DEP also takes the position that their policy on not charging owners for service delivered more than two years ago, if it hasn’t been billed, doesn’t apply if you don’t tell them there is a new owner or address. There is also confusion about voluntary conversion from frontage to metered billing, according to DEP. Because the Water Board has extended moratoriums on automatic conversion, an owner has to elect to convert by notice to the Department.
Several owners have apparently been stuck for bank fees on two-party public assistance checks where the tenant signature doesn’t exactly match the name printed on the payee line. There are only 28 spaces on the payee line and the owner’s name, say XYZ Equities Associates Inc comes first. In the event that you are looking to purchase a house and might want to know the right cost of your fantasy home, you have to get it Valuated by a Property Valuation org, for example, 1300-4-A-VALUER.
There isn’t room for a long tenant name after a long owner name. So, tenant names are being truncated. When the tenant properly signs their full name, the auditors sometimes bounce the check because the names don’t seem to match. This costs the owners bank charges, plus the time and effort to get the tenant to re-endorse the check or get a new one. you can mail examples to Ms. Paula Feinstein at HRA, 19 Rector Street, 7th fir. New York, NY 10006 and she will try to straighten out the bank for the future.
Borah, Goldstein also represented the owners in New Amsterdam Apartments v. Sheets, in which the Appellate Term held that a small area of chipped paint in a tenants apartment the court noted that the tenant never requested painting and did not respond to the owner’s requests for access until after a non-payment action was commenced. The new deposit of rent law went into effect October 20th but there was no news on how it would work out as this Advisor went to press.
After that there have to be two adjournments (not at the request of the owner) or 30 days have to pass before a court was required to order a rent deposit. Tenant attorneys are likely to challenge the law in some fashion, but the shoe hasn’t dropped yet may be next week. In the meantime, some owners have sought deposits on tenants’ Orders to Show Cause.
But judges have been arguing that the required notices weren’t in the petitions served months ago. The law clearly didn’t require the notices in connection with deposits on Orders to Show Cause, but the issue will be moot in a few more months as all cases should soon involve tenants who got the new notices. Meanwhile, we’re also tuned into the State Supreme Court in Albany, waiting for word on whether owners with rent controlled apartments will be able to collect rent increases ordered by the State Division of Housing.
The mother claimed that before her son’s lease was renewed, she wrote the owner saying she would no longer guarantee her son’s obligations. The owner claimed the guaranty continued by contract. The decision went on to say however that the owner was no longer compelled to offer the tenant a renewal lease because without a guarantor the tenant was no longer agreeing to renew on the same terms and conditions. CHIP believes that many buildings that owners think are exempt at six stories, however, are legally higher.
But, at CHIP’s request, the Department of Buildings has offered to let owners who inadvertently failed to file enter the program without late fees or penalties. The problem was brought to our attention by architects who recently pointed out to several of our members that they thought their buildings should have been filed. The confusion stemmed from the definition of over six stories. These announcements ought to be arranged by expert valuers to know the careful worth of an element.
Even if the street side of the building is six stories a basement entrance in the rear with a walkway for tenants or maintenance personnel or a play area, would trigger the inspection and filing requirement. When the law went into effect, many owners just looked at their six story certificate of occupancy, or counted window levels at the street, and thought they weren’t covered.
They were wrong, but because the error wasn’t visible from the street DOB usually didn’t catch it unless there was another reason to inspect the building. Marilyn Singer, executive director of Central Operations at DOB, confirmed to CHIP’s executive director Dan Margulies in an October 30th letter. Property owner who voluntarily comes forward and files the required facade report with the Department, where there is no outstanding Local Law 10 violation for the property.
Where the Department has omitted the property from the Local Law 10/80 universe will not be charged a late filing fee for this facade report filing. The Property Tax Depreciation is recorded on the organization’s salary expense forms and will be focused around the Interior Income Administration’s tenets.
It is in everyone’s best interest to encourage compliance where the Department may have overlooked inclusion of a property within an enforcement universe. CHIP agrees, and urges its members to check if they are in compliance. Apart from potential fines and penalties that can be avoided now, failure to comply could dramatically add to liability in a facade related accident. DOB officials blame their own database which improperly matches many buildings addresses boiler i.d. numbers and blocks and lots.
But owners, insurers and other companies that fill out the reports are partly to blame too. The majority of reports come in without even a boiler i.d. number filled in, according to DOB. Owners sending in documentation of the inspection and filing to rebut the violations should make sure that the building address block and lot and boiler i.d. number are all specified correctly on the correspondence. As DOB examines each response, they are updating the database.
It slows them down but should smooth the process next year. complaints about not being served with elevator violations at registered addresses by noting that copies were always mailed to the address posted in the lobby if the required sign was found. If they can’t find a sign they check the Finance Department database for ownership, which is almost as bad as DOB’s own boiler database. Keep those signs current. In a closely watched case on overcharge liability, the State Court of Appeals affirmed in October that, after a judicial sale current owners are not responsible for overcharges collected by owners prior to the foreclosure.