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Questions Answered by Elaine Shay
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I have a question regarding breaking a lease agreement less than 24 hours after i signed it

The owner said he would refund my months rent and deposit once its rented but hes no longer showing the apartment and not returning my calls

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 15, 2019

The recently enacted Tenant Protection Act of 2019 is good news for you. The Tenant protection Act makes clear that residential landlords have a duty to mitigate damages by attempting to re-lease an apartment when a tenant has broken a lease. Therefore, your "landlord" may be hurting him/herself... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Can fire stairs be legally used for day-to-day going between floors? Landlord says fire code only allows the elevator.

My company rents six floors of a commercial building. So we often go between floors, and currently can only do so by elevators -- which is annoying, time-consuming and a disincentive to healthy stair-climbing.

Could we get access to the fire stairs, to use them for going between floors?... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 8, 2019

Tenancies are contractual relationships that are governed by the terms of their lease. Reviewing your lease is the best place to start in determining your rights.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Adverse Possession ? 1/11/2006 foreclosed 6/2006, knew not a thing about it and they sold it 3/2015. Does this meet it

Said they served my daughter 1/11/06, Forecosed on 6/2006. Knew nothing until 3//2015. 3/2015 Friend told me my home was being sold. 1/2005 home next door was 100% destoyed by water damage. The bank knew for a fact where I was living.

My daughter stated in court papers she was never... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 8, 2019

I'm sure you are anxious for an answer but a real answer to your situation would best be sought by having an attorney review all the documents and facts related to your situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: If my husband acquires a condo in Puerto Rico, must he put my name on the deed?

The condo is currently in his daughter's name, though he paid for it. She's considering transferring it to him.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 8, 2019

There is no obligation for married people to include the name of their spouse on title to property that they may acquire.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: If the landlord is renting a basement space to the tenant but in fact the space is a cellar space, is the lease valid?
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 5, 2019

Most rentals of basement/cellar apartments are violations of relevant housing codes. The landlord may be subject to fines for the improper use and the tenant may have a defense to the landlord's efforts to recover rents. It may be possible to negotiate a settlement that results in a payment to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Our Super charges a months rent to renters, he thinks no one knows. How can we stop this and there be justice

No one will talk except among themselves

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 3, 2019

If you are the landlord and employ the super, you may consider terminating the super's employment. If you are already a tenant, you can refuse to pay an unauthorized charge or bring the issue to the landlord's attention.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: are coops in Westchester subject to warranty of habitability law? Is mgmt responsible to force shareholder to repair?

If a shareholder is negligent in doing self renovations that is causing water/mold damage to shareholder below does management company and/or board have a responsibility to force the shareholder to make repairs? Can management tell affected shareholder "it is your problem to deal with the... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 3, 2019

Generally, as the tenant pursuant to a proprietary lease, a coop owner is afforded rights under the warranty of habitability. Therefore, with the proper approach the Coop Board should not be able to brush off your problems.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Is there anyway to prove that our former landlord took a lot of liberties with the damages he claims we made?

Up until now we had a great relationship. Very friendly and quite respectful. I pushed to get more explanation regarding the discrepancies we had with the damage caused and the responsibility. He responded with legal threats. Saying he would file a police report for harassment.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 20, 2019

Pursuant to the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, unless the landlord provides you with a written statement including an itemization of any amount that would be withheld the landlord is required to return your security deposit within 14 days of your surrender of possession If the landlord fails to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: my dad left house to me and mom but i get the house if she dies and her name was put on deed do I get it when shes dead

If my dad left the house to me and my mom in his will but my getting the house was contingent on her death. her name was put on the deed of the house after his death. do I still get the house after her death? The will isn’t probated.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 20, 2019

Probably not but it depends upon how the property was owned before your father's passing and the exact language of his will.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: What is the procedure to put a lien on a buyer’s home after a purchase offer is signed off by both parties

Two deals by out of town purchasers who submitted purchase offers on a home my husband and I own. After securing a loan and passing inspection the first buyer reneged on completing the deal. He is located in Connecticut .Is it possible to put a lien on his home in CT.? Second buyer(as I have been... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 17, 2019

Generally, when a real estate contract is executed, the purchaser makes payment of a 10% downpayment that is held in escrow. If it is determined that the Purchaser defaulted on the contract, the Seller has rights to retain the downpayment as liquidated damages.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I'm a tenant in NY state. How long does it take to evict a tenant when owner is selling the house (and is family)?

My aunt has recently taken over my grandmother's finances. She has had many issues with my father and is not a nice person. She sent my family and I a letter stating once my grandmother passes, she will have control of the house and we will have 60 days to get out. We have been paying rent for 15... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Aug 24, 2019

Unless you are a rent-regulated tenant or have the protection of an unexpired lease, the owner of a property (or the owner's representative) has the ability to commence a holdover proceeding to recover possession of the rental unit after giving the tenant Notice of Termination. In the case of a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Hi, I am renting a room from a tenant in NYC, she has asked me to leave.

Hi, I am renting a room from a tenant in NYC, she has served me a 30 days early termination of sublease paper. I may not be able to find another place to live by September 1st, and am planning on staying if that is the case. Can she legally do this? What will be the next steps for her if I don’t... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Aug 12, 2019

The terms of your sublease and the type of and manner in which you were served are all relevant to determining in your roommate is acting properly. Regardless, if you do not comply with the demand to vacate, the tenant's next step would be to serve you with court papers to seek your eviction.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I own a home with my daughter’s mother. We are both on the deed and on the mortgage. We split up about 2 years ago, I

Was forced to leave the residence she has paid the mortgage ever since. I have put close to 100,000 into the home, including the down payment. My question is can she sue me and take sole possession of the home?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Aug 12, 2019

When co-owners cannot resolve a dispute regarding the proper division of their interests in real property, either party can commence a partition case in court and seek an accounting. If the parties cannot negotiate a buyout agreement, ultimately the court can order the sale of the property and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: One month prior to the lease expiration and given oral notice for non-renewal. The tenant stayed after lease expired.

I send out an written notice of termination with 1 week extension. Would that be sufficient to proceed for eviction process in NYC.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Aug 12, 2019

Probably not. The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 ("TPA") which was recently adopted by New York creates additional protections for tenants and imposes expanded responsibilities on owners seeking to recover possession of rental units. Since the change to the law is so recent, even the NYC Housing... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I am in contract to buy a home in NY, the seller has a Medicaid lien on the title and is having trouble clearing it.

My question is, how long do I have to wait to cancel the contract and get a refund on my deposit?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Aug 12, 2019

Generally, the contract of sale between the parties determines this issue and establishes the means of objecting to delay and demanding the return of the downpayment. Therefore, the best place to start in obtaining answers to your questions should be with the attorney you retained to represent you... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Landlord walked in on me changing, I didn't pay rent because of it, they want to evict me. What action can I take?

My landlord/owner of the house I'm renting the basement opened my locked door while I was changing, walked right in. I did not pay rent for July ($200, verbal agreement to pay by the last day of each month) and was given a notice to pay within 2 weeks or vacate the premises. However, they made it... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Aug 9, 2019

From the description of your living arrangements, I suspect that the unit is not "legal". As a result you may have defenses to claims for unpaid rent. However, unless you have a lease or are rent-regulated, provided the proper court process is commenced, the landlord will ultimately be entitled... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Is it required in New York for a deed to be recorded in order it should be valid?

In some states it is required and in some not

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Aug 7, 2019

Anyone receiving a deed would be taking a tremendous risk by failing to record the deed. If the last owner of record executed a subsequent deed to another party without notice of your deed, their interest in the property would be superior to that of the holder of the unrecorded deed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Landlord Installed the Wrong Sink/Faucet and Won't Fix It

We live in a rent stabilized NYC apt. Our bathroom sink had cracks that finally caved in leaving a hole.

After 6 years with a dedicated super, the landlord decides they'll only have a part-time Porter for cleaning & a tech/repair person only on a contract basis. So management orders the new... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Aug 5, 2019

If you have conditions in your apartment that you believe would constitute a violation, you can start an HP Proceeding in Housing Court. An inspector will be sent to your apartment and issue a report of any violations that are determined to exist and the landlord will be required to fix the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Tried to break lease when I bought a home. Complex said no I have to sublease with a 300.00 fee and another deposit.

Is this legal...been there 5 years and I have to find the tenant even though their turnaround is high. Manager said they started subletting program 2yrs ago because too many people were buying houses our lease is a one year lease with no mention of subletting. I am now paying rent and a mortgage... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Aug 5, 2019

If your lease has not yet expired and you are attempting to get out of your contractual obligation to pay rent for the remaining unexpired term, the landlord has a right to negotiate for the terms that they are willing to consider. If an agreement can't be reached, a tenant generally remains... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can we terminate a room rental lease immediately since the room is flooded and can not keep paying for tenant in hotel?

The tenant has flooded his room, and we can not prove it yet, but we want him gone immediately. How do I do this? I gave him a termination of lease but in the state of new york says have to give them 30 day notice from his next rent due date, so that makes him eligible to stay too long. Can we make... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Aug 5, 2019

Curious how you are renting a "room" unless you have an SRO. In any event, you may simply want to consider negotiating a settlement as litigating the matter will take longer than you seem prepared to deal with.

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