Evict Tenant Who Doesn't Get Renewal Lease Signed by Guarantor

July 27, 2017    

Suppose you sign an initial lease with a rent-stabilized tenant and require the tenant to get a guarantor to guarantee payment of the rent. At renewal time, the tenant returns the renewal lease without the guarantor’s signature. According to the DHCR and a housing court case, you are not...

Avoid HPD Violations by Having Employees Routinely Check for Six Key Defects

June 22, 2017    

When a Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) inspector visits your building in response to a tenant’s complaint, the inspector won’t simply check the problem the tenant has complained about. The inspector will also check the tenant’s apartment for six defects...

Five Possible Arguments to Avoid Triple Damages for Rent Overcharge

May 24, 2017    

No owner likes to get hit with a rent overcharge order. And it’s worse if the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) orders you to pay triple damages on top of that. But the DHCR shouldn’t hit you with triple damages in every case where it finds an overcharge. If you can...

How Courts Decide Who’s a Nonprimary Resident

May 5, 2017    

Many tenants take advantage of rent control and rent stabilization laws to use their apartments as a low-cost second home. They actually live elsewhere, but keep their New York City apartments for business or pleasure. As an owner, you don’t have to stand by as these tenants unfairly reap...

Notify Four Parties When You Change Managing Agent

April 21, 2017    

A managing agent is designated by an owner to be in control of and responsible for the maintenance and operation of the building and to authorize, on behalf of the owner, the correction of any emergency conditions or the making of any emergency repairs. A managing agent must be an individual...

Comply with Fair Housing Law When Managing Common Areas & Amenities

March 17, 2017    

In August 2016, the NYC Commission on Human Rights entered into a settlement agreement with an owner for alleged age discrimination. A rent-stabilized tenant had filed a complaint against a large real estate management company because the company opened an exercise room in the building and...

How to Get DHCR to Waive Useful Life Requirements for MCIs

February 17, 2017    

If you’re planning to do work at your building and expect to get a major capital improvement (MCI) rent increase for it, you probably know that the work must meet the Division of Housing and Community Renewal’s (DHCR) useful life requirements. Those requirements are set out in...

Avoid Overtime Pay Deals that May Result in Wage Complaints

January 24, 2017    

At some point, you may want building staff to work overtime or to handle an extra job. But whether you’re asking a doorman to work extra hours to fill in for vacationing employees or offering a handyman a lump sum to paint an apartment on a Saturday, you need to make sure you pay that...

How to Avoid Fines When Tenants Don't Respond to Window Guard Notice

December 16, 2016    

If you plan to send the annual Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)-required window guard notices to your tenants by Jan. 16, 2017, you may believe you’ve fully complied with your window guard obligations. That’s just the first step, however. If a tenant hasn’t...

Avoid Seven Mistakes That Could Delay Your DHCR Appeal

November 21, 2016    

One day you may get an order from the District Rent Administrator (DRA) denying you a rent increase you think you’re entitled to, or unfairly finding that you’ve overcharged a tenant for decreased services. As a result, you may find yourself filing a petition for administrative...

How to Implement and Enforce a Smoke-Free Policy at Your Building

October 27, 2016    

By Carolyn E. Zezima, Esq.

How to Settle Nonpayment Cases Involving Repairs

October 7, 2016    

When you sue to evict a tenant for not paying rent, chances are the tenant will claim in court that his apartment needs repairs and use that as an excuse for not paying rent. For example, the tenant may say he’s not paying rent because you haven’t painted his apartment in five years...