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Co-op & Condo Case Watch: Timing Is Everything

Co-op & Condo Case Watch: Timing Is Everything

May 24, 2022 2 min read

The Bakers owned a penthouse apartment at 16 Sutton Place, which included the exclusive use of a terrace that adjoined their apartment. In May 2019, the Board proposed a proprietary lease amendment that reallocated responsibility for maintenance, repair and replacement of the private terraces, and at the annual meeting on May 30, two-thirds of the shareholders consented to this change. In July 2019 the Board notified the shareholders of the new amendments. Local Law 11 façade work was scheduled to begin in April 2020, and in a March 9 letter the co-op notified the Bakers that their share of the cost of the work would be $23,991.53, to be invoiced in three equal installments.
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Group of Owners, Brokers Settle Source-of-Income Discrimination Lawsuit

Group of Owners, Brokers Settle Source-of-Income Discrimination Lawsuit

May 20, 2022 3 min read

Twenty-three owners and apartment brokers recently agreed to enact reforms to resolve a lawsuit alleging they routinely turned away prospective tenants seeking to use federal vouchers to supplement their rent. Originally filed in March 2022, the lawsuit claimed that 88 owners and brokers in the city had repeatedly rejected tenants with Section 8 vouchers in possible violation of state and local housing laws.
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[Q&A] Is It Okay to Show Limited Availability of Units Online?

[Q&A] Is It Okay to Show Limited Availability of Units Online?

May 18, 2022 2 min read

Q&A: Is there a potential fair housing problem with advertising online that we have, say, two available units at our property, when in fact we have, say, five units? If someone comes to the property, we will show all five units. But we want to show online a more limited supply to create a sense of urgency and demand. Also, some units may be under renovation and we’re not exactly sure when they’ll be available.

Put another way, can we block available units from being displayed online, when we will show these units to people who come to the property in person?

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Section 8 Owner Enters into a Racial Equity Agreement with HUD

Section 8 Owner Enters into a Racial Equity Agreement with HUD

May 17, 2022 2 min read

HUD recently announced that it has entered into a Voluntary Compliance Agreement with a New York City-based site. The site provides affordable subsidized units though the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Program and the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program.

The agreement arose from a compliance review that was conducted by HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Updated Fannie, Freddie Plans Include More LIHTC Investment

Updated Fannie, Freddie Plans Include More LIHTC Investment

May 17, 2022 2 min read

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently published Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Underserved Market Plans for 2022–2024. The plans outline how each firm intends to meet its obligations under FHFA’s Enterprise Duty-to-Serve Rule.

The context: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac initially submitted their 2022–24 plans in May 2021, but FHFA rejected both plans in October, saying they did not sufficiently support affordable housing activities. The Duty-to-Serve program requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to facilitate a secondary market for mortgages on housing for very low-, low-, and moderate-income families in: Manufactured Housing, Affordable Housing Preservation, and Rural Housing.

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DOB Announces Return of Free, No-Penalty Inspection Programs

DOB Announces Return of Free, No-Penalty Inspection Programs

May 06, 2022 2 min read

On April 27, the DOB announced the return of two programs that will help building owners ensure the safety of their buildings without financial penalties. The two citywide initiatives — the No-Penalty Business Accessory Sign Inspection Program and the No-Penalty Deck and Retaining Wall Inspection Program — will give property owners throughout the five boroughs assurance about the condition of their properties, while providing valuable guidance on proper maintenance.
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Letting a Tenant Buy Its Way Out of a Lease

Letting a Tenant Buy Its Way Out of a Lease

May 04, 2022 1 min read

The pandemic has illustrated the need for landlords and tenants to be flexible and work together to find solutions to leases that have become disadvantageous. One approach is to enter into a buy-out agreement allowing the tenant to end the lease early in exchange for an agreed-to sum of money.

The central issue in buy-out negotiations is how much the tenant should pay for the right to end the lease before the term expires. The stronger the market, the lower the buy-out price. Explanation: It’s easier to replace a tenant, often at a higher rent, when the market is strong. Replacing tenants is more challenging in a soft market.

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Mayor’s Executive Order Strengthens Fire Safety Enforcement, Education

Mayor’s Executive Order Strengthens Fire Safety Enforcement, Education

May 04, 2022 2 min read

New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently signed Executive Order 12 to strengthen fire safety enforcement and outreach in the aftermath of the tragic Twin Parks apartment fire in January. The executive order will increase coordination between Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) inspectors to identify safety violations earlier and increase fire safety compliance. FDNY and HPD will also launch a broad campaign to educate New Yorkers on fire safety.
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Senior Housing Provider Accused of Discriminating Against Transgender Applicant

Senior Housing Provider Accused of Discriminating Against Transgender Applicant

May 04, 2022 2 min read

In March, the Maine Human Rights Commission found evidence that an assisted living provider violated state nondiscrimination protections when it denied an applicant a room because she is a transgender woman.

The commission’s investigation began last fall, after the LGBTQ legal advocacy organization GLAD filed a discrimination complaint with the commission on behalf of a 78-year-old woman, claiming that she was denied a room by a Maine assisted living facility because she is transgender.

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Solar for All

HUD Supports D.C.’s “Solar for All” Program

May 04, 2022 2 min read

HUD recently announced its support for Washington, D.C.’s “Solar for All” program to ensure that residents of HUD-assisted properties in the District are able to access the program without experiencing an increase in their housing costs. 
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Assessing Requests for Multiple Assistance Animals

Assessing Requests for Multiple Assistance Animals

March 14, 2022 4 min read

Your site may impose a no pets policy or limit the number of pets a tenant may keep in the apartment. However, from time to time, you may receive a request to allow a disabled tenant to keep one or more assistance animals despite your pet restrictions.

According to HUD (FHEO 2020-01), there are two types of assistance animals...

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IAI Rent Hike Challenges: Recent Decisions

IAI Rent Hike Challenges: Recent Decisions

February 24, 2022 2 min read

Tenants often challenge rents that reflect increases landlords include after making individual apartment improvements (IAIs). Not only are there complicated rules for calculating how much a landlord can increase the rent for improvements, but the landlord also has the burden of maintaining records that prove those improvements were indeed made and properly paid. Landlords who follow the rules are winning tenant claims of IAI-related rent overcharge and fraud, as this recent case shows.
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