Landlord-Tenant, Real Estate, and Co-op Law
Even though a commercial or residential lease agreement for the use of property may be amicably reached by both parties with the best of intentions, disputes may arise. The most common dispute concerns the termination of the lease. A lease is a contract in all respects. As with any contract, the lease need not be in writing. Courts will enforce oral agreements just as they enforce written agreements. However, in order for the term of a lease to extend beyond one month, it must be in writing. If it is oral, it will be deemed to renew automatically each month. The tenant may breach a contract by failing to make timely rent payments, or the landlord may violate the lease by failing to make the repairs necessary to keep the property safe and habitable. The knowledgeable New York landlord-tenant lawyers at The Nathanson Law Firm LLP can help explore your options if you find yourself in need of legal guidance concerning the rental of residential or commercial property and the termination of the lease and eviction from the premises. If you have been awarded a money judgment in connection with an eviction, the debt collection lawyers of The Nathanson Law Firm LLP can assist you in recovering the unpaid rent.Understanding Landlord-Tenant Issues
Since we represent both landlords and tenants, we understand that there are two sides to every dispute. If you are a landlord, you should know that there are certain steps that must be taken in order to legally evict a tenant, even if the tenant is significantly behind on their rent or has otherwise violated the rental agreement. Due to the nature and finality of an eviction (making a family “homeless” or closing up a business), the law requires that specific procedures be followed.
Our Landlord-Tenant practice is primarily limited to practice on Long Island, within Nassau or Suffolk Counties. Eviction proceedings fall under one of two categories: either a) Non-Payment Proceedings, or b) Holdover proceedings. A non-payment proceeding typically begins with a 14 days' rent demand once the tenant is at least five days late for payment of rent. If the tenant remains in arrears, the Landlord may file and serve a “Notice of Petition” and “Petition,” which requires the Tenant’s appearance in court before a Judge. A holdover proceeding involves an act by the tenant, other than the failure to pay rent, which gives the landlord a basis to terminate the tenancy. Almost always, a landlord must give the tenant at least 30 days’ notice of the termination of the tenant’s rights before commencing the action in court. If the tenant has been in possession for more than one year, but less than two years', the tenant is entitled to 60 days' notice. If the tenant has occupied the premises for more than two years, the landlord must provide a 90 days' notice to terminate the tenancy. The objective of the landlord is to obtain a Warrant of Eviction, which must be secured from the court clerk in the county in which the property is located. Only after the matter has been heard by a judge and the tenant has had an opportunity to be heard may an order be entered for a judgment returning possession of the property to the landlord and directing that the tenant be given an additional 14 days' notice of eviction and, if necessary, forcible removal by a marshal, sheriff, or constable. At the hearing, the tenant may present a defense to the landlord’s eviction proceeding. Potential defenses may include lack of proper notice, the payment in full of rent (for a non-payment proceeding), an argument that the landlord failed to maintain the premises of the rented space in a “fit and habitable” condition as required by law, thereby entitling the tent to an abatement of the rent claimed by the landlord, or a civil rights violation, such as discrimination prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act or the New York State Human Rights Law. Our landlord-tenant attorneys can advise residents and owners in both Nassau County and Suffolk County about what to expect during this process.Real Estate and Co-Op Matters
The process of purchasing or selling your home (‘real estate” or “real property”), including a condominium (“Condo”) or shares in a cooperative (“Co-op”) corporation, is fraught with the potential for confusion. By educating both buyers and sellers on the intricate process of the transfer of ownership from one party to another, our real estate attorneys can facilitate transactions such as sales contracts and loan originations (“Mortgages”).
Our firm also handles co-op and condo legal matters, including disputes that arise when a co-op board or condo association allegedly does not comply with the by-laws governing the property, maintenance issues, conversions, or an alleged violation of New York cooperative or condominium laws. We are familiar with situations concerning offering plans, closing documents, or violations of New York’s housing merchant limited warranty law. In addition, we pursue deficiency judgments post-sale, as may be necessary.Discuss Your Needs with a Real Estate Attorney or Landlord-Tenant Lawyer in New York
To seek legal guidance regarding a property transaction or dispute, call The Nathanson Law Firm LLP at 516-568-0000 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Our New York landlord-tenant attorneys are based in Garden City, on Long Island, from which we represent clients throughout the Greater New York area and nationwide.