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Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Smollens’s Answers

8,184 total


  • I hired a contractor to renovate a kitchen and he destroyed it and refuses to fix it. Can I report it to his insurance co?

    I am without a working kitchen. He destroyed my custom cabinets, backsplash that cost 15,000. He did not finish or seal any items. He did not complete the items in his contract. He broke my sink/ facuet, taped it and put it in the countertop backw...

    Steven’s Answer

    Dear New York Condo Owner:

    Do not waste any more time. File a complaint with the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs on this dispute with your licensed home improvement contractor and the breach of the contract. Suing will take years to resolve. If you have home owner insurance you may consider exploring filing a claim with your own insurance. Do not get into a discussion with the contractor's insurance on your own.

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  • I hired a contractor to renovate a kitchen and he destroyed it and refuses to fix it. Can I report it to his insurance co?

    I'm without a working kitchen. He destroyed my custom cabinets, backsplash that cost 15,000. He didn't finish or seal any items. He didnt complete the items in his contract. He broke my sink/ facuet, taped it and put it in the countertop backwards...

    Steven’s Answer

    Dear New York Condo Owner:

    Do not waste any more time. File a complaint with the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs on this dispute with your licensed home improvement contractor and the breach of the contract. Suing will take years to resolve. If you have home owner insurance you may consider exploring filing a claim with your own insurance. Do not get into a discussion with the contractor's insurance on your own.

    See question 
  • Secondhand smoke from my sister who is half owner of the house, I want know my rights. I have had cancer twice.. Sarah Jane M

    Nothing but tell to limit it to one room

    Steven’s Answer

    Dear Glen Cove Home Owner:

    The "law"does not intrude into a private dwelling where one owner smokes and the other does not. If your health is impaired (and I have no doubt that your health is impaired by your sister's second hand smoke) go see a local lawyer and discuss how you may force a sale of the house so that you and your sister will live apart and not in the house you both own now.

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  • Can RSL 2526.1(a)4(e) be the appropriate statute to bring to a Judge's attention that ordered rent deposit when not necessary?

    A substantial refund still due to tenant, nevertheless, by order to show cause, opposition convinced judge somehow that a rent deposit was due and it was so ordered effectively depriving tenant of much needed funds - Judge did not even consider o...

    Steven’s Answer

    Dear Jericho Tenant:

    Did you commence a rent overcharge proceeding at the DHCR, and did you succeed, and DHCR determine a willful rent overcharge and entitlement to treble damages? Did you make a motion to vacate the rent deposit order based upon an order from the DHCR?

    Ordinarily, the Rent Stabilization Law is in effect in NYC only and the regulations enabling the statute are embodied in the Rent Stabilization Code. The Rent Stabilization Law (RSL) is not enacted in Nassau County.

    Nassau County has enacted the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, and certain municipalities have accepted the ETPA. I am not aware that the ETPA applies to tenancies in Jericho, New York, but if you have a DHCR order, then that eliminates that as an issue. You reference a Rent Stabilization Code section in effect in NYC only.

    If the order entered was ex parte an appeal is not efficient. Make a motion by Order to Show Cause to stay all proceedings and vacate the order of deposit based on your successful prosecution of a rent overcharge claim.

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  • Opposing lawyer forgot to serve me some paperwork for my case

    is that enough to get him suspended from practice for his misconduct?

    Steven’s Answer

    Dear New York Litigant:

    What "paperwork" is involved? Any "paper" filed with a court requires a contemporaneous proof of service. Do you claim the proof of service filed with the papers is false? If so, you have a right within the litigation to seek an order to strike the paper on a ground of failure to serve. You have the chance to prove non-service and the attorney likewise has the chance to oppose your request.

    Intentional filing of a false proof of service is a serious event.

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  • Unlawful injunction filed and granted my presence not available due to short notice based on due process and equal protection

    principles such conduct is not unlawful under state and federal constitution therefore I shall enjoy the right ceteris paribus to relocate waste onto vacant property that i made purchase of and signed thou deed as recipient in both and in law laws...

    Steven’s Answer

    Dear New York Property Owner:

    Private dumping on private property is not legal in New York State. You must know that argument was made by the adjoining land owner when gaining the TRO.

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  • Land use. I bought land outside of this guy's house so I can dump trash from plant I operate.

    As my trucks began coming in the guy went to court and got emergency injunction. How do I continue dumping trash?

    Steven’s Answer

    Dear New York Property Owner:

    Private dumping on private land is not legal in New York State.

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  • Do you have the right to stay in the apartment after 90 days? What type of attorney do you need?

    Unmarried couple been together for 30 years. Now my step-dad is trying to kick my mother out of his apartment.

    Steven’s Answer

    Dear Flushing Tenant:

    How is the tenant "trying to kick your mother out of his apartment?"

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  • How to find legal regulated rent for apartments

    I found a rent stabilized apartment but the rate is a preferential rate which seems lower than the rate for deregulated apartments in the same area. How can I look up the legal regulated rent for the apartment before I rent it? Is that possible? T...

    Steven’s Answer

    Dear New York Tenant:

    On Monday travel to the local DHCR office, sign in to see a counselor and obtain a rent history for the apartment. You will need the proposed lease and all riders including the preferential rent rider and Rent Stabilization Rider. Check online for the DHCR office covering your location in NYC.

    A rent stabilized apartment offered with a preferential rent should be less expensive than a similar unregulated apartment in the same area. But not always so. If the building you are renting into is a so-called luxury rental where Rent Stabilization exists due to a 421-a Real Property Tax abatement, the actual legal rent may be very high (over $4000) and so the preferential rent offer is designed to induce a tenant to take a lease. The preferential rent rider you want should provide that the preferential rent is for the duration of the tenancy and not limited to the current lease.

    Rent Stabilized rents in these new luxury rental buildings are very expensive, but the features most new tenants crave (the luxury amenities, the novelty of the building and location, the height and the view) are all part of the rent stabilized rights including renewal leases at regulated rent increases. The key is determining whether the preferential rent is a one and done or is designed to last out the tenancy no matter how often the tenant renews at lease renewal time.

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