We are located in the Bronx and serve the Boroughs of Bronx and Manhattan within New York City. Our real estate practice includes litigating New York Housing Court matters and DHCR proceedings. We handle eviction cases (Non-Payment and Holdover Proceedings) and HP or HPD (DHPD) cases commenced in New York City Housing Court – both Residential and Commercial Parts.
We also handle DHCR cases involving allegations of decreased services, lease and annual registration irregularities, overcharge and unlawful deregulation.
Our attorneys are very experienced and knowledgeable of the rules and procedures related to Housing Court and DHCR proceedings. Our firm makes over 5,000 court appearances a year in Housing Court and DHCR. We regularly handle trials, and always seek to obtain the best possible results for our clients.
We offer our clients swift aggressive action and honest opinions, in the best interest of the client.
No Case is too Complex.
No Case is too Small.
Commercial Landlord/Tenant Litigation
A key element in commercial litigation is the commercial lease. It is imperative that when the commercial non-payment proceeding or holdover proceeding is commenced, that our office receive from the landlord a complete copy of the commercial lease and all known addresses of the commercial tenant(s). In most of commercial litigations the tenant will be represented by council. As a result the paperwork must be accurate: the premises must be accurately described and each tenant must be served at all know addresses.
The firm has vast experience in preparing commercial leases and has an extensive commercial rider to meet the different needs of each client.
Litigation involving DHPD
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development of the City of New York (DHPD) is responsible for enforcing the housing laws of New York City. To this end, they bring various types of cases against landlords which include heat and hot water, building – wide actions for an order to correct, civil penalties, false certification, contempt proceedings and on occasion, an action for the appointment of a 7A Administrator to collect the rent and run the property. DHPD cases are technical in nature and a landlord should not attempt to defend against one of these cases without the aid of an attorney experienced in DHPD litigation.
If you receive papers from DHPD always take note of the method of service and save all DHPD mailing envelopes. Improper service of the papers can result in the case bring dismissed and/or can result in a more favorable settlement for you. Our firm we’ll strive to minimize your liability.
Heat and water cases are a way for DHPD to generate revenue at a landlord’s expense. Although DHPD always requires an order to provide heat and/or hot water, the order can be softened by our firm to protect you. The battle in these cases is to reduce or eliminate civil penalty fines. It is crucial that a landlord always provide a bill, invoice or letter from your contractor or oil company setting forth when the violation was corrected. Our firm will file a verified answer on your behalf, when necessary, setting forth all defenses. Trying a heat and hot water case can be a risk to you due to the presumption in the law that the violation exists continuously since the date of its placement. The law sets forth penalties of $250.00 per day for each heat and/or hot water violation. We are a trial ready firm but most times it is best to settle these cases and minimize your exposure to fines.
DHPD will normally commence a building – wide action against a landlord when there is a greater than four (4) to one (1) ratio of violations to apartment units. When a violation is placed and a notice of violation (Nov) is sent to your registered business address on file with the city, you must mail back to DHPD, the certification of correction of that violation immediately after the violation is corrected. Otherwise the violation will stay on record even if the violation was corrected and will only be canceled after an inspection by Code Enforcement.
Once a building is in litigation with DHPD, the Department will not allow a landlord to pay the $300.00 fee to have a building – wide inspection to remove violations. Therefore, the best way to stay out of trouble with DHPD is to file timely certifications of correction after violations are placed.
DHPD will insist on having a landlord enter into a building-wide Order if a settlement is reached. Our firm will push for a favorable settlement for you and attempt to incorporate additional language into the Order to that protects you and lessons your liability.
Litigation involving DHCR
Litigation involving the DHCR is complicated, technical and we strongly recommend you using an attorney to handle DHCR matters.
We understand that it’s exasperating for a landlord to get an order from the District Rent Administrator (DRA) denying a landlord a rent increase you think you’re entitled to, or unfairly finding that you have over charged a tenant or decreased services.
After service of the District Rent Administrative order a landlord has thirty-five (35) days to file a Petition for Administrative Review (PAR). When the DHCR first reviews a PAR, it looks for 7 mistakes. If it finds any of these mistakes, it will automatically reject your PAR and give you 35 days from the date of the order rejecting your PAR to submit a new PAR. The 7 mistakes to avoid are as follows:
- No DRA order attached to the PAR;
- No premises specified;
- No “Petitioner” identified;
- Missing or incomplete authorization form when a representative signs for you;
- No statement of DRA errors;
- Signature missing;
- Original copy of PAR not filed; we can put in a written answer for you at the administrative level and/or file a written PAR. Moreover, if a landlord does not present evidence and/or a defense at the administrative level, he/she waives the right to present this evidence for the first time on appeal or in an Article 78.
In the event that a landlord loses a PAR before the Deputy Commissioner, a landlord has 60 days from the date of order of the Deputy Commissioner, to file an Article 78 Petition with the Supreme Court of the State of New York. It is not enough for the Deputy Commissioner of the DHCR to be wrong on the law and/or facts. The landlord must show that the Deputy Commissioner acted arbitrarily and capriciously.
We will provide you with a status of your landlord-tenant case and what happened in Court thru our webpage and/or by facsimile within one business day. Each landlord-tenant case is tracked in our computer system.