Calculating a Stabilized Rent

Q.  I rent a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. The building used to be all rent-stabilized, but then some of the apartments, including mine, became market rate under the high-rent/high-income deregulation law. Recently, however, the landlord received a J-51 tax abatement, which requires all apartments to be rent-stabilized until December 2018. Is my now-stabilized rent based on the last stabilized rent for

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Succession Rights For Family Members

Q.  Does the son of rent-stabilized tenants have the right to continue to live in the apartment and get a new lease in his own name after Mom and Dad have moved out? A.  David A. Kaminsky, a Manhattan lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant law, said that under the rent laws, a family member of a stabilized tenant has succession rights to

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Take Other Things, but Leave the Fridge

Q.  I recently moved out of an apartment I had lived in for over 20 years. Because I had replaced my refrigerator, air-conditioner and stove, I advised the management I would be taking them with me. They have kept $900 of my $1,400 security deposit. Can they do this? A.  “A landlord is required to maintain the existing appliances and provide working

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When Church Becomes A Landlord

Q.   My rent-stabilized building was bought by a church. Do stabilization laws still apply? A.   “The writer’s rent-stabilization rights continue even though the property was purchased by a church,” said David Kaminsky, a Manhattan real estate lawyer. He said the only way a change of ownership could result in the deregulation of an apartment was if the new owner was a

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The Sponsor’s Voice Is Heard the Loudest

Q.  My 75-unit Manhattan co-op recently adopted an amendment to our proprietary lease banning smoking throughout the building. The change required approval of owners holding two-thirds of the outstanding shares. The sponsor — who converted the building 25 years ago — owns about a third of all shares and voted for the amendment. Fewer than half of the shareholders who are

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Neighbor Sues Over Second Hand Smoke

Woman with sick child says cigarette smoke comes through vents Christie Ewen’s neighbor is a smoker whose secondhand smoke comes through the vents and she’s suing him to make him stop. “We have to keep the windows open,” Ewen said. “In the winter it’s impossible. In the summer we get mosquitoes.” Ewen, 38, says her 3-year-old daughter has respiratory problems

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When the Landlord Sends Workers

Q.  I am a college student in upstate New York, and I am renting a house with seven others. The landlord sends in maintenance workers without notifying all of us. Is this legal? I feel extremely uncomfortable having these men in my house without prior notice. A.  David A. Kaminsky, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, said that “since the premises are not a

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A Seller Understates a Co-op’s Monthly Fees

Q.  I recently purchased a co-op apartment. In both the broker’s listing materials and the sale contract, the maintenance fee was misstated by nearly $100. The maintenance had been increased in January, though the apartment was not listed for sale until May and the sale closed in August. Is there any recourse? A.   David A. Kaminsky, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, said that

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From the December 2007 issue of Apartment Law Insider

In the past, tenants who were facing eviction would file for bankruptcy as a last resort, buying time to either work things out with the owner or move. Since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act [119 Statute 23, 2005] came into effect, on Oct. 17, 2005, bankruptcy has had much less to offer tenants who are at risk

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Can a Co-op Be Forced to Pay for Exterminator?

Q.  The basement of our prewar co-op is undergoing renovation to enlarge the laundry room and storage space. In the process, the building has become riddled with mice. The building’s exterminator first sprayed poison in our kitchen, to no effect. He then put out baited glue traps, and I bought some spring-loaded traps and put cheese in them. No luck. These

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