Steven Warren Smollens’s Answers

Steven Warren Smollens

New York Landlord / Tenant Lawyer.

Contributor Level 20
  1. Locking out commercial tenant for non-payment of rent.

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Olga Someras
    3. Jayson Lutzky
    3 lawyer answers

    Dear Hopewell Junction Landlord: Without a lease provision authorizing self-help in the event of nonpayment of rent, locking out your commercial tenant would be considered a breach of lease, void the obligation to pay rent, and subject the landlord to a lawsuit for damages by reason of the illegal eviction, breach of lease, loss of business opportunity and perhaps far more. No New York landlord is allowed to conduct an eviction without the use of the court where there is no lease based on...

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  2. My landlord put condo up for sale. But my lease expires 4/2015. I want to leave early if I find a home to purchase myself.

    Answered 9 months ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Yan Margolin
    3. Robert Edward Sokolski
    3 lawyer answers

    Dear Brooklyn Tenant: I cannot see why you accepted the burden to show the apartment, unless this tenant obligation is specifically expressed in the lease. Otherwise, since you are not a real estate broker or an attorney, take a step back and stop accommodating your landlord's fantasy that a condominium may be sold in NYC without a broker and an attorney. In case of a sale, the usual head's up time is far more than the thirty days provided in the lease. And a notice of lease termination (...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. How do I go after tenant in Nassau county in single family home for rent owed since 30 day notice was served?

    Answered 12 months ago.

    1. Peter Christopher Lomtevas
    2. Steven Warren Smollens
    3. Eric Edward Rothstein
    3 lawyer answers

    Dear Hempstead Landlord: While it is prudent to forego accepting rent after serving a tenancy termination notice, the summary proceeding statute does not force the landlord to forever forebear from gaining a judgment for the unpaid rent. The statute allows a landlord to sue for "past" rent (unpaid), use and occupancy (that came due after termination of the tenancy [in this particular case, rent due through July 31 and U & O from July 31, 2013 to date of judgment]), as long as the landlord...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. I served my tenant with a 30 day notice of termination but they still won't leave what do I do next?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Eric Edward Rothstein
    2. Steven Warren Smollens
    3. Michael C. Wild
    4. Jayson Lutzky
    5. Olga Someras
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    Dear Cortland Owner Landlord: If you prepared the proper One Month (not thirty day) Notice, then the notice should clearly state that unless the tenant quits and surrenders possession of the premises to you on or before the date that is the "end of the term" that you as landlord will commence a summary proceeding (under the statute) to remove the tenant from possession. New York uses the form of special proceeding (not a regular form of action) known as a summary proceeding. The right to...

    8 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. I rent out an unregulated, free-market, condominium, can I charge late fees for late rent?

    Answered 5 months ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Edwin Drantivy
    3. Richard J. Chertock
    3 lawyer answers

    Dear Brooklyn Landlord: A landlord in your situation may charge late fees. Many standard forms for leasing a condominium apartment contain all the terms and conditions expected by a landlord. What form of lease are you using? Usually, it is not a good idea for a lay person to tinker with pre-packaged leases, as an error in text may invalidate some significant right of the landlord to add unpaid late fees as an item of "additional rent." There is no "maximum" but courts will not enforce a...

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  6. How can I properly serve a 5 day notice on a commercial tenant in nyc if it is always closed?

    Answered 9 months ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Peter Alden Axelrod
    3. Jason Todd Studinski
    3 lawyer answers

    Dear Brooklyn Landlord: As the "client" it should not fall on you to figure out how to prove to the court that you gained jurisdiction over the tenant. Your better course of action is to hire an attorney and together you will discover the proper notice to use as a predicate notice for a summary proceeding. Generally, it is a mistake to demand rent and also terminate the month to month tenancy. Usually, there is no reason to do so, as a straight forward termination notice will support a...

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  7. Can lawyer from another state say as Texas defend someone who lives in NY State and not licensed for NY only Texas?

    Answered 9 months ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Christopher Daniel Leroi
    3. Eric Edward Rothstein
    3 lawyer answers

    Dear Huntington Friend: If your friend is sued he likely will require a legal defense. Consulting with an attorney now may head off a lawsuit. Practically, your friend's friend does not appear to have gained any legal rights by staying with your friend, but there must be more going on than stated here that will come out during an attorney consultation. An attorney from Texas may also practice law in New York State if also licenses in New York State. Your friend could check whether this...

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  8. Scope of the lease guarantee liability

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Robert A. Stumpf
    2 lawyer answers

    Dear scope of guarantee liability: The precise language in the guarantee will control. You should buy insurance because the guarantor is often left holding the bag. The renter must purchase a homeowner or renters insurance. You should be identified as a named "insured." Most attorneys would caution you to heed the maxim that no good wind blows toward a guarantor.

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  9. What are my rights when my commercial landlord does not fulfil items outlined in lease?

    Answered 29 days ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Peter J Weinman
    3. Leonid Krimsky
    3 lawyer answers

    Dear Brooklyn Tenant: If you are correct in your reading of the addendum to the lease, you are right that the landlord has breached the lease by charting a separate course of action not allowed by the lease. Rather than feel bullied hire an attorney to deal with your landlord's selective compliance with the lease.

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  10. How much time can we win in court after a 30 day notice. Our landlord ask a lawyer to send us 30 day notice.

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Peter J Weinman
    3. Jayson Lutzky
    3 lawyer answers

    Dear Brooklyn Tenant: A landlord must use the court in an eviction case. The termination of tenancy notice is the prelude notice for the actual court proceeding known as a summary holdover proceeding. I sure hope you are not confusing a termination of tenancy notice with a letter from the landlord's lawyer. A letter cannot do anything to further a lawsuit; the law requires a proper termination of tenancy notice that is also served in the same manner as an actual lawsuit. In a nutshell,...

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