his condominium unit (actually the rental at issue was offered by the tenant of the unit, but that is irrelevant for this discussion) to two Russian women from the 9th to the 14th of September in 2012.

NYC's minimum rental period law is designed to prevent transient guests, which is a topic that have discussed previously on quite a few occasions such as in February of 2010 and May of 2012. The thrust of the topic is that there are safety issues in permitting unregulated hotels to exist for consumers and that there are further issues for other unit owners in allowing unscreened strangers to have access in and out of their condominium and cooperative buildings. There are also many arguments that transient guests in neighborhoods greatly reduce property values.

Its important to note that the decision distinguished the violated act from simply having "house guests or lawful boarders, roomers or lodgers" who stay for less than 30 days. The decision sets forth that house guests cannot be strangers who pay for occupancy and with respect to the other terms it looks to the definition of a common household in the Code as "A common household is deemed to exist if every member of the family has access to all parts of the dwelling unit. Lack of access to all parts of the dwelling unit establishes a rebuttable presumption that no common household exists".

So, NYC residents stop using Airbnb, it advertises your illegal rentals and gives the government great evidence if they wish to prosecute. To read the decision for yourselves, click here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Suffolk County Real Estate Agents! Some New Seats Opened - Divorce Deals & Property Management

We have some last minute cancellations for the free 3 credit CE course Divorce Deals in Riverhead tomorrow on 5/22/13. We also have new seats available in the course Property Management 101: A Good Piece of Dirt in Hauppauge on 6/6/13.

Visit to learn more about our free continuing education courses for licensed Real Estate Salespersons and Brokers in New York.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Rental Permit / Accessory Apartment Search Tool by the Town of Brookhaven

Brookhaven has added a great feature to its website called House Rental Search.

With this tool, the user can "see all of the active accessory apartment and house rental permit on the street you selected in the hamlet chosen". Remember, Villages control their own rental permits, so users in Villages must contact their Village.

This feature is going to make it completely transparent to tenants if the Town has permitted their rental. Remember, without a permit, a landlord cannot enforce a lease and is subject to many fines as well.

Now Brookhaven only needs to make getting a permit as easy as looking up if one exists. This way, safety can be the paramount concern over enforcement, which this tool will greatly increase.

Landlords and real estate agents - MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PERMITS. The Town has enabled tenants to really crackdown on your illegal rentals and be sure that they will.