When a Roommate Fails to Pay His Share

Q.  At some point my roommate, who is on our apartment lease, intends to move out. When she does, I will have to replace her. Is there anything I can do to prevent myself from incurring financial liability and having my credit score damaged if a new roommate fails to pay his or her share of the rent and utility bills?

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Defining the ‘Super’

Q.  Is a property owner required to hire a superintendent for a New York City residential building, or can a maintenance company serve the same function? If a superintendent must be hired, how close to the building must the super live? A.  David A. Kaminsky, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, said that under the city’s Housing and Maintenance Code, a property owner

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A Guide to NYC Tenants’ Rights Post Hurricane Sandy

As a result of Hurricane Sandy, many apartment buildings in New York City are now uninhabitable due to flooding, power outages, and physical damage. Many tenants have been displaced from their residences and forced to seek shelter elsewhere until their residences became habitable again. These tenants, some of who still remain homeless, are concerned about whether or not they will

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Residential Lease Primer

After 28 years of experience as a real estate attorney I have seen all shapes and sizes of residential leases. The problems landlords and tenants encounter as a result of incorrectly drafted leases cannot be overstated. Both landlords and tenants make assumptions thinking that little mistakes will not make a difference, and that their rights are protected anyway. Boy, are

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What You Need to Know when Renting from a Single Unit Owner

The housing market in New York City is forever evolving. The traditional rental market is tight and many New Yorkers are now renting a coop or condo from a single unit owner as an alternative. When this happens, difficulties can arise because these property owners are not professional landlords and, to be honest, don’t always know what they’re getting themselves

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Helping a Relative Rent an Apartment

Q.  A member of my family is trying to rent an apartment, but nobody will rent to him because of his low credit rating. Is it possible for me to sign the lease for him? He will live in the apartment and pay rent. I will not live with him, since I already have an apartment subsidized by the city. A.  “The

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Stove Replaced by a Cheaper Model

Q.  I rented a nonstabilized apartment in a condominium in Brooklyn. One of the selling points was the kitchen with stainless steel appliances. After about a week, though, the oven stopped working. The management company decided to replace it with a cheaper model that looks ugly. Can we demand that it be replaced with something of comparable quality? A.  “Standard lease clauses

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Subletting A Regulated Unit

Q.  Can a person renting in a rent-regulated apartment in Brooklyn sublet the apartment or otherwise get out of the lease? A.   A rent-regulated tenant usually has no automatic right to sublet or “get out of a lease”, said David A. Kaminsky, a Manhattan lawyer who represents tenants. A rent-controlled tenant generally has no lease and as such has no right

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A Regulated Tenant Wants A Roomate

Q.  I am a 70-year-old rent controlled tenant in a co-op building where I have lived for 42 years. My apartment is owned by a shareholder. I would like to have a friend move in. I am now the sole occupant and haven’t had a lease for many years. Can I have a roommate without jeopardizing my rent-controlled status? A.  David A.

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