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Adam Lefkowitz

Adam Lefkowitz’s Answers

683 total


  • Question about my Security Deposit in a Generic Lease?

    I live in a 3-Family house and the LL is putting the house for sale. There is no mention of re-renting the units. I am on a month-to-month lease with the LL since 2010. I actually read the lease, which appears to be a generic lease, and says my ...

    Adam’s Answer

    Generally speaking, security deposits can not be used to pay rent. Tenants are required to pay the last month's rent. After the tenant vacates, the landlord inspects the property and provides the former tenant with a list of damages for which the landlord will deduct from the security deposit, and return the balance to the former tenant. Tenants who fail to pay their last month's rent are in breach of contract for which the landlord takes compensation from the security deposit. Assuming there are no damages (other than normal wear and tear) to the premises and assuming you pay your last month's rent, then you should receive a return of the full security deposit. I suggest you have an attorney review your lease to ensure you haven't contracted yourself into a different situation.

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  • When a contract written on December 01 states that you should close the deal within 30 days is the 31 considered as the 30th

    legal contract to close a home buying deal

    Adam’s Answer

    Do you want to close the deal or do you want to litigate? What's more important to you?

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  • I recently purchased a foreclosed home. How do I remove the squatters currently occupying it (they do not have a lease)?

    A family is occupying the home I recently purchased, after foreclosure was filed by the previous owner. They have no lease with the previous owner and have not paid rent. What law can I invoke to force them to move?

    Adam’s Answer

    I'm not sure if CT law draws a distinction between eviction and ejectment. Generally speaking, squatters and other people without an ownership interest or a leasehold interest are removed from property through an ejectment. The end result is the same as an eviction - the owner has the police remove the occupants. But the process may vary. You should consult with a local landlord / tenant attorney. I am not licensed in CT and laws vary from state to state. Only in consultation with a local attorney can you receive specific advice to your inquiry.

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  • Discovered water damage during my walk through, can i get out of this with my earnest money

    im in the process of purchasing a home, im at the end ready to close... At my final walk thru there is water damage on the walls the sellers agents is not accepting the fact that there is damage he is still trying to push for a close. I want them ...

    Adam’s Answer

    The old "my couch covered the problem so I wasn't aware of it" answer. Personally, I never trust that answer. Not to say the seller is lying, but I am automatically suspicious. Even then, because the transaction is a short sale, the seller wouldn't have any money to fix the problem. Perhaps the seller's bank would agree to allocate a small portion of funds to repair the issue. You have to review your purchase contract with a local real estate attorney to evaluate your options.

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  • How long will a foreign lein last in Alabama ? Any ways around one ?

    Could a quick claim deed elude foreign lein ?

    Adam’s Answer

    Generally speaking, if liens are not paid off at closing of title, then the purchaser buys the property subject to the claim of the lien. Transfers of any kind (quit claim or otherwise) do not extinguish the claim of the lien. I am not licensed in AL and laws vary from state to state. You should consult with a real estate attorney to discuss your specific situation.

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  • If you get verbal authorization to pay someone's bills and that is recorded, is that enough or do you need something signed?

    my friend verbally agreed to have me pay his bills if he passes away. Am I able to use that as proof or do I need something signed saying so?

    Adam’s Answer

    Are you offering to use your money to pay your friend's bills or are you suggesting your friend wants to appoint you as the administrator of his estate and use his estate's money to pay his bills? If the former, then no problem - go ahead and use your money to pay down your friend's debt. If the latter, then you need to consult with an attorney specializing in trust and estates so you have the proper authority to access your friend's accounts in the event of his passing. Since I believe you are asking about how your friend can appoint you as the administrator of his estate, I re-classified this question as an estate planning question in the hopes it will attract responses from attorneys practicing in that field. Avvo has a useful "find a lawyer" feature which I recommend you use.

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  • Foreclosure Defense - Mortgage in Foreclosure - Name on Deed - Not on Mortgage

    My mortgage got behind due to my ex-husband refusing to pay nor sign a PSA to give me rights to the home. I was awarded the home in the divorce but, it's now in foreclosure with a pending sale date. I need to know what I can do about the bank refu...

    Adam’s Answer

    When you say you have a pending sale date, it sounds to me as if the house is under contract for sale. If my understanding is correct, then the transaction would proceed as a short sale, subject to your bank's approval. Hire an attorney to review the transaction. The mortgagor could be stuck with having to pay the difference between the sale price and the balance on the mortgage loan. Also, you need to know that the IRS treats forgiven debt as taxable income to the mortgagor. This is less a problem for people not on the mortgage. But because your question sounds like you're trying to do a short sale and simultaneously refinance, I remain confused. My best advice is for you to contact a real estate attorney to more fully discuss your case and decide on your best course of action. Remember, absent some evidence of fraud or illegality, lenders are generally not required to negotiate the terms of a loan. The lender's remedy is to foreclose upon properties securing the debt.

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  • What can an apartment renter do if a neighbor who has a heavy smoking guest/family member staying with them for 6 months?

    I'm allergic to cigarette smoke. My throat is closing, and burning. Suffering from headaches and nausea. I've been reduced to wearing a facial mask. The smoking is heavy, and occurs even during the night while I'm sleeping. There's no smoking...

    Adam’s Answer

    Tenants are permitted to have guests, and people can smoke in their own apartments. But every lease comes with it an implied warranty of habitability. Meaning the landlord is responsible for making sure the apartment is livable. I don't think cigarette smoke from your neighbors or their guests would rise to the level of making your apartment uninhabitable, even if the stench permeates your unit. Keep a written record. Inform your landlord in writing by certified mail return receipt requested of all of your health problems associated with the smoking and inform the landlord that the neighbor's guest has stayed beyond the time period permitted in the lease.

    You should feel free to report illegal activity to the appropriate law enforcement authorities and to your landlord. As to whether you can test positive for marijuana because your neighbor smokes - I am personally unaware of such a situation ever happening. However, I am not a medical doctor. You should consult a doctor (not the internet, but a real live person) now for medical advice before this becomes a problem for you.

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  • Our contract states the association is responsible for repairs to home "foundation." Is the crawl space part of the foundation?

    The purchase contract states that the homeowners' association is responsible for repairs to "foundations" of the homes in the development. Our crawl space is leaking from ground water. The question is--is the crawl space (no basement nor slab foun...

    Adam’s Answer

    Review the master deed and covenants (the "governing documents") pertaining to your homeowners' association. You may have received a set when you accepted title at closing. If you did not, then you can obtain a set directly from the HOA's management company or from your county clerk's office as all governing documents must be recorded in the public land records. If you own any property in fee simple (land outside of the "home"), then you may very well be responsible. Or maybe not. The best answer is to review the governing documents. I would also review your deed to determine the extent to which you own land outside your home. It's hard to tell from your question if you're in a condo, townhouse, or your own home. Each living situation presents with different answers. Other pertinent questions involve determining from where the water comes. From rain water? has a neighbor diverted a stream or built up their property so that all rain water now flows into your property? Contact an attorney to more fully discuss the facts of your case.

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  • Selling my house

    I am in the process of selling my home. I finished part of the basement without permits. The buyer wants to close fast and not wait the couple of months it might take to get the permits. He says he will take full responsibility for getting the per...

    Adam’s Answer

    A contract for sale can pass on to the buyer the responsibility to cure defects in the house. If the house is in Piscataway, then a certificate of occupancy on the sale of a 1- or 2-family house is not required. But, the town will inspect for carbon monoxide, fire extinguisher, and smoke detector compliance; and during that inspection the township may become aware that you started some work without a permit. If the work you did to the basement was beyond merely cosmetic (for example, if you added electrical wiring or plumbing as opposed to simply adding carpeting), then you may have to clear up any permits for the work before closing of title. But if the buyer is willing to take on that responsibility, then the buyer can just pay out of pocket. Your attorney and the buyer's attorney can negotiate an appropriate contract for sale. Do not try to handle this yourself.

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