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New York City Landlord-Tenant Law Blog

Annual push and pull re stabilized rent increases begins

Let the games begin.

Actually, that depiction is inapt concerning New York City's annual determination of where the sliding scale should be concerning rent increases -- if any -- on rent-stabilized apartment dwellings across the metro area. The just-underway process involving number crunching and heavy lobbying will ultimately yield an early summer decision by the Rent Guidelines Board on rent increases for 2019. Legions of tenants view the annual rehash on rents as deadly serious business.

What is considered an illegal apartment in New York City?

Everyone who's ever lived in New York City knows that finding and renting a good apartment can be a long, difficult process. If you have been in a protracted apartment search, you may feel like giving up or just taking the next available unit you find.

That's understandable, but you need to be careful. When you are rushed or frustrated, you might overlook warning signs that the apartment isn't legal. This can result in a dangerous living situation.

What's the real story with Airbnb rentals, effect on affordability?

Is the large and growing Airbnb vacation rental industry overridingly harmful or mostly positive for New York City residents and the metro's economy?

New York Loft Law reformists want action from NYC Mayor de Blasio

Time passes quickly, and advocates for material changes in the state's Loft Law who were clearly buoyed by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's rhetoric late last autumn now want to see resulting action.
The mayor addressed Brooklyn residents at a town hall meeting in October, using the forum to announce "big changes" his administration would make to the law this year.
Advocates for reform -- which they say is long overdue and must bring material revisions more protective to tenants -- are now waiting.
And, given de Blasio's words, they are expectant. The mayor is on record as decrying a Loft Law philosophy pushed under predecessor Michael Bloomberg's administration that he alleges inadequately protected loft tenants while unfairly favoring landlords.
That approach "was wrong," de Blasio said. He has voiced support for eliminating obstacles that undercut support for affordable housing generally, and particularly for "artists and cultural workers" seeking unit conversion under the Loft Law.
Although the Loft Law is partially understand by many, provisions addressing it are notably complex. The law contains a number of legal twists and turns, as well as nuanced language that can make full comprehension a studied task. There is a timing requirement relevant to filing registration applications, as well as varied eligibility periods set forth for residents who lived in buildings potentially subject to the law in different decades.
Additionally, any building sought to be covered by the law cannot possess a residential certificate of occupancy, and it must have been used at one time for commercial, warehouse or manufacturing purposes.
Questions or concerns regarding the Loft Law and the process for converting a building space into a legal residence can be directed to an experienced NYC tenants' rights law firm.

Trying to rent in New York? Double check your credit score.

Finding a perfect apartment in New York is not an easy feat. Once you find that perfect space, the application process begins. But what happens if your credit score is causing difficulty?

What role does your credit score play when trying to rent? When it comes to renting in a tough market like New York, landlords look at more than just an incoming salary and references. It is very common for landlords to also check your credit score. This score can impact your ability to rent a unit, or could have you paying a higher security deposit.

New place? Make sure it’ll be good for you as you age.

There are nearly 1.4 million people over age 60 who live in New York. This number is projected to rise to almost 2 million in 2040. Why? In large part because empty nesters are moving back into the city.

If you are considering a move back to the city or in another part of the city, there are many things to think about. As we grow older, there are even more considerations we need to be aware of. People ages 50 and above who are moving must look ahead and think about whether certain health issues should play a role in finding a new apartment or house.

Is that rental legitimate or an online scam?

It is important for renters to find a good property for a fair deal. But what if a deal seems too good to be true? Should you be suspicious? Sometimes a good deal is just that, but in other cases it could be an online scam.

How can I avoid a rental scam online? The number one thing to watch for is the requested payment method. With today’s technology, it is not uncommon to see requests for automatic or online payments. However, two requests that should automatically make you suspicious include the request of payment through a money wire (without seeing the property) or using a service such as Western Union.

Is this justice for a slumlord’s tenants?

Imagine being without heat and hot water. Or putting up with unnecessary construction that caused dangerous levels of lead dust in your apartment. Why? Because your landlord wanted you out so he could charge new tenants higher rent.

This is what happened to tenants in a Brooklyn building owned by Daniel Melamed. Melamed is a real estate developer and landlord who faced charges of grand larceny, residential mortgage fraud and forgery. He plead guilty to the charges and spent 20 days in jail. In addition, he cannot sell or purchase rent-regulated buildings in Brooklyn during his five-year probation.

Material issues persist in notable tenants' displacement case

The apartment complex at 85 Bowery in Manhattan's Chinatown neighborhood continues to garner major media ink for reasons linked to what tenant advocates say is bad-faith conduct on the part of owner Joseph Betesh.

The matter -- a heated and protracted spat between Betesh and scores of tenants in rent-stabilized units -- has been ongoing for many weeks now, steadily escalating and now involving a number of city and state officials.