Only tenants have certain rights in unlivable unit

After Sandy struck, residents of 88 Greenwich St. in the Financial District originally were told it would be four months before they could go home.

There is a section of property law that declares tenants’ right to live in conditions not dangerous, hazardous or detrimental to their life, health or safety.

Under the “warranty of habitability,” tenants have the right to a livable, safe and sanitary apartment.

Under the warranty — in other words, guarantee — a unit must provide heat or hot water on a regular basis.  Other issues include, leaks, mold, broken plumbing, elevator service in high-rise building and insect infestation.

It is up to the landlord to remediate conditions that make a rental unit unlivable, no matter the cause.  If a landlord fails to act, the warranty of habitability provides tenants with the opportunity to obtain financial relief in one of three ways. Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: ‘Insane’ market, rising prices, pronounced seasonality, surging sales, wasted electricity, 65,000-acre Quebec spread. . . more!

Next Weekly Roundup April 5

Bidding environment now ‘absolutely insane’

Contract activity soars above prior years, thereby confirming both item above and my Wednesday post

Prices soar 11 percent from January 2012

Prior to usual seasonal increase, February rents in Manhattan Continue reading

Brokers breaking law could face severe penalties

When I wrote about proposed new advertising rules for real estate brokers, I was unable to find specific penalties.

Now Whitney A. Clark of the Department of State has enlightened me with a response to my search for answers, and the good news is that virtually all violations of New York Real Property Law can produce the same costly punishments. Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Most important news since before the holidays, including strong NYC quarterly and U.S. monthly housing reports

Sales surge in fourth quarter as inventory shrinks to a 12-year low

Rental market appears to be shifting into slower gear

What makes one apartment worth more than another?

Surprise! Times says co-op approval process is ‘formidable’

Prices shoot up in gentrified Brooklyn

Permits to build new developments growing again, but apartment supply won’t meet demand

Her boots were made for speeding

And his, made for dancing, waltz into L.A. condo

Broadcaster trades UWS strollers for trends by purchasing $1.84 million penthouse off the island

Shadow inventory of existing homes drops 12 percent during last year

Number of signed contracts attains Continue reading

Two suburban houses attract winning bids, barely

Rear view of house on Long Island that received highest bid of just over $1 million at an auction on Sunday.   (Source: Sheldon Good & Co.)

Despite strong early interest, two distinctive suburban properties in separate auctions suffered little competition among bidders on Sunday.

Only two of four registered bidders raised their hands in the auction of a 3,988-sf residence designed by architect Norman Jaffe in the Laurel Hollow village of Oyster Bay on Long Island’s North Shore

At the Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side, the house was gaveled down after receiving a mere three bids — a $1 million minimum opener, then $1.010 million and finally Continue reading

State to tighten advertising rules for real estate

Few buyers and sellers of residential real estate believe everything in advertisements placed by brokers and agents.

Neither does New York’s Department of State (DOS), which is proposing to implement new rules as a consumer protection to replace its informal advertising guidelines.  In a notice about the change published on Oct. 24, it said:

After consulting with the New York State Board of Real Estate, however, it was determined that enforceable regulations were required in order to adequate protect the public from dishonest and misleading advertising practices.

Covered by the rule is Continue reading

Thanks for sending that gift card, but. . .

How should I handle the gratitude another broker expressed to me not long ago.

I had referred to him a man who wanted to rent an apartment in Manhattan in the range of $4,000 a month.  It wasn’t the first such referral I had made to “Bruce,” but it was the first successful one.

There arrived in my mail a nice thank-you greeting card along with a $200 gift card for use in several restaurants.

The problem is Continue reading