Hi, my name is Andrew Weltchek. I’m a partner at the law firm of Cohen, Hochman, and Allen. I practice real estate law. I help property owners who have problems solve their problems. Here are three examples of problems that came to me this week.
A property owner out in Bayside has a house and a lot next to the off-ramp of a highway and between the highway and their houses there’s a small strip of land. If they were to own that land, their property would be far more valuable than you might think, just based on the size of it. Because of the addition to their lot, they would have an available floor area, as it’s called in New York City, to build a larger building. Not that they necessarily want a bigger house, but when they go to sell it, that’s a valuable item. So I’m going to research how they could go through the process of trying to obtain that strip of land from the city.
Another client called because they’re in a five-unit condo in Carroll Gardens in a very old building in which the gas lines were originally installed in the 1890s for lighting, and they would not begin to meet code today. Somebody bought a new unit wants to replace the gas line into their unit, understandably but mistakenly because the inspection required to complete that work will call for a replacement of all the gas lines in the entire building and a shut off of gas for six months or 12 months. Anybody who’s dealt with National Grid or ConEd could tell you horror stories about that. It’s not necessary.
The gas, as is, is perfectly safe. The service will work. They will be able to cook all their great meals on their stove with that little gas line if we can convince them to do that. And the third example of property problems is a lawsuit by a disabled person trying to get access to a restaurant in Chinatown. The tenant and the landlord were both served with the lawsuit, but the landlord didn’t hear about it until much later, and the tenant was ill-advised by a lawyer, according to the tenant, who told him he didn’t have to worry about it and he could ignore it. I’m here to tell you that’s not good advice. If you get sued, you cannot ignore it. I’m going to go online, talk to the lawyer because I happen to know the plaintiff’s lawyer.
The plaintiff is a disabled person who sued another client of mine in SoHo. And we’re going to try to make sure that we can respond at, even though it’s not timely, and nevertheless reach the merits of trying to settle this case.
Those are examples of people who have problems with their property in New York City. When you have a problem with your property in New York City, you can call me Andrew Weltchek. Cohen, Hochman, and Allen at 212-566-7081, thank you.