Do you have a tenant that you have been forced to bring multiple nonpayment proceedings against over a short period of time? There may be something you can do to remove the tenant permanently and avoid the vicious cycle of going to court, obtaining a judgment and warrant, tenant finally paying the rent, and then having the same thing happen over and over again. It’s called a chronic nonpayment cause of action commenced under a holdover proceeding. Read the rest of this entry »
What is an MCI?
MCI stands for Major Capital Improvement. As the owner of a rent controlled or rent stabilized building, when you make certain improvements (or installations) to your building, you may be able to increase your tenants’ rents based on your cost of making the improvements/installations.
What types of improvements are considered eligible for the rent increase?
Certainty is the mother of quiet and repose, and uncertainty the cause of variance and contentions. - Edward Coke
New York State’s Constitution grants the state legislature the broad authority to regulate land use if it is in the public interest. Although the state retains some authority, much of the power to plan communities and provide for and enforce zoning regulations has been delegated to local municipalities. This means that the reason your house is a certain height and a certain distance from the road, or the reason that it is a house at all and not a retail store or warehouse has to do with your city or town’s zoning code.
Let’s start with the basic premise that every city, town and village is divided into districts. Cities, towns and villages have zoning ordinances (laws) in place which dictate what type of uses are permitted for properties in each district. The zoning ordinances also dictate how large buildings can be in each district, how far from the road and neighboring property lines the buildings or other structures must be setback, what percentage of the lots may be covered with buildings, the use of the properties and much more.
A zoning variance is essentially an exception from the strict application of the zoning ordinances which affect your property.
Here are some instances where you should consider contacting your zoning board: Read the rest of this entry »
Everything that is tall and long is composed of short and small pieces.
For real estate owners who can no longer afford to keep current on their mortgage payments, a short sale is an alternative to foreclosure that can help preserve their credit and avoid bankruptcy.
A short sale is when a distressed seller finds a purchaser who is willing to buy their property for less than what is owed to the lender (bank) and the bank accepts less than what is owed on the mortgage in full settlement of the seller’s obligations to avoid having to foreclose on the property.
It may seem counterintuitive, but a lender may not want to foreclose on a property because the foreclosure process is expensive and time-consuming for the lender. In today’s market with foreclosures on the rise, lenders are becoming more and more willing to negotiate short sales.
Real estate agents may be enlisted by sellers who are at risk of being foreclosed to help market their properties and find potential purchasers. And just as in any sale, brokers are entitled to commissions on the short sales of properties. Read the rest of this entry »
I recently posted about the closing costs sellers should expect to pay in a real estate sale - these costs can range from 1% to 8% of the sales price, depending on if a real estate broker is involved. For buyers, closing costs in our region typically run about 2-3% of the purchase price.
Here’s a breakdown of what buyers can expect to lay out at the closing table: Read the rest of this entry »
The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets. - Will Rogers
In the current economic climate, more than ever commercial and multifamily properties are considerably over assessed and consequently paying more than their fair share of taxes. Commercial and multifamily property owners are facing problems with high vacancy rates and lower than usual rental income. Many owners have been forced to renegotiate leases to keep existing tenants.
As a property owner, your real estate taxes are based on your property’s assessment. Your property’s assessment is set annually by the local municipality where your property is located and is supposed to be based on your property’s fair market value. Sometimes properties are fairly assessed, but oftentimes properties are over-assessed in which case property owners are paying more than their equitable share of real estate taxes.
It’s possible to protest your property’s assessment. The first step in this process entails filing a formal complaint (also known as a grievance) with your local municipality within a specified time called the “grievance period.” (If your commercial property is in Yonkers, a prerequisite to filing a grievance is to have filed an annual income and expense statement by June 1st of each year.)
Every municipality sets its own grievance period. Here is a list of grievance periods in our local region: Read the rest of this entry »
“Selling your apartment in New York is like dating a manic-depressive.. you get used to cycles of elation and despondency. Every time someone would come to see the apartment, there was the thrill of the date. You want to be presentable, so you clean the place up, make sure it smells good, put on some mood lighting and mellow music.” -Anderson Cooper
After all the work you put in to selling your property, nobody wants any surprises at the closing table, so it’s important for sellers to know what to expect in closing costs when selling real estate.
In general, Sellers typically spend about 5-8% of the sales price in closing costs if the sale was brought about by a real estate broker; if no broker is involved, the costs usually run about 1-2% of the sales price.
Here’s a schedule we put together that shows estimated closing costs when selling real estate. Remember, these are just estimates and they focus on our local area - be sure to review your costs with your attorney to find out what they’ll be in your area. Read the rest of this entry »