For most people, buying or selling real estate is a huge financial decision. There are numerous potential issues, the resolution of which can dictate whether litigation or other challenges arise down the road. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran of property transactions, you should consult New York City real estate lawyer Jules Haas. Mr. Haas has represented clients in connection with closings involving multi-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives, and single-family homes. He has also represented clients in court during disputes such as those involving the validity of a deed. In addition, he counsels clients in connection with the preparation and review of leases, and with regard to evictions and other lease disputes.Common Issues Related to Property Contracts
When a buyer offers to purchase residential real estate in New York, the offer is not a contract, as it is in other states. The offer is usually done by completing a one-page offer form, rather than signing a form contract or making an earnest money deposit. The buyer and seller are not bound to close the sale until they sign a formal contract after the seller accepts the buyer's offer. Generally, the buyer must make a down payment after signing the contract, and this is distinct from what must be paid at closing.
If a seller accepts the offer, the seller is considered to be interested in going forward with the deal. However, neither the buyer nor the seller is legally bound to proceed. Generally, both parties work with a real estate attorney in New York City to finalize a contract.
Real estate contracts are integral to any real estate deal. A real estate contract sets forth the buyer and seller's rights and obligations and sets up what is necessary for closing. Provisions of the contract should address the price, title, construction or improvements, deeds, any contingencies such as inspections, repairs, obtaining financing, and the closing date.
Inspections should be conducted to make sure that the property is in good shape and worth its price. Additionally, a title search should take place to make sure that the seller is conveying good and marketable title. If a buyer is purchasing a condominium or cooperative, the buyer's attorney should review the books, including financial statements.
Once the contract is signed and a down payment is made, the buyer and the seller have a legally enforceable contract. If either walks away, there is the potential of liability. During escrow, the buyer lines up mortgage financing, and if a title search has not already been done, it will be conducted during this period to make sure that the property has no outstanding liens. Title is transferred at closing, at which time the buyer and lender, if there is one, need to pay the rest of the purchase price.Real Estate Disputes
Things do not always go smoothly after closing. Down the road, there may be title issues, land use issues, landlord-tenant issues, deed restrictions, zoning problems, eminent domain issues, issues with easements, adverse possession actions, trespass claims, quiet title actions, property tax disputes, or other disputes.
It is crucial to have a New York City real estate attorney for any of these disputes. In some cases, there may be a statute or case law that covers the dispute, and it may be possible to negotiate before the matter turns into expensive litigation. For example, in landlord-tenant cases, tenants may have a right of habitability that is implied in a lease, even if it is not explicitly stated. The warranty of habitability covers residential buildings leased to tenants, including the public areas of those buildings. On the other hand, if a tenant causes unlivable or unsafe conditions by damaging the apartment, they may be required to fix it.
Commercial tenants are not protected as thoroughly as residential tenants are, but they also have certain rights, such as the possible right to break a lease when a rental becomes untenantable and unfit for occupancy through no fault of the tenant. They may be able to quit and surrender possession of an untenantable rental space and be relieved of paying rent.
In other cases, there may be controlling language in a lease or under case law relating to rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartments. In these cases, Mr. Haas can represent your interests through the litigation process to achieve a resolution.Consult an Experienced Real Estate Lawyer in New York City
Jules Haas has more than 30 years of experience handling real estate contracts and litigation. He works hard toward achieving client satisfaction. Our firm represents clients throughout the Bronx and Queens, as well as in Kings, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. Contact us at (212) 355-2575 or through our online form to set up an appointment.