Commercial and Residential Landlord Tenant

Landlord-Tenant matters can be extremely stressful and time consuming.  At the Law Office of Robert Santoriella, P.C. we understand this and that is why we strive to make the experience as smooth and pain free as possible.  We are well acquainted with the relevant laws for clients on both sides of any Landlord Tenant matter.  We have found that an understanding of the issues from both a landlord and tenant’s perspective places us in a unique position to be able to handle a client’s needs in a smooth and economic manner.

At the Law Office of Robert P. Santoriella, P.C., we represent clients in Non-Payment Eviction Proceedings, Holdover Eviction Proceedings, DHCR Representation, Administrative Hearings, Article 78 Administrative Appeals, Buyouts, etc.

Department of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR)

http://www.nyshcr.org/

Non-Payment Eviction Proceedings – In non-payment proceedings, a landlord claims that it has the right to evict its tenant due to non-payment of rent. There are numerous defenses to such claims by the landlord. Tenants have the right to withhold their rent if in fact they have not received required services such as security, heat, water, extermination, etc., because these constitute a breach of the landlord’s warranty of habitability. The tenant may counterclaim against the landlord based on the landlord’s breach of its warrant of habitability, as well as demand repairs.

If a settlement can’t be reached, a trial will be held before a judge. The trial is conducted in a formal manner and all evidentiary rules apply. At trial, the judge will review all of the evidence presented by both sides. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will issue a judgment. In determining the amount of the judgment, the judge will offset the amount of rent proven to be due against the defenses and counterclaims of the tenant to the payment of such rent.

After a judgment is issued, the tenant has the right to satisfy the judgment within five (5) days. Many tenants receive a judgment, and are not aware of the fact that they have a five (5) day period to satisfy the judgment so as to prevent their eviction. This is a very important point. A judgment in a non-payment proceeding does not necessarily result in the tenant losing his home. As long as the tenant pays the judgment amount within five (5) days, the tenant will not be evicted.

Holdover Eviction Proceedings – In a holdover proceeding, a landlord is suing a tenant for eviction based on the allegation that the tenant has violated a substantial obligation of his lease or tenancy, i.e. subleasing, having a pet, noise, damaging the apartment conducting a business, etc. In all holdover proceedings (other than nuisance) that require a trial in which the landlord claims a violation of tenancy, the tenant has a ten (10) day cure period to rectify the alleged lease violation following the trial, even after a judgment is entered.

It is imperative that all tenants be aware of the fact that a judgment of possession after a trial does not necessarily result in the loss of the tenant’s home. As long as the tenant cures the alleged breach within ten (10) days after a judgment is issued against him he will not be evicted and will be allowed to remain in possession of his home.

The above mentioned cure periods do not apply to owner-occupancy, non-primary residence, nuisance and termination of non-regulated tenancies holdover proceedings.

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Partition Actions

The Law Office of Robert Santoriella, P.C., is well versed in all facets of both prosecuting and defending actions in which a party with an interest in a real property wishes to divide up a concurrent estate into separate portions representing the proportionate interest of the tenants.

“A person holding and in possession of real property as joint tenant or tenant in common, in which he [or she] has an estate of inheritance, or for life, or for years, may maintain an action for the partition of the property, and for a sale if it appears that a partition cannot be made without great prejudice to the owners” (RPAPL 901[1]). The right to partition is not absolute, however, and while a tenant in common has the right to maintain an action for partition pursuant to RPAPL 901, the remedy is always subject to the equities between the parties (see **451 Graffeo v. Paciello, 46 A.D.3d 613, 614, 848 N.Y.S.2d 264; Ripp v. Ripp, 38 A.D.2d 65, 68-69, 327 N.Y.S.2d 465).

 

Who can obtain a partition of real property is governed by N.Y. Real Prop. Acts. Law §901, which provides, in relevant part:

  1. A person holding and in possession of real property as joint tenant or tenant in common, in which he has an estate of inheritance, or for life, or for years, may maintain an action for the partition of the property, and for a sale if it appears that a partition cannot be made without great prejudice to the owners.
  2. A person holding a future estate as defined in sections forty, forty-a or forty-b of the real property law or a reversion as joint tenant or tenant in common may maintain an action for the partition of the real property to which it attaches, according to his respective share, subject to the interest of the person holding the particular estate, but no sale of the premises in such an action shall be made except with the consent in writing, to be acknowledged or proved and certified in like manner as a deed to be recorded, of the person owning and holding such particular estate. If partition or sale cannot be made without great prejudice to the owners, the complaint shall be dismissed; dismissal shall not affect the right of any party to bring a new action after the determination of such particular estate.
  3. A person entitled as a joint tenant or a tenant in common by reason of his being an heir of a person who died holding and in possession of real property, may maintain an action for partition, whether he is in or out of possession, notwithstanding an apparent devise to another by the decedent, and possession under such a devise. The plaintiff shall establish that the apparent devise is void.
  4. In the event the estate of a decedent is the owner of an estate in common in real property, the executor or administrator may bring a partition action or intervene in a pending partition action on behalf of the estate if, upon application duly made, the surrogate approve

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