Welcome to the Real Estate Law weblog. Here you'll find items pertaining to real estate from a lawyer's perspective.
Sun Aug 27, 2006
NYC Coop Sales Price Now Public InformationIt's an old axiom that, despite increasing numbers of condos, coops still account for around 80% of NYC's apartment inventory.
Yet, until recently, the sales figures were shrowded in mystery. No more. A recently passed law allows access to these figures through use of the City's ACRIS system. While the link may not be up for long, you can find a pdf guide to how the system works at NYC.gov/html/dof/html/jump/acris.shtm.
Sun Nov 13, 2005
Coops Must Take Care In Negotiating Vendor ContractsThis week's Sunday Times has an article emphasizing what real estate lawyers have known for years, that coops are often less careful than they should be in negotiating vendor contracts.
The article, found at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/13/realestate/13home.html, discusses a recent case where a laundry room contract clause, giving the vendor a right to match a competing bid, even when there wasn't one, and to continue providing services until there was, constituted an unreasonable restraint, and was invalidated.
While the case was interesting, by itself, its real value is as a wake up call to coops who are required to negotiate vendor contracts of different kinds as well.
Since coop boards are routinely in the need of outside vendors and habitually take a great deal of time in selecting them, it behooves them to allow their counsel the latitude to make sure they are not locked into a deal which may look like the best option at first, but may prove not to work out as hoped.
As the Times article points out, the devil is not only in the vendor selection process, but in the contract details as well.
Wed Oct 26, 2005
Appellate Court Nixes Condo Unit Owner Liability for Common Area ClaimsIn a decision to be published next week in the case of Pekelnaya v. Allyn, the Appellate Division of NY's First Department will hold that individual condominium unit owners cannot be held liable for claims based upon traditional condominium board responsibilities simply because condo unit ownership includes record ownership of a small percentage interest in the building's common elements.
Rejecting a personal injury plaintiff's claim that unit owners exercise control over common elements, simply due to their ownership interest, the Court held that
"The failure of the Legislature to provide for liability in the absence of control by condominium unit owners over the maintenance and repair of the common elements precludes the courts from imposing responsibility by implication,"
The decision will be published on Monday and this post will be supplemented then.
Wed Sep 07, 2005
A new form of Coop DiscriminationWhile the official decision will be published shortly, Supreme Court Justice Emily Jane Goodman held in Latoni v. Sherman Square , that a Coop Board that evaluated and rejected an unmarried couple applicant's financials differently than they would have if they were married, may have practiced unlawful discrimination.
In the case, one of the two unmarried applicants, who nevertheless sought to purchase the apartment jointly, would have financially qualified, but the other, evaluated separately, did not. Based upon this, the Coop refused to allow joint purchase of the stock and lease, even though, had the couple been married, the financial adequacy of one of them would have been enough.
More after the decision comes out later this week. Stay tuned......
Tue May 31, 2005
The Coming Condo AvalancheThis week's Crain's New York has an article about the mounting wave of apartment building operators selling out to converters to make up for several years of flat or declining operating income.
But these units would compete with thousands of new condo units coming online due to other conversions and newly developed condos as well.
Sun May 22, 2005
Condo FeverLow interest rates are one thing. But what can we say when traditional apartment building owners see their future as so bleak, due to sqeezed margins and competition from easy entry into home ownership, that they think it's better to sell out to converters than struggle to maintain an acceptable level of cash flow as operators. Learn more in this article from the NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/18/business/18condo.html?pagewanted=all
Tue Apr 26, 2005
Rezoning Battle in Brooklyn - Who Gets the River View?There is a battle going on in Brooklyn, with Mayor Bloomberg, the city council, developers, affordable housing advocates, environmentalists and architechts all trying to be heard about rezoning the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods of Brooklyn, New York. Under a Bloomberg plan now before the city council, 175 blocks would be freed up for new uses.
The plan allocates what used to be 100 acres of abandoned industrial buildings and warehouses blocking the view of the East River for construction of high rise apartments and parks. The view is spectacular, a panoramic picture of Manhattan like you see in movies.
Critics say too much is being handed over under the plan to a handful of developers for construction of luxury high-rises and not enough to affordable housing. Land values in the Greenpoint section are reportedly sky rocketing. The council will vote on the plan in early May.
Sat Dec 11, 2004
New TP-584 Forms AvailableThe New York State Department of Finance has posted to its WEB site a November 2004 revision to TP-584. A copy of new TP-584 and the November 2004 revision to the Instructions for Form TP-584 (TP-584-I) are on the Department's WEB site at
Form TP-584's Schedule D, the "Certification of exemption from the payment of estimated personal income tax", was amended to include references to the transfer of a cooperative unit and to Form IT-2664, the "Nonresident Cooperative Unit Estimated Income Tax Payment Form". The revised Instructions provide information regarding Schedule D, Form IT-2664, and Form IT-2663, the "Nonresident Real Property Estimated Income Tax Payment Form". These changes reflect the amendment of Tax Law 631 effective November 18, 2004 to require the payment of income tax on the gain, if any, realized by the non-resident transferor of a cooperative unit that is not the transferor's principal residence.
Either the new, November 2004 Form TP-584 or the October 2003 version of Form TP-584 can be used for transfers other than cooperative units. (The New York Register's ACRIS system is still using the October 2003 form). The State Tax Commission advises, however, that the November 2004 form should be used for submissions on cooperative unit transfers to the State.
Mon Nov 29, 2004
No-Fee Apartments the Latest NYC Trend - Pros and ConsInman News reports that no-fee apartment listings are the latest craze in NYC real estate, which means that for once, the Big Apple is playing catch-up instead of leading a trend. Most other cities in the country have apartment listings by landlords, so that apartment hunters can apartment hunt without needing a broker. But in New York City, until recently, apartment rental listings were solidly controlled by real estate brokers. In the last few years, that has now changed dramatically, with no-fee apartment listings taking the city by storm.
Naturally, being NYC, there are some bait-and-switch hustles to watch out for, with supposed no fee listings ending up costing the consumer fees after all, which the article details, but in general, the housing market has been given a boost by the trend and even top brokerages now use no-fee listings, in some cases accepting part of their fee from the landlord and the other from consumers. Apartment hunters love the idea of cutting out the middleman, but the article points out some locate better deals more quickly by using a broker.
http://www.inman.com/hstory.aspx?ID=43816 [sub req'd]
Mon Nov 01, 2004
Tax Info If You Sold or Will Sell Shares in a Coop in 2004If you are a nonresident of New York State but sold or will sell shares in a NY cooperative this year, there is new legislation targeting you that affects your taxes, because it requires you, as well as estates, and nonresident trusts to include in NY income any gain from certain sales, conveyances and other dispositions of shares in stock in a coop. Your gain is to be included in your NY source income if the gain is: included in federal adjusted gross income; is in connection with the grant or transfer of a proprietary leasehold in a NY property; and it occured any time after January 1, 2004.
If you sell your shares on or after November 18, 2004, you must pay NY estimated income tax on the gain within 15 days of the sale or transfer, unless you qualify for an exemption. If you sold prior to the November date or qualify for the exemption, you may have to adjust your September 14, 2004 or January 15, 2005 estimated tax payment or begin making estimated income tax payments on those dates.
Thanks to the people at Choice Abstract for providing more information, which may be found at:
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