Why Do I Have to Pay My Neighbor to be Able to Work on My Building?

Why Do I have Pay my Neighbor to be able to Work on my Building? by Andrew WeltchekBecause he can’t stop you from setting up your scaffold on his property if that’s the only way to finish your job—and you are willing to pay him. It’s a trade-off. This is New York City, after all. Sometimes—in fact lots of times— the only way to work on your building is to set up on your neighbor’s property. Continue reading

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Do You Have Real Estate Problems?

Do You Have Real Estate Problems? by Andrew WeltchekYes you do. If you own real estate in New York City, you have problems. Your boiler breaks down. Your basement gets flooded. Your contractor screws up. Your neighbor sues you. You and your commercial tenant get sued to provide handicapped access. Your neighbor won’t let you put up a scaffold to fix your wall. Your condo board won’t let you see its financial records. The list goes on. Continue reading

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Why should I get title insurance and pay extra for a market value rider?

When you buy your home you should spend the extra few thousand (?) dollars to get title insurance and a market value rider — even though you are not likely to ever file a title insurance claim.

Here’s why.

Title insurance is a great business — for the insurance company. Continue reading

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When should my condominium get a public adjuster?

The short answer is, when you have a first-party claim and the insurance company is not offering you what you think it should. But not when you have a third-party claim.

But what are first-party and third-party claims, you ask? A first-party claim is a claim that will be paid to a party covered by the policy. The boiler leaks in the cellar of your condominium and damages the building. Your property insurance should pay to repair the damages. That’s a first-party claim. If a unit owner has a storage bin in the cellar and boiler leak also gets into the bin and damages his property, then your condominium’s liability policy may pay for his damages. That’s a third-party claim.

But what about a public adjuster? Continue reading

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What good is a certificate of insurance?

Not much.

If you are an owner entering into a construction contract, the contract will normally require the contractor and the sub-contractors to produce certificates of insurance naming you, the owner, as an additional insured party. However, a certificate of insurance is issued by an agent and doesn’t bind the insurance company, at worst. Continue reading

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Why is the Dept. of Buildings after you about your 1099 workers?

The IRS is not after you to change your 1099 workers to W-2 employees. The state of New York is not after you to provide unemployment insurance. Why is the New York City Dept. of Buildings after you about using 1099 workers instead of W2 employees? Because you’re a licensed electrician. And the New York City Administrative Code bars licensed electricians from using independent contractors to perform work under the license. Continue reading

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The sponsor is not your daddy.

The sponsor of your condominium is your business partner. He (and let’s be honest, most of them are men) is the developer who built or renovated the condominium building and sold you your unit. As long as he controls the board of managers, he controls the business decisions of the condominium. Even when he no longer controls the board of managers, so long as he owns any of the other units, such as a store on the ground floor or other residential units, you and he are business partners in the operation of the condominium. Continue reading

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Is a condominium a corporation?

No. It’s an unincorporated association. It can get an employer identification number, pay taxes, open bank accounts and enter into contracts. The condominium board of managers can sue “on behalf of two or more of the unit owners…with respect to any cause of action relating to the common elements or more than one unit.” NY Real Property Law § 339-dd.

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