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New York Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
4 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Does my boyfriend have a claim to a house deeded to me?

I purchase a house fresh out of college. It is deeded to me; my boyfriend co signed on the loan. We broke up and I asked him to move out. For 2 + year, he contributed $200.00 to monthly expenses, while I paid the taxes, furniture etc. He now wants 50,000 from me. AM I wrong given the house is... Read more »

Carl Nelson
Carl Nelson
answered on Mar 23, 2023

I am not fully understanding his theory that he would be entitled to anything from you. Was he paying the mortgage or something other than the $200 for expenses? I can’t imagine $200/month comes close to half the costs to operate a home. More details may be helpful or you could contact an... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Bought house w/ bf Only I’m on deed. His down payment was bonafide gift. Venmos me his 1/2 mortgage.Can I kick him out
Jack Mevorach
Jack Mevorach
answered on Mar 22, 2023

Maybe. Have a free consultation with counsel.

Jack

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My neighbor keeps tying his trees to my fence as when they are not tied they fall to the ground. There Is now damage

The damage is caused by my neighbor tying his trees to my fence. I have asked him not to do so and have cut the lines whenever I see them. This has gone on for months. There is damage to my fence (it now leans in his properties direction) and I am wondering if I can hold him responsible to pay for... Read more »

Elaine Shay
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Elaine Shay
answered on Mar 21, 2023

If you own the fence and it is on your property, you can seek to hold your neighbor responsible for any damage caused by his/her unauthorized use of your fence. If the damage is less than $10,000 you may sue in Small Claims Court for money damages. However, if you also want an injunction... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Mortgage - Acknowledgement of Contribution - is he fully responsible now?

A few years ago my boyfriend’s parents were struggling financially and ended up modifying their mortgage loan (details unknown).

In this process, they asked my boyfriend to sign an acknowledgement of contribution stating that he lives there, is their son, and has been “contributing... Read more »

Carl Nelson
Carl Nelson
answered on Mar 20, 2023

Acknowledging a contribution for the purpose of a loan modification does not create personal liability on the existing note. The lender does sometimes ask for authorization to run a credit report of a contributor, and if he was living there the address should show as a residence. But since he is... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I need a consumer protection lawyer in New York City. I am dealing with a mortgage company .

I had an offer for sale accepted at the end of August 2022, I paid 10% down and the loan officer stated that he would be able to help me with a loan. It was supposed to take place at the end of November 2022. The sponsor of the property, (seller) and the property management have been in touch with... Read more »

Carl Nelson
Carl Nelson
answered on Mar 17, 2023

Real estate transactions in New York typically have attorneys on both sides (and one for the bank, and for co-ops, one for the co-op itself). You should contact an attorney to review the contract of sale (or if not yet entered into, to review the seller's draft) and deal with any issues... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Bought a home near Rochester, wondering what a rights are after finding foundation issues

Bought a house with a dual agent, we are from out of the area so just contacted the poster directly and she also ended up being the owner. We did a few walk through, and she did a lot of upgrades to the property including a continous water heater and septic tank. We asked her about the foundation... Read more »

Peter J. Weinman
Peter J. Weinman PRO label
answered on Mar 14, 2023

Sorry for the late reply - I just joined this site and found your unanswered post.

First, I am not sure I fully understand the background you provided but are you saying that you responded to a home listing and the realtor (a "dual agent") was the actual seller? While I agree...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I have a month to month lease in a commercial space. Can I leave with less than 30 days notice to landlord?

I have a 6 month trial commercial lease. Started Dec1, 2022. With a three month guarantee and there after month to month basis. After June 2023, it would renew if no notice was given within 30 days from tenant to be a year lease. I would like to leave at the end of March 2023 today I would like to... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Mar 14, 2023

The terms seem a little unusual, but whatever you agreed will govern. If the lease is month to month, no notice is required as a matter of law. Just do not pay April, and leave by March 31. However, if your document requires something different, that will govern.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Am I entitled to receive the money I paid towards renovations on a home I did not own but lived in?

My mom recently sold a duplex that I lived in with my family. The apartment we lived in was in significant disrepair so we invested over $6000 in renovations (permission was received). We also paid almost $6000 toward a new roof as well. Though we paid for rent till the end of the month. She... Read more »

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Mar 13, 2023

Generally, tenants investing money into improving a rental unit have no expectation the landlord will kick back that money when they move out.

Locking you out of your home without a court order is a crime. If you called the police when this happened mother could face arrest.

You...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for New York on
Q: What is the purpose of the 15% retention (Hacienda) & what happens with it? Would I get that back?

You and your siblings must appear for the signing of the sales deed, either in person or by virtue of a power of attorney, to subscribe the sale. For each of you who resides outside Puerto Rico, our Tax Code requires that a 15% retention be made at the point of origin (which would be upon the... Read more »

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Mar 13, 2023

That is a requirement of the tax law in that location. https://www.discoverpuertorico.com/industry/download/588201-discover-puerto-rico-form-480-2017.pdf

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Can holes 2'×4'×6' deep be dug against the side of my house and left exposed by person buying the empty lot next door?

Empty lot next door recently bought. A few days ago they were digging in the ground against my house. Left deep holes, and the side of my basement wall is exposed. My siding is chipped and broken in one of the spots now. Are these holes legal? They are uncovered, and I'm worried about rain... Read more »

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Mar 5, 2023

Dear Brooklyn Home Owner:

Your neighbor is not allowed to legally commence a construction project without prior permission from the NYC Department of Buildings and without a Permit to do so. Moreover, a neighbor is never entitled to harm the adjoining property. Hire an attorney because a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Hi - I received a non-renewal lease notice from my management company after less than one year at my current apartment.

I have paid my rent on time and have had zero issues financially, however, there have been health hazards that needed to be addressed and were worked through with the property manager, but now I am being terminated of a renewal. Do I have the right to ask to stay under the retaliation clause,... Read more »

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Mar 5, 2023

Dear Manhattan Tenant:

Were you properly served with a written notification required by the Statute (NYS Real Property Law Section 226-C [https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/RPP/226-C]) because that is the ONLY method allowed by State Law for a Landlord to inform a Tenant that there...
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4 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Business Formation for New York on
Q: Hi, I've put my apartment on Airbnb and curious how I should split the profit with my boyfriend.

I got the apartment(lease) by my self and lived there for a year by myself, I put down deposit, I paid a guarantor fee every month, decorated and bought all the furniture, I am doing all the daily maintenance of the Airbnb account and finding cleaner, photograper etc. My boyfriend moved in a year... Read more »

Carl Nelson
Carl Nelson
answered on Feb 28, 2023

From a practical perspective (which is what it sounds like you are asking), an appropriate way to split income from the unit would be to first deduct all expenses and then to split the net income according to proportions of rent paid.

So first you would deduct all of the fees and costs...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Banking and Probate for New York on
Q: I am the beneficiary on my deceased sister’s POD bank account. Do I have the right to get a copy of bank statements?

The bank said only the executor of the estate can get it. Aren’t beneficiary accounts outside the realm of the estate and the executor? My sister lived in Arizona when she passed. I live in NY. The bank account is in South Carolina (where she used to live) The executor of the estate, a friend in... Read more »

Elaine Shay
PREMIUM
Elaine Shay
answered on Feb 24, 2023

Questions about Estate matters are controlled by the law of the State where the decedent resided at the time of death. Therefore, although you may live in New York, your question is better directed to attorneys practicing in the State of your late sister's residence.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My friend has a reverse mortgage on her home and we want to setup a lease to own agreement for myself. Is she allowed?

She has around 600k on the reverse mortgage and she will still live in the house but I will pay her rent monthly on this lease to own contract so that I can buy it from her after three years.

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Feb 22, 2023

Do not do this. It will be a catastrophic mistake. If you want the house that bad, then borrow the money to pay off her mortgage, and get a deed encumbered by your own mortgage.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate, Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Do my brother and I have any rights to Dad's house since he had no will?

Our parents owned our family house in Lynbrook, NY since 1962. My mother died in 1974. Dad married Clare soon after and in 1996 added C to the deed. He passed away in 2004. C removed his name from the deed. I have copies of the deed and subsequent alterations. Neither our father nor mother had a... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Feb 16, 2023

If Clare was added to Deed as a joint tenant, she was entitled to 100% when your dad passed away. If she is listed as a tenant in common with your dad, you may be entitled to something.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: In nyc, if I live in a multi family unit, can I do short term rentals less than 30 days?
Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on Feb 15, 2023

Dear Brooklyn Tenant:

That is a negative [https://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4950986&GUID=584F2A6A-6793-480E-A315-F0C8BDA98092&Options=ID%7CText%7C&Search=].

It is illegal to do so in an unhosted setting. But even where allowed by the controlling...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Contracts for New York on
Q: Amending mortgage loan terms from same lender who is a family member.

I have a mortgage loan from a family member effective Jan 2020. A mortgage deed was recorded (NY) and refers to the respective promissory note. The lender (family member) and I want to amend to adjust the interest rate and term - the interest rate will be adjusted as of Jan 2020. Does the... Read more »

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Feb 13, 2023

Yes, a New York real estate attorney can prepare all the forms necessary to perfect and record the amended promissory note and mortgage. And it should be properly recorded, because New York is a “first to file” state when it comes to real property, so only properly recorded documents will put... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My grandparents died and the house is still under their name, I need to put the house in my mother's name.

I also have to change the electric and water to her name and was told I needed an Affidavit.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Feb 7, 2023

A little more complicated. Assuming the house was held by your grandparents as husband and wife, you need to make an estate for the second to die, and then have your mother be conveyed the house as next of kin. If she has siblings, they need to sign off.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Banking for New York on
Q: Can a bank claim escrow shortage but say you can't pay the entire shortage in full to raise payment

The bank is saying we're short in escrow $400 but also trying to raise our monthly payment by $8.78 saying we can't pay the entire shortage to remain at the same payment we have. We'd rather pay the $500 we're actually short to remain at the same payment but they're saying we cannot do this.

Elaine Shay
PREMIUM
Elaine Shay
answered on Feb 6, 2023

Generally, yes because the shortage indicates the current monthly payments you are making are not sufficient to meet the escrow obligation.

2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: What happens after you default mortgage 120 days
Scott L. Lanin
PREMIUM
Scott L. Lanin
answered on Feb 3, 2023

After your default for 120 days, your lender or the lender's servicer may elect to send you a default notice or a letter of acceleration. Accelerating the loan means that they are calling it as fully due and payable now instead of over the regular loan term. They may also send you a 90-day... Read more »

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