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New York City Landlord-Tenant Law Blog

Focus: the important work done by the Housing Rights Initiative

It's more than a safe bet that Aaron Carr and his Housing Rights Initiative are not on the holiday shopping list of any problem landlords operating in New York City.

The reason why rings clear in HRI's stated mission, which is "to protect the rights of tenants and preserve affordable housing against predatory landlords."

Although bad-faith property owners and managers across NYC routinely confront tenant advocacy groups, few -- if any -- of those organizations are as formidable as HRI.

Bad Faith Landlord gets one year jail sentence to Rikers Island

The day of legal reckoning finally came last week for a big-time New York City landlord when, on Tuesday, a Manhattan judge sentenced the embattled businessman Steven Croman to a one-year jail term to be served on Rikers Island.

Legions of rent-stabilized tenants who previously lived in or still reside in Croman-owned properties (the landlord reportedly owns more than 140 apartment buildings scattered across the city) aren't shedding tears over the outcome. It is likely, in fact, that many of them think it was too lenient.

NYC landlord cited for numerous rent-control violations

Well, here's a difference of opinion.

On the one hand, a large metro apartment management company/landlord contends that a settlement recently reached with the New York Attorney General's Office was essentially coerced and is meritless.

A spokesperson for Icon Realty Management states that the claims of tenant harassment and displacement from rent-controlled units are "political hype." He calls them "completely overblown and misleading," and says the company might take post-settlement legal action.

Know your NYC tenants’ rights

Whether you are new to New York City or have lived here for years, finding housing is always a challenge. And finding a place to live is often only half the battle. Many renters have problems with their landlords and/or their buildings after they move in.

It can be extremely frustrating—or frightening—to be in this situation. If you know your rights as a renter, however, you will be able to make informed decisions about how to move forward. You can always discuss your tenants’ rights issues with a lawyer if you need further information or legal counsel.

Worried about lead paint in your apartment? You’re not alone.

In New York City, lead paint is a real concern. With so many older buildings in the city, it is not uncommon for apartments to have lead paint in them.

A law prohibiting the use of lead paint in residential dwellings was passed in 1960, but according to tenants’ rights attorney Sam Himmelstein, structures built before 1978 may still contain lead paint. 

Take precautions if you have a loud dog in an apartment

All dogs bark, but some are particularly yappy. While you may be used to it, your neighbors probably are not. You may think it’s fun to have “conversations” with your dog, but other tenants may not see it that way. If they complain to the landlord, you could be in trouble.

Renters in rent stabilized buildings may find themselves facing eviction if a noisy pet is causing problems. Tenants’ rights attorney Sam Himmelstein notes that this type of issue may provide your landlord with grounds to evict you—and those opportunities don’t come along every day in rent stabilized units.

Know your NYC tenants’ rights

Whether you are new to New York City or have lived here for years, finding housing is always a challenge. And finding a place to live is often only half the battle. Many renters have problems with their landlords and/or their buildings after they move in.

It can be extremely frustrating—or frightening—to be in this situation. If you know your rights as a renter, however, you will be able to make informed decisions about how to move forward. You can always discuss your tenants’ rights issues with a lawyer if you need further information or legal counsel.

Worried about lead paint in your apartment? You’re not alone.

In New York City, lead paint is a real concern. With so many older buildings in the city, it is not uncommon for apartments to have lead paint in them.

A law prohibiting the use of lead paint in residential dwellings was passed in 1960, but according to tenants’ rights attorney Sam Himmelstein, structures built before 1978 may still contain lead paint. 

Paying the rent: Try to keep it timely coming, and in full

If you're a New York City tenant in a rent-stabilized apartment, you could of course be one of the lucky renters who has a property ownership team that is clearly on the ball when it comes to performance regarding landlord-related duties.

Notorious landlord facing eviction

Raphael Toledano finds himself on the other side of a landlord-tenant dispute this month. He has been accused many times of evicting his tenants from units that are rent-stabilized, and now he is facing eviction from a building he claims is rent-stabilized.

Simon Baron Development, the landlord in this case, filed a housing court petition stating that Toledano's three-month lease had ended. Toledano countered by claiming that he is "entitled to a rent-stabilized lease." His argument primarily hinges on the claim that he received a 421a rider with his lease which specified the rent-stabilization requirements for the apartment.