Real Estate Law Questions:
Landlord-Tenant Law Questions:
areas do you cover?
Our firm handles legal matters throughout the
entire State of New York and Connecticut. We also work with local counsel on matters in various states such as Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, etc.
What are your
Our firm offers the most reasonable fees while providing
exceptional and personal service to our clients. Please call our office for a
fee quote on your legal matter.
Real Estate Law Questions
Do I really need to get an
engineer inspection prior signing the contract?
Our office strongly
recommends that all purchasers obtain an engineering inspection of the
property. A thorough inspection will include a termite test as well as a test
of any existing underground or above ground oil tanks on the property. Although
an engineer inspection can range from $300.00 to $1,500.00, we believe that an
informed purchaser is the most satisfied homeowner. Also, our office has
obtained substantial reductions in the purchase price or has required the
seller to make necessary repairs based on material defects that were uncovered
based upon an engineering inspection. In short, we believe that the price of an
engineer inspection is a small price to pay on such a major purchase and often
the cost of the report pays for itself in seller concessions.
How can I use the money that I need from the sale of my home to
buy my new home?
One option is to add language to your contract of sale
that requires the purchaser to enter into a possession agreement at the time of
closing. A possession agreement allows you, the seller, to remain in the home
for a short period of time, usually ranging from days to months, after the
closing. However, the possession agreement usually penalizes the seller at a
daily monetary rate for remaining in the home beyond the time specified in the
possession agreement. Another option is to close on your sale and your purchase
on the same day.
What happens after the contracts
are signed by both buyer and seller?
The title report is ordered from a
title insurance company. The title company conducts an investigation of the
property to uncover any possible violations and liens against the property and
its owner(s) and to verify seller's ownership of the property. The purchaser is
now obligated to seek financing if the contract of sale is contingent upon
purchaser obtaining financing.
What if I cannot
attend the closing because of personal circumstances?
Our office can
prepare a power of attorney which allows us, or anyone else of your choosing,
to close the transaction in your stead. We can also set up a time for you to
sign many of the necessary documents prior to the date of closing.
Must I close on the actual date stated in the Contract?
The answer depends on the terms of the contract. For instance, a
contract which states a closing date of "on or about November 1, 2010" allows
either party to adjourn the closing for a period of up to thirty days. However,
a closing date of "January 1, 2011, time is of the essence" is firm and the
party to the contract that is unable to close by this date will be in breach of
the contract, allowing the other party to make a claim for damages.
How much can I expect to pay for "closing costs" when
A purchaser can generally expect to pay:
An insurance premium (except on co-ops) for title insurance which can
range from $1,000 to $10,000 or higher, depending on the purchase price and the
amount of your mortgage.
A mortgage recording tax (except on co-op
A "mansion tax" of 1% of the full purchase
price where the purchase price is $1,000,000 or more.
- Westchester County (except Yonkers) =
borrower pays 1.05% of amount of the mortgage less $30;
- Yonkers = borrower pays 1.55% of the amount
of the mortgage less $30;
- New York City = borrower pays 1.8% of the
amount of the mortgage less $30 IF the mortgage is $499,999.00 or less
- New York City = borrower pays 1.925% of the
amount of the mortgage less $30 IF the mortgage is $500,000 or greater.
Title search and
recording fees of $500 to $1,000.
Legal fees can vary and depend on the
circumstances of the transaction. The cost of a new survey (if necessary) of
$600 to $1,500.
The purchaser should obtain a Truth-In-Lending from
their lender which will outline the lender's estimated fees, including discount
points, bank service charges, application fees, appraisal fees, and bank's
How much can I expect to pay for
"closing costs" when selling property?
A seller can generally expect to
Realtor's commissions of 4% to 6% of the purchase price.
- New York State Transfer Tax = $2.00 per
$500 of purchase price
- Real Property Transfer Tax
- Yonkers = 1.5%
of the purchase price over $25,000
- Mt Vernon = 1% of the purchase price
with an exemption on the first $100,000 of consideration.
- New York City =
1% of the purchase price of $500,000.00 or less
- New York City = 1.425% of
the purchase price of $500,000.01 or more
A fee to payoff and record a satisfaction of
your mortgage is generally $250 per mortgage
Legal fees can vary and
depend on the circumstances of the transaction.
much money will I need as a downpayment to purchase a house?
10% of the purchase price must be paid upon signing the contracts of sale.
However, depending on the terms of the sale, sellers may be willing to accept a
Landlord-Tenant Law Questions
How quickly will my
landlord-tenant case be handled?
If the matter is a nonpayment
proceeding, and the landlord has already provided the tenant with a rent
demand, our office will prepare the litigation paper within 24 hours and send
same to the local marshal, sheriff or process server to be immediately served
upon the tenant. Said notice will usually put the tenant on notice to appear in
court the following week.
If the matter is a hold-over proceeding, our
office will prepare the appropriate notices within 24 hours and have same
immediately served upon the tenant as required. When the notices expire, we
check with the client to determine if the notices have been complied with by
the tenant or if immediate action is required.
is your policy on settling cases?
Unless our client has preauthorized
settlement parameters, claims are not settled without first obtaining client's
Do you issue regular status reports?
We pride ourselves with keeping our clients informed during the entire
litigation process. After each court appearance or other development, we issue
a status report to our clients via email, fax, regular mail or telephone.
Method of communication is determined by our clients.
Why do landlord-tenant cases take so long?
dictates certain steps be followed before legally evicting a tenant. By law,
whether or not a tenant has a lease, before a landlord may commence a
non-payment proceeding, a tenant must be given at least a 3 days notice that
the rent is owed and if not paid legal action will commence. Upon the
expiration of said notice our office prepares the notice of petition and
petition and then schedules the matter on the court calendar. Obtaining the
court date usually takes less than two weeks, which allows time for the
marshal/process server time to file the petition with the court and serve the
tenant. After court is concluded, we usually are awarded a judgment for the
amount of rent owed (if a nonpayment proceeding) and a warrant and submit same
to the court for the Judge's signature. Only when these papers are signed by
the Judge and a 72 hour notice is served upon the tenant and expires can a
tenant be evicted. Although we do the best we can to expedite every step of the
process, it is still a process that takes some time.
If commencing a
hold over proceeding, the delay in getting a defaulting tenant out is usually
compounded by additional notice requirements. Contact our office to discuss
My tenant's stay is expired, so why can't
I call the marshal to give the 72-hour notice and then lockout the tenant?
As explained above, the 72-hour notice cannot be served by the marshal or
sheriff until the Judge signs the judgment and warrant of eviction. We expedite
the signing as much as possible, however in some of the local courts, this can
take up to 2-3 weeks because the courts have such a high volume of
What are some of the
benefits for Section 8 participation?
What is an order to show
cause and how many can a tenant be allowed to file?
- Section 8 is a governmental assistance
program which helps tenants with the rent.
- There is a guaranty of income to
landlord/owner because Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) are mailed to the
landlord/owner directly (or to a designated agent of the landlord/owner) on the
last working day of the month.
- Risks of rent default are reduced because
the tenant's portion of rent is based on their income
An order to show
cause is a motion made by a party to be heard by a Judge on a pending action.
Procedurally, the party wishing to file such an order submits paperwork to the
court at which time the Judge usually signs to allow the case back into court
if there is a meritorious defense. Although the legal standard is that a
meritorious defense is needed for the Judge to sign, most tenants file the
order to show cause simply to buy extra time to either pay the outstanding
judgment or move out. Technically there is no limit to the number of orders to
show cause that are allowed, although after two or three applications the Judge
will usually be hesitant to sign any more orders because there clearly is no
merit to the motions.