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Why people need a real estate attorney?
Whether you are a seller or a buyer, contractor or developer, landlord or tenant, employing an experienced real estate attorney safeguards your interests, and may save you money and nerves to avoid property disputes and potential litigation in the future. Attorneys at Sharifov & Associates, PLLC will negotiate on your behalf to protect you at best. Our attorneys handle:
- Leasing and subleasing of office, retail and residential properties;
- Sale and purchase of houses and condos;
- Negotiating various real estate agreements;
- Drafting and reviewing purchase and sales agreements;
- Preparing and negotiating partnership and project management agreements;
- Drafting powers of attorney, good guy guarantees, and other legal documents.
COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL LEASES
Before signing either residential or commercial Lease, any prospective Tenant should research and inspect the subject premises and carefully review all clauses of the proposed Lease agreement. Experienced attorney’s help in reviewing the Lease and negotiating it between the parties, may be invaluable, and may save thousands of dollars in litigation costs should the dispute arise in the future.
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In developing an exit strategy, Tenant should evaluate its needs and consider lease terms that will limit Tenant’s liability should the Tenant will have to leave before the expiration of the lease. Particularly with a commercial lease, it may be hard to predict whether the business will be successful or not, and it is essential to allow for an early exit on the conditions acceptable by both parties. On the other side, the Landlord should protect its own interests in the subject property and ensure that the Tenant will stay and be responsible for at least the initial period of the lease. Both landlord and tenant should negotiate mutually acceptable notice time in case of early termination as well as potential penalties.
Another essential term of the lease is the liabilities of tenant and landlord. Both parties should have a clear understanding of who is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of premises, equipment, and appliances. Also, the lease should outline which party is responsible for utilities and real estate taxes. Sometimes, in a commercial lease, an increase in property taxes over the initial base amount when the lease is executed is paid by the Tenant, in the proportion of Tenant’s share of occupied premises to the entire square footage of the property or building.
Yet another important clause of both commercial and residential lease is the requirement for Tenant to maintain adequate liability and property damage insurance limits and name the Landlord as an additional insured. It is essential to incorporate House Rules, Contractors rules, By-Laws of condominium, or Coop as the case may be, as well as local zoning laws and a municipal ordinance in any lease, by reference or explicitly. The landlord should make sure its interest in the subject property is protected and he is indemnified by the tenant from the liability arising from the tenant’s breach of local laws or regulation, while the tenant must clearly understand the limitation and exposure he is facing and the extent of obligation he is undertaking by entering the lease.
If the proposed commercial lease is for a professional office, such as medical or physical therapy office, it is absolutely essential to make sure that the lease specifically allows and does not in any way restrict this particular professional use. On another hand, prospective tenants may negotiate with the landlord to further use restrictions of future tenants on the same property to avoid competition. All of the above clauses are subject to negotiation, and it may be very helpful for either party to retain the services of the experienced attorney to conduct such negotiations.
Both parties should clearly understand what their legal remedies are in case of default by another party. Such terms, as court and attorney’s fees, late payments, and interest may be part of such remedies.
Finally, there is no such thing as a standard lease, despite real estate brokers’ statements to the contrary. If the party is not willing to negotiate or if the particular clause is not acceptable to a party, it is better to cancel the deal, than to enter the lease without careful review, and later face future issues or litigation.
PURCHASE & SALE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY. CLOSINGS.
If you plan to sell or buy a property in NY, Attorneys at our firm will assist in ensuring that your interests are protected at best. Prior to signing a contract, you would have to inspect the property to make sure you are aware of its conditions.
In addition, we will make sure that your mortgage documents (if any) are in order, such as a mortgage commitment letter, good faith estimates of closing costs, escrows, and proper calculation of lender's fees. We will review your title report and check to see if there is a need to work on the resolution of any issues (if any), perhaps liens on the property. In addition, we would have to review and prepare all the closing documents, check a deed, calculate how much money is owed to the seller/buyer on the day and time of the closing, and make sure that all payments are made accordingly.
Please keep in mind that selling or buying a property in various counties of New York State may have its nuances which you must be aware of. In addition, depending on whether you buying/selling a house or condo or a coop or townhouse has its implications that you have to deal with. In summary, we will put ourselves in your shoes as if it is we, who are purchasing or selling the property and what we would have done to make sure we are protected the most. For further information, please contact our firm.
LANDLORD AND TENANT
Our firm represents both commercial and residential landlords and tenants. It is crucial to contact an attorney before a commercial or residential lease is signed. Once you negotiate terms of your lease such as rent, security deposit, duration of the lease, cancellation clause, guarantee clause, etc, please contact our firm so we can review the proposed lease to make sure your interests are protected.
If you are a Landlord whose Tenant stopped paying rent or your Tenant’s lease has expired and you no longer want to renew it but your Tenant is still in possession of your premises, please contact our office to discuss what your next step should be.
Please note that before serving your Tenant with a Non-Payment or Holdover petition, you must give your tenant notice and a rent demand (in case of non-payment). For further information, please contact our firm.
Sometimes, landlords, especially in a residential property, get themselves in trouble, or even arrested and criminally charged when they use self-help in evicting their non-paying tenants. New York State and especially New York City have strict laws protecting tenants, even non-paying tenants in an illegal apartment. If you, as a landlord, simply change the locks on the residence and lock your non-paying tenants out of the apartment in New York City, the police may arrest you and give you Summons or Desk Appearance Ticket in Criminal Court for illegal eviction. It is essential to follow the law and protect your interests.
Even if the residential tenant does not have a current Lease agreement, simply living in a residence for over 30 days creates a month-to-month tenancy in New York. The landlord must serve 30 days Termination Notice on the tenant, get an Affidavit of service from the person who served such Notice, and only after the Tenant fails to move out of the residence upon the expiration of such notice, Landlord can file an eviction petition in a Housing part of the civil court.
On another hand, the Tenant should not ignore such notices and must answer the petition if such as filed in a Housing court. An experienced attorney can help protect the tenant’s rights and possibly reach a settlement, or at least afford enough time for the tenant’s family to find a new place to live.
If you find yourself as a landlord or tenant in need of legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney, at least for a consultation, so you do not make costly mistakes and save time and money in the future.
CONDOMINIUM, COOPERATIVE APARTMENT
Condominium – System of separate ownership of individual units in the multiple-unit building. A single real estate property parcel with all the unit owners having a right in common to use the common elements with separate ownership confined to the individual units which are serially designated. Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Ed.
Cooperative apartment – Dwelling unit in a multi-dwelling complex in which each owner has an interest in the entire complex and a lease of his own apartment, though he does not own his apartment as in the case of a condominium. Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Ed.
If you plan to buy an apartment in New York City, you would have to decide between buying a condominium (condo) or a cooperative apartment (co-op). A coop apt would be cheaper to buy than a condo unit. However, its ownership has more restrictions than condo apt.
Dealing with Condo Boards much easier than dealing with Coop Boards, especially when it comes to the initial application as well as getting tenants approved by the board if you decide to lease it. In addition, when you own a condo – you actually own it. However, if you purchase a co-op, you own shares of a corporation that owns the building. Purchasing a condo is very similar to buying a house since you legally own your apartment and will receive a deed to it.
If you don’t know what type of apartment to purchase, please contact our firm for a detailed discussion of the Pro and Cons of each type of property as it applies to your specific situation.
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT, INVESTMENT AND ACQUISITION CONSULTING; INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS
If you plan to purchase vacant land, commercial, income-producing property, shopping center or invest in any other type of real estate, our team will assist you in selecting a team of professionals to conduct a due diligence study to determine if you are on the right track. We will assist and manage for you a team of architects, engineers, surveyors, planners, builders, designers, and other professionals whose assistance is imperative before the decision is made. We will negotiate and draft employment agreements on your behalf to protect your interests in the deal.
For further information, please contact our firm at 718-368-2800.
If you need assistance with an international project in another country, we can utilize our contacts there and assist you as well. Contact our office at 718-368-2800 or email SharifovR@LawfirmSR.com for your specific needs.