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Robert Roth’s Answers

18 total


  • Commerical landlord tenant dispute, tenant's rights under CA law against bathroom lockout

    I work in a large retail sales building that has a few other businesses. Our landlord has allowed two of the businesses to put a lock on the public bathroom so now our customers can not use it. Is this legal?

    Robert’s Answer

    Even though I specialize in retail leasing, I cannot answer this question without seeing the lease.

    Lawyers cannot interpret documents we cannot read.

    Take the lease to a California lawyer with the needed expertise.

    See question 
  • NY law on adverse possession, NY real estate law adverse possession

    My sister has lived in a home owned by her in-laws for the past 23 years. Her in-laws live next door. She has maintained the home and property and paid $50k for an addition on the house about 10 years ago. Her husband has asked for a divorce. ...

    Robert’s Answer

    Adverse possession?

    It seems like your sister was a tenant of her in-laws, hardly grounds for an adverse possession claim.

    Besides that, here are a few questions:

    1. To whom were the real estate tax bills sent by the Department of Finance?

    2. Does there exist any writing between the owners and your sister with respect to her "residency" on the property?

    3. Did they ever ask her to leave and if so, did she refuse?

    4. Is there (or was there in the past) a mortgage on the property? If so, who paid it?

    While this is not a substitute for an in-person consultation, I have to tell you that my impression is that this is a weak claim.

    See question 
  • Lawyer with Mental Illness

    Should a lawyer with mental illness be allowed to practice Law? after being fired by every client and kicked out of 2 organizations, Should she be allowed to advertize on this site? so she can further hurt people??

    Robert’s Answer

    The question of whether or not a New York attorney should be allowed to continue to practice law is determined by the Grievance Committees of each of the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court. Information on the Grievance Committee for your area (Nassau and Suffolk County) is available at the link below.

    See question 
  • Commercial landlord not fixing roof

    We own a retail clothing business and lease space on the basement level of a two story commercial building. Over time the ceiling tiles have become stained and discolored and some have started to bow out from the ceiling. We are concerned that our...

    Robert’s Answer

    First question: WHY are the tiles getting damaged?

    Next question: Whose responsibility is it, the landlord or the tenant above?

    You can answer the first one and then a lawyer can read your lease and help you with the second one.

    Another thing you can do is see if any insurance you have covers this.

    See question 
  • Messy front yard

    Are there any laws against trailers/mobile homes being parked in front of houses?

    Robert’s Answer

    In order to answer this question, it is necessary to know the exact location of the property. There could be a state law, a local ordinance or even a homeowners' association covenant applicable to the property.

    See a local lawyer.

    See question 
  • E-mail offers

    Is an email offer to extend a rental agreement legally binding?

    Robert’s Answer

    It is impossible for a lawyer to interpret any legal document--including an e-mail--without reading it.

    Many careful attorneys make sure that offers can only be accepted by handwritten signature on a separate document but what is in your offer, only you know.

    See question 
  • Rodent abatement

    My apartment in NY city has rats. Are rats the landlord's responsibility?

    Robert’s Answer

    A more practical question might be "how can I get rid of the rats?"

    Report the condition to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene either by calling 311 or using the link below.

    After they investigate, they will give you more information.

    See question 
  • Sublet to a relative

    My brother is going to move in with me. Do I need to give formal notice to my landlord?

    Robert’s Answer

    There are two questions that need answers and for them you will need an attorney in your state:

    1. Is there a lease provision applicable to this situation?

    2. Is there a state or local statute (commonly called a "roommate law") that pertains to your situation?

    Good luck.

    See question