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Questions Answered by Elaine Shay
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I live in a non smoking apartment complex. Cigarette smoke in my apartment.

This has been going on since the beginning of this year. Landlord said they could not evict anyone because of covid-19. Second hand smoke is considered a health hazard. I had found that the Landlord can evict someone because of a health issue. How can I have my Landlord to honor there non smoking... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 19, 2021

It has been extremely difficult for landlords to move landlord/tenant cases forward during the Covid-19 pandemic. For tenants that have filed Hardship Declarations, proceedings are stayed through August 31, 2021, except in very limited cases of extreme nuisance. Not to suggest that the health... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: If information isn’t printed legibly in a lease is it still valid?

My husband signed a one year lease but ended up getting a job in another part of the state so he needs to terminate his lease early. They are saying he needs to pay one month rent as an early termination fee. In the lease where that information is to be printed the space is empty and is actually... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 12, 2021

Unless the lease contains specific provisions that allow for early termination, there is not right for the tenant to terminate a lease early and the landlord can seek to hold the tenant responsible for the full term of the lease. It is not uncommon for landlord's to request a payment to agree... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can the leasing manager say no to add a roommate in NYC?

I signed the lease in NYC. I asked to add my boyfriend as a roommate, and the leasing company said I could not add him because I already signed the lease.

The lease says it could be used as a residence only for myself and my immediate family, who has been living. But I thought the NYC... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jun 29, 2021

While the Roommate Law permits you to have a roommate if you are the only individual on the lease, the property manager is not required to make changes to the lease such as including your roommate as a tenant.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can I be evicted if I provided a hardship declaration during covid
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jun 11, 2021

If you filed a Hardship Declaration, you can’t be evicted before the moratorium is over unless you are engaging in offensive or dangerous conduct. However, you remain fully liable for all rents due, even during the moratorium. The landlord will be able to commence legal proceedings to evict you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: one of my roommates wants to ask the landlord for me to be kicked off the lease. is he allowed to do that
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jun 2, 2021

A tenant to a lease cannot be unilaterally removed from the lease without his or her consent.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can a landlord deny me a rental because I have a baby? It’s 3 bedrooms 2 bath and they said it’s too small for 3 people

I applied for this place and in the description I mentioned That my fiancé and I have a baby, they responded that it’s “too small” for a 3 person family and that it would be better suited for a single person or a couple. It’s 1400 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. She said the... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jun 1, 2021

In NYC landlord's cannot refuse to rent to a prospective tenant because he/she/they have children.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I own a property in Ballston Spa, NY in joint tenancy with an ex-partner. The property is in foreclosure(2year).

The ex-partner has refused four decent offers in the last year. I've just received the best offer yet, and he is refusing to respond. What legal defense is available if any?

Thank you for your response.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on May 25, 2021

If your ex-partner will no cooperate in your efforts to sell the property, you can commence a partition action. A partition action will force a sale of the property.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Can property title transfer be revoked?

My brother transferred the title of my mom's coop to his name when she thought she just add him to the title. She is elderly and does not speak English. She did not have a lawyer to represent herself only my brother had, This happened 2019 and he rented an apartment now and while she was... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on May 19, 2021

Maybe. If your mother was “tricked” she may have a case to rescind the deed based upon fraud. This can be considered a form of elder abuse.

These type of cases are generally well beyond what an unrepresented litigant can successfully litigate on his or her own, so she should certainly...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Mom is landlord, pay rent with a written contract, wants to kick me out for a random drug test forced to take. Legal?

My mom is my landlord and I have a written contract to live at home with “terms subject to change by mom at any point”. I tried smoking weed a long time ago which she didn’t like. I stopped for the most part except for a week ago at a friends. My mom forced me take a random drug test or she... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on May 17, 2021

If you are no longer a minor, your parents do not have to continue to allow you to reside in their home. However, like any other landlord, there are appropriate legal steps that must be taken before you can be evicted from the property. These legal proceedings generally take many months and as a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Sibling sold family home without my knowledge. Queens N.Y.
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on May 14, 2021

What is your question? If your sibling owned the property, there is no requirement that family members be notified of an intended or actual sale.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: We have an incomplete eviction there is thousands of dollars of our property at the house in Westchester inside and ou

Can they proceed to sell our house when they have not made our property available to us

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on May 13, 2021

If you are a tenant, the landlord does not need your permission to sell the property. The new owner essentially steps into the former owner's shoes with respect to the tenancy.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can my brother change the locks on me and keep me from being inside our home?

My beloved father passed away in May of 2020 due to COVID and the house he owned was passed down to my two siblings and I. We all have a room full of personal items. We have all signed a document last year making my sister in charge I believe. I can’t quite remember exactly what the document was... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on May 12, 2021

Although your question is limited to the items in your room, the real issue seems to be about control of the property your mother previously owned. If your mother died without a will, her New York real property passes to her heirs, which would be her children if she was not survived by her spouse.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: company's mistake

i closed on a property in dec 2020? one of the contract clause is that the seller will pay the DOB violation. The title company was supposed to pay for the DOB violation from the proceed as agreed. However, i discover the fund was returned to the seller as a "mistake". how i am supposed... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Apr 26, 2021

Your closing attorney should assist you with this problem and will be the most familiar with what protections you have from any escrow agreements entered into at closing.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can a landlord come into the property if the tenant is under self quarantine? Also, how often?

The landlords are selling the property and I am their tenant under quarantine. They are continuously having potential buyers and realtors in and out of my home.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Apr 22, 2021

You should review your lease. Most leases will provide that tenants are required to give access to the landlord, upon reasonable notice, to make repairs to inspect/show the property. If your lease has these types of provisions, the landlord may seek to terminate your lease for failure to comply... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: What legal/financial right does my sibling have to a home that belongs to my sister and I

Our mom was the original owner of the house and a year before she died, she turned over ownership of the house to my sister and I. Now one of my sibling is demanding we sell the house so he can get his share of the property. My sister and I have live at the property with our mom since the purchase... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Apr 19, 2021

If your mother did not own an interest in the house at the time of her passing, there is no interest in the house for your sibling to inherit. If your sibling believes your mother was not competent to transfer her interest in the house to you or it was done improperly, he may commence litigation... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I own the house, my boyfriend pays utilities. What rights does he have? He is physically abusive and is a drug addict?

I own the house. He has lived in it with me for two years. He pays utilities. I have tried to break up with him but he refuses to leave the house. He is physically abusive and I just recently found his drug items in the house. It is not safe for him to live with me anymore but he refuses to... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Apr 19, 2021

If your boyfriend will not voluntarily vacate and you have not obtained an order from a court excluding him from the residence because of domestic violence or other reasons, you are required to take similar steps as a landlord would to evict him from your home through a holdover proceeding. Since... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I have a tenant who does not respect rules. They turn off my boiler while I have tenants upstairs. Can they be removed?

Ive told them multiple times to stop turning off the boiler, they only have access to it because theres a bedroom on the other side of the boiler room they are renting. I noticed also 2 more additional people are living there.. because he added a mailbox with EIGHT names attached. Already violating... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Apr 12, 2021

Depending upon the status of the apartment and terms of any lease, you may be able to remove your tenant. However, expect delays as a result of Covid.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: How long does a judgement against investment property last after the debt is no longer reported to credit agencies?

I have a judgement against property from 2008. The debt has stopped being claimed on my credit. I want to sell the property but can't if there's a lein on it. What can I do about it, I don't understand the public record documents well enough to find my own answer.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Apr 12, 2021

Judgments can be extended so that they remain a lien for as long as 20 years.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: No the house is not in foreclosure what can the notice of pendency turn it into a foreclosure
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Mar 30, 2021

A Notice of Pendency of lis pendens does not have to be associated with a foreclosure. However, an action related to title must be commenced within 30 days.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Am I violating my lease? Can I be evicted?

My boyfriend spends 4 or 5 nights out the week with me and then goes to his house for 3 or 4 nights. He does not live here, this isn’t his primary residence. Therefore, he’s not on my lease. In addition, my lease has no guest clause. There’s no specifications on how many nights a guest can... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Mar 30, 2021

If you are the only tenant on a lease in NYC, the law allows you to have one roommate even without your landlord's permission. This is commonly referred to as the roommate law. Therefore, even if your boyfriend lived with you it should not be a problem provided just you and he live in the... Read more »

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