Don’t Get Stuck When You and Your Store Tenant Get Sued Because the Tenant Doesn’t Make his Space Accessible to Disabled People

Don't Get Stuck When You and Your Store Tenant Get Sued Because the Tenant Doesn't Make his Space Accessible to Disabled People by Andrew WeltchekYou own the building. Your lease might say that the store tenant has to pay for everything, including handicapped access. But the Americans with Disabilities Act makes both of you responsible and leaves it to the two of you to sort out the cost between yourselves. That’s why you have a lease, among other reasons. Continue reading

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Wait a Minute? My Neighbor is Suing Me to Use My Yard?

Wait a Minute? My Neighbor is Suing Me to Use My Yard? by Andrew WeltchekHe can’t do that, can he? Well, yes he can sometimes, although never permanently. But the good news is, he has to pay you and probably your lawyer too. Continue reading

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Don’t Let that Greenhouse Fall Out of the Sky!

Don’t Let that Greenhouse Fall Out of the Sky! by Andrew WeltchekOnce upon a time, that is before 1976, the New York City Dept. of Buildings largely ignored balcony enclosures in high-rise buildings. You could turn your balcony into a greenhouse or even an extension of your living room and nobody would care — mostly. And nobody knows how many people did it either. Continue reading

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One Man’s ADA Troll is Another Man’s Civil Rights Activist

One Man’s ADA Troll is Another Man’s Civil Rights Activist by Andrew WeltchekNo one likes getting sued. Period. And if you think the plaintiffs are just pursuing a hustle it can make you even angrier. That’s how restaurant owners and landlords often feel about being sued by disabled plaintiffs — especially if they are serial plaintiffs. That is, if they’ve sued other restaurants — and gotten their legal fees paid by the defendants — because the front steps are too high, or the bathroom is downstairs, or the tables are too low, or whatever violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. Continue reading

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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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