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New York Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: In NYS Can a bank just add defendant(s) to a foreclosure action who were not involved in the mortgage?

I am involved in a foreclosure action in NYS. The bank added a person who lived in my home, but had nothing to do with the mortgage, deed, or title, as a co-defendant in the foreclosure action. Can this person be removed from the lawsuit?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 13, 2019

No. They need to be in there to eliminate any claim of tenancy.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Is a live-in companion who provides health care services considered a tenant?

I am involved in a foreclosure case. For some time, I had a live-in companion who provided assistance with my health care. No written or oral contract existed between us charging rent. Ioften paid her in cash for her services. The bank claims she is/was a tenant and wants her added as a defendant... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 10, 2019

Not only is it legal, it is correct.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I live in NY, I am married and purchasing a home mortgage and deed in my name only. My husband owes a premarital debt

To NY state can they lien my home if he is not attached to it?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 6, 2019

No, unless the money is coming from him. If so, there is a technical legal argument that is unlikely to happen that could be used against you.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: How should I proceed?

Hello counsel. I’m renting a room for 13 months. Payments are always due on the 27th day of the month (the day that I moved in). On the 23rd of this month (11/23) I gave my landlady and roommate a 30 days notice. I did not pay the rent, thinking’s that I could use my deposit. She texted me... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 30, 2019

You are supposed to pay the rent. However, practically, you cannot be evicted any quicker.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: What are the Legal issues with buying a 40 yr old house with a First Right of Refusal for life. Cannot find the holder

We cannot find the holder. We are trying to understand the implications. Could the house be taken away from us after we buy it, what is legally deemed as effort to contact the holder, is there a legal recourse to remove it from the deed?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Nov 27, 2019

That potential executory interest means you do not have fee simple absolute title. You may have to file a Quiet Title Action to have the interest terminated and vest you with the fee. It may be easier to find the person holding the right and pay for a Quit Claim Deed. Either way, you will have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Does a lease have to include all terms and conditions?

I live in upstate NY and currently trying to break my lease due to unsafe living conditions such as broken windows in common areas (It's 20 degrees right now), harassment by other residents, drafty windows and poor heating (Again, Upstate NY is really cold), and so much more. I emailed my... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 22, 2019

From the description you provided, it appears that the property manager is not adding terms to the lease but allowing you to negotiate for an early termination for the payment of a fixed sum. This type of early termination fee is commonly negotiated regardless of whether it is included in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Landlord tenant issue - selling property

I have been living in my apt for 5 years 2 month. 1st year I had a lease then month-to-month (I guess)

Then mid Oct I recieved a call there needs to be a home inspection. OK porential buyers want to keep me. SO far so good

Fast forward, Nov 22, landlord calls me, you must be out... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 22, 2019

If the premises is not rent-regulated and you don't have the protection of a current lease, the landlord can request that you move upon 90 day written notice. In the event that you don't vacate by the expiration of the notice period, the landlord would have to next commence a holdover case in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Business Law for New York on
Q: Dissolving church that owes mortgage. Are we still liable if holder calls mortgage and sells for more than is owed?

Church is incorporated and registered as religious corporation.yes, we are looking to dissolve and realize this requires court proceedings. The membership is next to nothing. Pastors health is seriously diminishing. The mortgage is paid monthly and is being held by the original owner of the... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 20, 2019

This is actually a little more complex than you make it. Is church a registered religious corporation? Are you looking to dissolve the corporation? It may require a court proceeding.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: How long does it take to get letter of administration from the time petition is submitted to court in Kings county
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 19, 2019

It depends upon the cooperation of potential distributees. If it is done correctly and everyone cooperates, it could be in 3-4 weeks.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My mother is deceased and left no will. Before she died there was a divorce. Does my father have rites to the house?

My mother's name and father's name is still on the deed. Does the surviving children still have rites to the home?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 19, 2019

Yes. He owns half. Your mother's estate owns the other half, of which you are the heir. Unless divorce decree said different.

3 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Tax Law and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Would I get hit with capital gains tax on house sold that I signed away in divorce settlement?

Signed away all rights to house in divorce, but spouse hasn’t and won’t refinance to take my name off mortgage. She plans on selling and I will get no money in the sale, would I get hit with a capital gains tax?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 18, 2019

Not if all proceeds are reflected as going to her on the 1099.

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Can I force refinance of mortgage, without divorce decree?

Divorced, haven’t lived in home for 4 years. Ex promised she would refinance, she hasn’t and won’t, mortgage company states that an assumption of mortgage cannot be done. There is no divorce decree, everything was settled privately, I took her at her word that she’d refinance . I want my... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 15, 2019

You have no options. Should have done a divorce decree. You can sue for partition to force a sale, and get the mortgage paid off.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: We are buying a 5 acre lot that’s next to our home. Should we keep it separate or add it to our primary address?

We are purchasing this 5 acre lot that’s attached to our primary address. Part of the lot is residual. Our primary house has two acres with it that is residual and assessed for $42,000 just the land not the house. We don’t know if this will be our forever home and want to make a wise decision... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 14, 2019

You are conflating real estate law, real estate tax law, and income tax law in a way that is creating an issue that is not an issue. If the adjoining land is a separate tax lot, you will pay two tax bills. You can consolidate tax lots, but the cost of doing so will outweigh the extra 50 cents... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: how to pay judgment and notify court Paid in full with a bond,
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 14, 2019

You need to file the bond with the clerk. There is a fee. The judgment will be stayed until the appeal is over.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I need advice about a partition lawsuit in New York State.

I bought a 2 family house with my daughter. I paid cash for my half and co-signed her mortgage for her half.I want to sell now and she doesn't. If I file a partition lawsuit and we sell do we pay the mortgage and share what's left over or do we pay the mortgage and I keep what's left over since I... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 11, 2019

You pay the mortgage and then there is a Referee hearing on the return of the deposit. You should get a credit for it. But, there are credits of use and occupancy, expenses, etc. , also.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: If the person who sold a house almost 20 years ago dies, and their spouse is also dead, who do we send payments to?

My boyfriend’s parents bought a house in 2001 from a man who was the sole owner. It was not bought from a bank, he was the only owner. He died 6 months ago and his wife is also dead. The problem is there are monthly payments still to be made on the house. The lawyer says he has a son who is like... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 3, 2019

It depends on the agreement you signed, and whether it is recorded. The payment agreement does not "die" but it is unclear to whom you should be paying. Keep the money aside. You owe someone. Also, if you are supposed to get the land, you need to act quickly to make sure your rights are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Hi, I have a question about rent stabilization, vacancy increases and preferential rents in NYC.

I recently requested my rent history. It tells an interesting story.

No one in my (formerly regulated) unit has paid the “legal rent” since 1993. All tenants have since paid a preferential rent, never more than $1,450. However, despite this, every time a tenant moved out (7 times in the... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 29, 2019

The situation you described involving the preferential rent isn't surprising. The 18%-20% increase is generally associated with vacancy increases. If you want to challenge the deregulation, you can always take a shot with the DHCR

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: The hoa foreclosed and sold my house for non payment of dues and evicted me. Now they are renting it out. Legal?

I was temporarily not living there while evicting an ex girlfriend. She is the one served on the paperwork i want my house back and the 16000 dollars ive wasted on living and animal boarding

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 29, 2019

It is legally possible to foreclose against a property owner for nonpayment of common charges. This process could have legally proceeded even if you were not personally served with the papers commencing the case; however, the affidavits of service and other documents would need to be carefully... Read more »

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