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What happens when an apartment building 'goes condo?'

If you live in a rental unit in an urban area that's gentrifying, you may have heard of other buildings "going condo," after new management gets involved, much to the dismay of existing tenants.

It's important to understand the process that turns an apartment building into condominiums and renters into potential owners before it happens -- in case it happens to you. There's a series of steps that have to be followed:

  • The developer submits what is known as the "red herring" to the attorney general's office. This is the developer's detailed plans for the building.
  • The attorney general's office will hold onto the plans for four months to give interested parties time to review the red herring.
  • The attorney general's office will go through the red herring with a fine-tooth comb and hammer out any kinks in the plans with the developer.
  • The revised plans, known as the "black book," will be submitted for filing.

Holding a commercial landlord responsible for necessary repairs

Signing a commercial lease is often a more significant commitment than signing a residential lease. Typically, residential leases either go month to month or last for one year. Commercial leases, on the other hand, often last anywhere from three to five years.

If you find yourself unable to remain on the property, you may be financially responsible for the remaining rent for that period of time. A commercial lease is similar to a residential lease. That is one reason why it's important to understand the terms of a commercial lease before signing it.

Why work with a real estate attorney?

In real estate, there are sometimes disputes between neighbors. Perhaps a fence is in the wrong location, or a neighbor keeps blocking another one's driveway with their vehicle. Whether it's zoning issues or problems with the sale of a property, it's a real estate attorney who can help.

Why work with a real estate attorney?

Protect yourself with contract contingencies

With any real estate transaction, the goal is for everything to go smoothly. It's encouraged that both sides work with agents and attorneys, so they know that their contracts are legally binding.

When you purchase a property of any kind, it is very important to have a solid contract with contingencies to help you get out of the purchase if something goes wrong. Here's an example. If you ask that the other party repairs the electrical system before you go through with the purchase and have an inspector tell you it still fails upon a second viewing, you would be within your rights to walk away.

Understanding different condominiums and if they're right for you

A condominium is a property that is divided up into individual units. These units are then sold, not rented, to others. With condo properties, people who buy often have shared interests in community areas. These areas are known as common property and might include hallways, grassy areas or other parts of the property outside their homes.

When you think of a condominium, you might imagine a townhouse-like structure, but they're all different. There is no required shape or size for a condo, other than the reality that they're usually in a community setting and are multi-unit developments.

What should you do if you're facing a real-estate dispute?

In real estate, people often have disputes. It might be over the neighbor putting items on their property or because of problems with a home that were not disclosed during purchase. It's important for those who are concerned about a property to have the chance to make things right with the other party.

Often, real-estate disputes can be resolved outside of court. For instance, you may be able to speak with your neighbor about the true property line, agree to have the property line reassessed and go from there. For more serious disputes over damage done to a property, you may be able to receive compensation or ask for repairs from the people responsible.

Know the steps of buying commercial property

If you are interested in owning commercial property, then you may wish to know the best way to do so. There are several steps you can follow to make sure you get the right property for your situation.

When you buy a commercial property, following the right steps puts you in a better position. You think clearly about what you're buying and choose based on all the facts. Here are the steps you can take next.

Be prepared if you serve, or are served with, a claim

When you have a small business, finding out that you have a claim against you is frustrating. It may be costly as well. Fortunately, most claims don't actually reach court. You may be able to settle a claim or resolve it by working out a solution with the other party.

There are dollar limits on small-business claims, so that's one good thing about having a small business and not a larger corporation. Small claims are limited to $3,000 in village and town courts in New York, while city courts see up to $5,000 claims in small claims courts.

Know your rights if you find material defects

When you are purchasing a property, it's important to know what you are getting. Even with a property inspection, it is possible to find that there are problems with the house after you purchase it.

If that happens, you may have a right to negotiate with the seller to repair damage or fix mistakes they made. After all, buying a home is a long process, and it can be complicated. The last thing anyone wants is to be disappointed, especially if a seller misled you.

Real estate transactions: Learn about changes in your city

Real estate transactions are extremely common in New York City. There are literally millions of people living in the city and surrounding areas, and they all need places to live and work.

Learning about recent commercial real estate transactions is a good idea because it keeps you up-to-date on the changes in your city.

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