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Questions Answered by Elaine Shay
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Should a public utility bill be prorated to the time of a home's purchase?

Our village water utility billing occurs in April and October (6 month interval). I received a water bill for a house I purchased in early August (2 months ago), but am being billed for the whole 6 months. Will I have to pay the full amount ($172)?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 4, 2021

You will need to speak with your closing attorney to confirm whether you were given an adjustment at closing for the anticipated charges or if money was escrowed.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: It’s been 6 months since we the water started leaking into one of our rooms but the landlord didnt fix it. stoped paying

I tried everything and I have printed an archive of emails I’ve been sending him with damage pics & videos( forgot to mention that we have a baby 5months)

I withheld rent as of july 1st

What are the chances of winning this case and what would I get out of it if I go forward

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 1, 2021

If you are dissatisfied with your landlord's response, you can commence an HP Proceeding in Housing Court to compel the completion of repairs.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I am 3 months behind in payment. Taxes are not paid. I have worked through pandemic and got stimulus. Can I be evicted?
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 30, 2021

Unless you have filed a Hardship Declaration, the landlord is permitted to commence and proceed with an eviction case. For thouse who have filed a Hardship Declaration, the moratorium on evictions has been extended to January 15, 2022. Please be aware that filing a Hardship Declaration does not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I am subleasing an apartment in NYC and I have been given less than 30 days to leave what are my rights?

I had a verbal agreement with someone to sublease their apartment for 1550. I've been living here since June 2019 I pay the utilities here also and have bills that come here in my name . I found out that the actual rent for the apartment is 650 because I came home to a letter on the door for... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 24, 2021

If you want to be accommodating you can comply with the request to vacate by the 30th. However, if you do not vacate by that date, the prime-tenant or landlord will have to commence a Housing Court case to seek to evict you. As a result of the Covid pandemic, the eviction process can be even... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Is it legal for a landlord to state in your lease that they are not responsible for any injuries if hurt on their proper

Just wondering if that's legal

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 24, 2021

Contracts are private agreements between the parties to the agreement. Essentially contracts can say whatever the parties agree to but the Courts are not obligated to enforce terms that are against public policy or existing law.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I requested my deposit back from place I was going to move in and landlord is not responding to request made 2 wk ago

About a week prior to moving in they let national grid cut the power because previous tenant didn't pay and was told it would take 10 days to restore. I wfh and would not be able to wait 10 days and requested my deposit back on 9/6 and have gotten no response. Because of this I'm about to... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 22, 2021

Whether you are entitled to the return of your deposit depends upon the agreement pursuant to which the payment was made. You should consider sitting down with a local attorney to review that agreement.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for New York on
Q: My mother (90) owns her home in Huntington. She would like to add her 2 daughters to the title. What is the process?

Can we do this by completing a form or do we need to get a lawyer? Can we file electronically? I live in Maryland, but her house is in New York. Thank you.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 22, 2021

In order to add additional parties to title, a new deed must be executed. Unfortunately, technology advances, such as esignatures have moved forward faster than our legal system has adapted. Therefore, it is necessary to executed wet ink copies of the deed and accompanying transfer documents that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Collections for New York on
Q: I'm i obligated to property or home if im not the executer ie liens
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 20, 2021

Please try to ask your question more clearly for assistance.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My daughter lives in New York City and co-signed an apartment lease with my wife and I as guaranteers.

The landlord is threatening to sue my daughter for supposedly back rent and the back rent of others who he allowed to live in the apartment at the same time my daughter did. He is sending threatening email and text to my wife and I as well. My wife and I live in Arizona. My daughter requested a... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 19, 2021

When tenants sign a lease with co-tenants or have roommates live with them and share rent expenses, the landlord can hold either tenant responsible for the full amount of the rent due under the lease. Unless a guaranty is limited in some manner, the guarantor obligates him or herself to do... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Landlords voided our lease without informing us

Hi! My roommate and I signed a lease together on August 31 for September 1 however we were told the apartment would not be ready until the 10th. We contacted them on Tuesday the 7th and were told that our lease cannot be allowed as it was double-sided. So we then resubmitted the lease. And we were... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 9, 2021

It isn't clear from your post whether you have been dealing directly with the landlord or through a real estate agent/broker. If you were dealing with a broker and have not received a fully executed copy of your lease, you probably don't have a binding contract yet. If you do have a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: If I move, am I responsible for the removal of a squatters belongings? I’m in Brooklyn, NY.

This person has refused to leave my apartment and I feel it’s better if I move. He’s never been on the lease and was only her to assist me as I am disabled and need attendant care. But he has a ton of stuff and I don’t want to be responsible for paying to move his stuff. I’ve been to... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 8, 2021

In order to successfully effect a surrender of an apartment to the landlord, it must be vacant of all occupants. If the tenant allowed someone else to also reside in the apartment, regardless of whether that person is referenced in the lease, the tenant remains responsible to the landlord until... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Can you sue your landlord for moving expenses due to uninhabitable conditions?

can you sue your landlord for moving expenses due to uninhabitable conditions such as creating rodents, electrical conditions, no hot water, and stirring up asbestos by doing illegal renovations to a house? dust was all over the place. (breaking of walls) ( I had the items tested, it contains... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 7, 2021

Usually, violations that interfer with the habitability of your apartment may entitle you to a rent abatement but not necessarily other damages.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: which form to use for the purpose of remove deceased spouse's name to the Title and Deed of the house in NY?

Where do I file the application to remove the deceased husbandis name in NY Queens County?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 7, 2021

In order to remove the name of a deceased spouse from the title to real property, a new deed must be recorded. Whether the property automatically passes to the surviving spouse or whether the estate may need to be probated/administered depends upon how title to the real property was held prior to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I live in auburn New York I had a flood in my apt it was sewage do I have a case

I was out of my apt last year for 3 in a half months for this they told us it was fixed and I lost a lot of furniture and clothes I would like them replaced and 2 plus 4 says they are not replacing anything

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 3, 2021

Ideally a tenant should maintain renter's insurance to cover damages to his or her personal belongings. In the event a tenant a tenant does not have insurance coverage to cover his or her losses, a landlord may be responsible if the flooding can be proven to be due to the landlord's negligence.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I am on section 8 and my landlord wants to do renovations

I am on section 8 and my landlord wants to do renovations in the whole house without a permit and I think there is asbestos in the walls. Can I stop him until I get it checked out, or do I need to go to court to force him to stop?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 3, 2021

If your landlord begins renovations and does not have proper permits, you can call 311 to be referred to proper DOB office to report work without permits. If an inspector finds work is being done without the proper permits, a Stop Work Order can be issued.

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