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Questions Answered by Elaine Shay
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: is there a way to evict a family living in your basement without a lease and it is illegal to have tenants living there

we have a family that we told countless times to leave because we need the basement and they told us that theyre going to leave in a couple of months and they never leave and they are loud and dont respect rules of the house

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 19, 2022

A large percentage of basement apartments are not legally permitted. In order to determine if the basement apartment in your building is permitted, you can start by obtaining a copy of the Certificate of Occupancy.

Regardless of whether the basement apartment is legal, a property owner has...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I inherited a corporation that has invested large amounts of money in a property which is now for sale by the estate.

as 100% owner of the corporation now can i file an unjust enrichment claim to recoup some of the investment on behalf of the corporation? I tried to purchase this property however i am the executor and my family will not approve of the sale even though I offered over fair market value for it. I... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 18, 2022

You have presented a complicated situation that is not suited to being addressed in this forum. Your questions and concerns would be better addressed by retaining competent legal representation.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Hello from New York. My dad recently died, my mom died a year earlier, the house is still in my dad's and mom's name.

I live in the house. Dad and Mom wanted only me to have house, not my brother, because I took care of them for over 10 years. There are no papers signed though for me to have it. My brother said you have to have his name on it also because they left no papers for me to have it.

Is this... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 10, 2022

When a person dies without leaving a Last Will and Testament, it's said that they died intestate. When a person dies intestate, that person's property is distributed according to the law. In New York, that law is found in EPTL 4-1.1.

Who gets what depends on who the living...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Supre Court ruling sign by the judge, ordering, adjudging and decreeing my claims , asking for defendant’s cooperatio?

The Judge decreed all my issues. Why do I have to get cooperation from the defendant?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 10, 2022

There are many lawyers that participate on this website willing to provide educational information directed to your question. However, you will need to phrase your question better to get any meaningful assistance.

3 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I live in NY. A friend of mine has asked that I sign a lease agreement with her as a co-signer. Can I create a separate

contract between my friend and me, essentially saying that if she fails to pay her portion of rent and I am on the hook for the entire rent to the landlord, then my friend promises to indemnify me? Are these types of side contracts legal?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 7, 2022

Being a tenant does not prevent you from entering into legal contracts with your roommate.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Energy, Oil and Gas and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I own a Condo (which is on the 3rd floor) and the gas was shut off because of a gas leak

but the gas leak is not in my apartment or in the walls

it might be in the rizer from the ground floor to my apartment but my plumber could not find it

Question

who is responsible to fix that is it the condo owner

or the condo management board

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 5, 2022

When a repair of a common element is required, the Board is generally responsible for the undertaking the repair and the associated cost. You condo's formation documents should specify what elements are common elements.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I currently live in a building apartment in Queens and I rent an extra room to someone, I need to leave the city soon

i need to leave my apartment and the tenant i rent the room doesn't want to leave. Can i leave that person there and break my lease?. I use my itin number to rent the apartment and I lived there with my senior mom, now we need to leave but the tenant doesn't want to leave.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 4, 2022

In order to surrender the apartment to the landlord, you must leave the apartment vacant and free of other occupants. If you fail to do so, the landlord can seek to hold you liable for rent and or legal fees that continue to accrue.

Since you are in the role of "landlord" to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Good morning, I live in an apt in a brownstone in NYC And own my apt. The management made a mistake and never increased

My maintenance and assessment fees for a year and that they are not asking me to pay them back. Do I have any recourse?

Thank you for your time

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 3, 2022

If you own a coop, whether in a brownstone or larger building, you are responsible for the full maintenance charges to the Coop regardless of a billing error by the property manager.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Is a contract legal binding if both party's sighned it has been notarized?
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Dec 27, 2021

Many contracts don't even need to be reduced to writing to be enforceable. For example, when you fill up at a gas station try to leave without paying even though you don't have a signed contract to pay for the gas.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Grandmother was manipulated into signing a deed transfer that she did not intend to. She wants to fix her mistake.How ?

Her son who has lived out of state for over 40 years had her sent to an attorney who coerced her to sign a deed transfer. Her son was not present. She was not aware that the attorney she was sent to had her sign a quitclaim. How can she have the transfer put aside.?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Dec 13, 2021

There is no simple form or other step to take. Litigation is required to correct this situation unless the party the property was transferred to agrees to transfer the property back to your grandmother. Be sure to retain an attorney with experience in real estate litigation not just transactional... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Hi, I received a buyout offer from my landlord, do I'm obligated to answer the letter?

I live in a rent stabilized apartment for 14 years and I'm not interested in the offer.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Dec 13, 2021

If you advise the owner in writing that you do not want to be contacted about any buyout offer, the owner cannot contact you about it for 180 days unless you advise the owner in writing at some earlier time that you are interested in discussing a buyout, or unless the Court permits the owner to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Tenant did not pay rent is not following lease causing me hardship, how do I evict
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Dec 9, 2021

In order to legally evict a tenant, you must start either a non-payment or holdover case. While corporate owners are required to have an attorney start these types of cases, Individual owners are not require to retain an attorney but it is a very good idea to retain an attorney to assist you as... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Can a new neighbor make us remove a shed that old neighbor approved verbally that is 4’ not 5’ from property line? NY

Shed is pole barn (no foundation) and deceased neighbor gave verbal permission 15 years ago for shed to be 1 foot closer to property line than required 5’. Thank you in advance

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 30, 2021

Generally, neighbors cannot consent to waive zoning or regulatory requirements as they are public not private rights/requirements.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: If my tenant is a few days short from being 2 & 1/2 months late on rent in NYS & changed lock to deadbolt so no key?help

I don't have spare key to they're new lock plus won't allow me view apt. Mon-fri 9-5PM time only after 6PM and weekends? I asked almost daily for pictures a week ago while realestate agent was here with none thus far. I am a single mom bartender with no support financially or... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 10, 2021

Stop wasting time and hire a local landlord-tenant attorney to commence a nonpayment or holdover case. Both types of cases require the service of predicate notices that must include Hardship Declarations. If your tenant returns the Hardship Declaration you will essentially be prevented from... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Is it legal for a landlord to indirectly evicted you and demolishes your property without notifying a tenant

Only reason I ask is because my rent was paid up and I have proof but I ended up getting evicted during COVID-19 and I'm a senior citizen and I just don't understand how that happened

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 5, 2021

There are very limited circumstance that would allow a tenant to be legally evicted during the Covid Pandemic. unfortunately, you have not provided enough information to provide you with meaningful information related to your matter.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can I sue in small claims court if my landlord doesn’t return the flooding assistance application back to me?

Due to hurricane Ida, our 3 bedroom basement apartment got flooded. Because of this we were forced to stay in a hotel for 2 nights, which the landlord agreed to discount from the rent. When we got back to the apt we noticed the walls were damaged, and so was our furniture. Because it’s a... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 13, 2021

Small Claims Court can award monetary damages but does not have the authority to issue injunctive relief, which must be sought in NY Supreme Court.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: What do I do? What do I make of all this?

Mt landlord is selling his property after we have been renting for years. Over those years he has failed to do his duties as there is significant damage all over the house which includes molding, leaks, no heating other then a woodstove, the septic does not function properly as it fills with water,... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 10, 2021

If you have not yet been served with a Termination Notice or Petition there is really nothing much to worry about as your landlord has not begun the necessary steps to force you to move. As a result of the Covid Pandemic if the landlord does serve you with a Termination Notice, he will also be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Business Law for New York on
Q: Do I have a case to get refunded for my Airbnb?

I was trapped in the building in NYC due to a busted lock on the only exit and had to call 911 to pry me out. Airbnb doesn’t want to refund me the cost of the stay. They want me to return to that building. Do I have a case to get refunded?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 8, 2021

Most short-term rentals in NYC such as those offered through Airbnb are not legal. If you are agrieved by how Airbnb is handling your request for reimbursement, you may consider commencing a Small Claims case. However, Airbnb typically includes an arbitration requirement. Therefore, you should... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: In a Multi family building shouldn’t the tenants be informed if other tenants have bedbugs?

Had asked the building Manager about bedbugs that were reported in the building but she said that she cannot disclose any information to the other tenants about the issue but we literally live right next to these people and I feel as if we should have been informed because it can cause an... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 8, 2021

While it is certainly understandable that you would be concerned about bedbugs in your building the applicable disclosure laws vary in New York State depending upon where you live. For example, NYC has a disclosure requirement (see:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: How do I legally evict a squatter from my jointly held property?

Deed is lists both myself and my ex-daughter in law as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. When she and my son divorced, I agreed to assume the mortgage. For nearly ten years, I have paid the mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance & maintenance on the property without a dime being... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 5, 2021

Since you own the property as joint tenants with your ex-daughter-in-law, there is no squatter to evict. Your ex-daughter-in-law has as much right as you to rent or use the property. Instead, what you will need to do is commence a partitition action to force a sale of the property and seek an... Read more »

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