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John M. Crane
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John Crane’s Answers

49 total


  • How do I legally rent my apartment in my home (using short-term rental sites like booking.com/airbnb)? License/permit, tax, LLC?

    I own a home in Astoria, Queens which is my primary residence (as appears on my tax returns and deed), and I am considering possible short-term rental of my spare apartment. Basically, it's classified as a "Mother and Daughter" home, so in total i...

    John’s Answer

    You cannot operate a Bed and Breakfast or transient hotel without Building Department approval. You will probably need an architect to submit plans for approval. It will not be cheap and if not, you can be fined, and even charged with criminal violations. I used to work for the New York City Law Department in law school and remember prosecuting violators that operated their home in a manner that violated the law.

    As for the LLC, it is a great idea, but if it isn't done correctly, it could just be a complete waste of money.

    My best guess is that any good architect can tell you in a couple of hours whether or not your home can be legally transformed to achieve what you desire. So, it might not be that expensive to get a no answer. The yes answer will require building department and possibly planning/zoning board approvals.

    I hope this helps. I can also give you two good architects.

    Sincerely,

    John M Crane, Esq.

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  • How can I stop a developer from building next to my building and blocking my views

    I need some help. A developer is trying to build next to my building. I own a land marked building in downtown Manhattan. The new development will block my fresh air and light on one side of my building. My building is very old and I am afraid tha...

    John’s Answer

    First, check the zoning. Have they secured all necessary approvals? Fear of them damaging your building is not enough to stop construction. What about your neighbors? Can you get enough of them to object to the project as well? Can you demonstrate a valid ground for objection, such as environmental concerns, a use variance, or something else? If you have neighbors that agree, perhaps you can share the costs. At the least, you can ensure the project complies with all laws.

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  • I live in Queens NY I own a two family home and want to evict my crazy tenants how long will this process take

    I currently am renting to them without a lease they are an unmarried couple with four kids age ranging from 2 - 17 years of age what is the best way in going about this, as quick and painless as possible

    John’s Answer

    Run, don't walk, to a landlord/tenant attorney that actually does evictions. The rest of us hate them as much as you do! It will take 6-9 months from today as the judges in nyc see you as a wealthy person and the tenant as a starving person. It makes no difference if you have a mortgage, you are the wealthy bad landlord! Get an attorney today!

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  • Interested in becoming a Licensed Real Estate Broker in New York City. How do I protect my personal assets?

    Interested in becoming a Licensed Real Estate Broker in New York City. How do I protect my personal assets? It will just be me, not a company. Should I go Individual Name Broker or Trade Name Broker? Ideally I only want to do one set of tax return...

    John’s Answer

    Form an LLC as an inexpensive short answer. Additionally, have E&O insurance for at least $5 million if possible. A more in depth solution would involve transferring your personal assets into a trust, but if you have $5 million coverage, you can wait on the trust. As a real estate attorney for 18 years, you can never have too much insurance! If money is an issue have at least $2 million to start.

    Sincerely,

    John Crane
    www.johnmcranepc.com

    John Crane

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  • Joint Tenancy with right of survivorship

    My dad bought a house with his girlfriend. On the deed written next to his and his girlfriend's name is "as joint tenants with right of survivorship." My dad passed away. Is the deed valid? Is that all you need to do is write that phrase next t...

    John’s Answer

    If valid, his girlfriend now owns the home!

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  • I am buying a home in Bronx NY that was missing a CofO for a 2 family, which I am now in contract for. however, the title Co...

    just found a copy of the CofO, and it shows that is only a 1 family. The home was built in 1928. I am aware that the zoning in the area allows a single family to be converted to a 2 family home. Because of all this, the sellers attorney wrote this...

    John’s Answer

    Do not close until this is resolved. If you do and the building department says 1 family you lose!

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  • Housing

    I took my landlord to court because she refuses to fix my oven and deal with the mice so she got a violation to deal with the mice but he did not address the stove now she is taking me to holdover court what should my defense be her 30 day notice ...

    John’s Answer

    Saving money could be more expensive than proactive professional advice.

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  • I WAS ADVISED BY SOCIAL SERVICES AND ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES TO HAVE MY HUSBAND'S NAME REMOVED FROM THE DEED TO OUR HOUSE.

    WE HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FOR 3 YRS. BECAUSE I NEED THE HEALTH INS. FROM HIS LAST EMPLOYMENT. HE IS DRUNK AT ALL TIMES WHICH IS MAKING HIS DEMENTIA WORSE. I CAN'T AFFORD MUCH BECAUSE I AM LIVING ON SSD. PLEASE HELP! I TAKE CARE OF HIS MONEY AS H...

    John’s Answer

    And you may lose half the value of the home as Medicaid can look back five years!

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  • “My deceased husband and I are Tenants of the Entirety. Will that protect me against foreclosure.?

    “My husband and I are Tenants of the Entirety on our deed. In 2002 he wanted to get a Home Equity Loan. Both of us signed a CREDIT LINE MORTGAGE - only my husband signed the HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT OPEN-END AGREEMENT (Note). He passed away in 2...

    John’s Answer

    This is a prime example of why people should seek professional opinions and not free advice from "cousin Louie".

    If you needed surgery for a brain tumor would you speak to anyone but a top surgeon? Would you take advice on which procedure from your plumber? Yet nobody wants to pay to consult with an attorney before doing something that could cost them their home! You are in grave danger of losing your home. Run to a foreclosure defense attorney today!

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  • In NY do terms carry over from an expired lease to a verbal month to month lease?

    We rented our house in NY in 2013 with a 1 year lease. The tenant expressed interest in purchasing the house. We let the lease expire and she stayed paying every month but never signed a new lease. We have decided to put the house on the market ...

    John’s Answer

    Legally, she must permit access and you can commence a holdover proceeding and get a court order mandating she permit access.

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