Edward F S Deignan’s Answers

Edward F S Deignan

Brooklyn Landlord / Tenant Lawyer.

Contributor Level 7
  1. What are my legal rights?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Edward F S Deignan
    3. Robert A. Stumpf
    3 lawyer answers

    I agree with my colleague that the law is on your side and that you should obtain legal assistance. In this type of case, knowing that the law is on your side may not be enough unless you have the ability to prove your case in court. Getting building employees to admit that they knew about your dog can be difficult. In my experience, the building super will not willingly testify against his boss. Don't bother contacting the landlord ahead of time: if they really want to sue you, they will no...

    7 lawyers agreed with this answer

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  2. If a roommates moved into one of our extra guest rooms, instead of continuing to share a room, can we change our rent portions?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Edward F S Deignan
    2. Pamela Koslyn
    2 lawyer answers

    I agree that you and your roommates are free to apportion the rent however you see fit. Other common ways of apportioning rent include charging less due to proximity to noisy streets or elevators. I would like to add that your landlord expects to receive the full amount of the rent, regardless of any agreement among you.

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. Why would my landlords lawyer tell landlord to take before and after pictures of my rooms which were damaged by water

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Edward F S Deignan
    1 lawyer answer

    Your landlord is obligated to maintain the habitability (safe and liveable) of your apartment by NY Real Property Law Sec. 235-b. Find the court system explanation here: http://nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/housing/pdfs/warrantyofhabitability.pdf. This protection cannot be waived (turned off by you). Depending on the size of your building and whether it is subject to rent stabilization, other NYC and state laws may obligate the landlord to maintain additional parts of the building. You...

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  4. Are the landlord and the perspective tenant entitled to evict me (the prior tenant) as my oral lease ends?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Brian A. Stark
    2. Steven Warren Smollens
    3. Edward F S Deignan
    3 lawyer answers

    I agree with the earlier answer that you cannot be evicted without a warrant issued by a court (usually Housing Court). The "new tenant" has no right to try to evict you. In this case, only your landlord has that right. He would have to seek to evict your roommate at the same time, which does not sound like what he wants to do. Second, it is not clear whether you mean that you have an oral rental agreement with the landlord or that you and your roommate orally agreed that you would move out....

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  5. Do these sound like reasonable demands for a tenant for over 45 years to ask their landlord to fix/repair, I asked was refused

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Edward F S Deignan
    1 lawyer answer

    Your question presents many issues. I hope the following helps. NY Real Property Law Sec. 235-b requires a landlord to maintain a rented dwelling, including any common areas used by the tenant, so that it is "fit for human habitation and for the uses reasonably intended by the parties and that the occupants of such premises shall not be subjected to any conditions which would be dangerous, hazardous or detrimental to their life, health or safety." Some of the...

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  6. How can I find out what is considered a building code violation in NYC private homes

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Edward F S Deignan
    1 lawyer answer

    If your building has 3 or more apartments, you may determine whether it has any exisiting housing maintenance code violations by searching on the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) website. http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/home/home.shtml You may determine whether there are any Building Code violations, and learn whether permits were obtained or completed for work performed at the building, by searching at the NYC Dept. of Buildings website. http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/...

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  7. I am suing my Landlord for an illegal eviction. What do I need to do? How do I proceed?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Yefim Rubinov
    3. Robert A. Stumpf
    4. Edward F S Deignan
    4 lawyer answers

    In addition to the very good advice above, you can still seek to be restored (move back in) to your apartment by quickly going to Housing Court and starting an "illegal lockout" proceeding. Information on the process can be found here: http://nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/housing/lockouts.shtml. No attorney is needed for this kind of case, though it would be helpful to get advice on what kind of proof you will need and how to get access to your apartment to get your hands on the proof.

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  8. How to prove tenant was sub leasing?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Steven Warren Smollens
    2. Edward F S Deignan
    3. Robert A. Stumpf
    3 lawyer answers

    I agree with Mr. Smollens that obtaining an actual eviction for illegal subletting can be frustrated by a late "cure" (unless the tenant of record has died or moved away with no intent to return). Moreover, New York law allows a tenant who maintains the apartment as her primary residence to have a "roommate." Even if you have not seen the tenant for a few months, some temporary absences, such as schooling, temporary work assignment or caring for a sick relative, will be excused by a court....

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  9. I need a tenants ' rights lawyer.

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Edward F S Deignan
    2. Susan Karolena Crumiller
    3. Robert A. Stumpf
    4. Jennifer Anne Fitzgerald
    4 lawyer answers

    Your landlord's "rule" is unenforceable under New York law. Real Property Law 235-f, also known as the "Roommate Law") allows the tenant of record (you) to have a single roommate (and that roommate's spouse and children) without needing to notify the landlord before hand or ask its permission. This protection applies to your short term guest also. You must maintain the apartment as your primary residence while the roommate lives with you. You may be required to report a roommate's presence and...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  10. My tenant stopped paying rent due to the upstairs tenants making noise. Do they have a right to do so?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Edward F S Deignan
    2. Dan Reed Halper
    3. Brandy Ann Peeples
    3 lawyer answers

    I hope the following provides you with some guidance. Based upon the facts in your question, your tenant does not have a good case for withholding rent based on lack of "quiet enjoyment" or safety. "Quiet enjoyment" is usually understood to refer to the tenant's exclusive right to reside in that apartment, not about excessive sound. This does not sound like a safety issue either. New York landlords generally have no duty to insure safety or provide safety. You have made a reasonable...

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