Blog

Navigating the Complexities of Fair Housing Laws

By Jennifer L. Alexander, Esq. June 23, 2017 Posted in Landlord/Tenant Law

The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (“FHAA”) is a federal law prohibiting discrimination in the rental of dwellings for certain protected classes.[1] The exhaustive list of protected consists of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status and handicap.[2] The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) also provides additional protection for individuals with disabilities. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) is a state law that expands upon the federal requirements to include additional protected classes that are not otherwise covered by federal law.[3]  

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When an Assignee is considered a “mortgagee in possession”

June 12, 2017 Posted in Community Association Law

An Appellate Division case, Woodlands Cmty. Ass’n v. Mitchell, 2017 N.J. Super LEXIS 67, was published on June 6, 2017. The court considered whether a lender’s assignee that takes possession of a condominium unit when the mortgagor defaulted on the loan, is considered a “mortgagee in possession” of the unit when the assignee winterizes and changes the locks and therefore responsible for the payment of the condominium fees and assessments. The Court held that winterizing the unit and changing the locks are “minimal actions” and do not deem the lender a “mortgagee in possession.”

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Parking Enforcement Rules and Rights- When is it permissible to tow?

June 12, 2017 Posted in Community Association Law, Landlord/Tenant Law

It is well known that parking can be an especially frustrating problem for individuals living in community settings, especially in apartments and condominium associations. Whenever action is taken against wrongfully parked vehicles, there is bound to be an emotional reaction. Accordingly, it is essential for communities to have enforceable and effective rules and regulations in place regarding the towing of illegally parked vehicles in order to avoid potential litigation.

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The Duty to Mitigate as a Commercial Landlord

May 29, 2017 Posted in Landlord/Tenant Law

As a landlord — commercial or residential — the possibility of a tenant prematurely vacating the property and leaving you with no immediate financial recourse for obtaining rental payments can be rather frightening.  Certainly, this difficult situation can be remedied somewhat by keeping the security deposit and working with an attorney to file a claim against the delinquent tenant for the remaining unpaid rent and various other unpaid charges.

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New York City Commercial Tenant Harassment Law

May 26, 2017 Posted in Landlord/Tenant Law

Midsummer of last year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a new bill that prohibits landlords from engaging in commercial tenant harassment.  The bill was codified into law – the “Non-Residential Tenant Harassment” law – and became effective as of September 26, 2016. 

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New Jersey Tenant Fixture Law

May 26, 2017 Posted in Landlord/Tenant Law

In New Jersey, as in all other states, landlords and tenants occasionally find themselves disputing over ownership (and potentially removal) of fixtures installed on the property.

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NY Section 8 Voucher

May 2, 2017 Posted in Landlord/Tenant Law

The Basics of Section 8 Vouchers in New York The federally funded “Housing Choice” voucher program, often called a “Section 8” voucher because the program is delineated in Section 8 of the United States Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, is a common form of tenant-based rental assistance in which, unlike public housing, the subsidy follows the tenants, who are free to choose their apartments, including those owned by private landlords.

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Security Deposit Rules in New York

April 28, 2017 Posted in Landlord/Tenant Law

In New York, landlords are entitled to demand a security deposit from their tenants — typically equivalent to 1 month’s rent — that will provide a form of collateral to the landlord for any excessive damage caused to the premises (or to cover a situation in which the tenant abandons the premises without paying for the remaining term of the lease).  Security deposit issues frequently give rise to disputes, in part because the security deposit amount itself may be substantial in relation to the total rent, but more often because the tenant may disagree with the landlord as to whether the any damage has been caused to the premises that would justify the landlord withholding the deposit.

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Landlords Must Make Certain Legally Required Disclosures

April 27, 2017 Posted in Landlord/Tenant Law

When a property is rented to a tenant, the landlord (or an agent thereof) is required to disclose certain details of the property and of the lease itself so that the tenant is fully informed as to dangers or habitability issues prior to taking on the lease.  Though New York statutory law is fairly limited with regard to the specific disclosure requirements it imposes on landlords in the state, fundamental aspects of contract law (i.e., avoidance of fraud) and real estate law (i.e., the warranty of habitability) may give rise to broader disclosure requirements.

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Associations Prohibited From Redeeming Tax Sale Certificates

By Stephanie Wiegand, Esq. March 28, 2017 Posted in Community Association Law

In a recent unpublished decision out of the Hudson County Chancery Division, a New Jersey Court has determined that condominium associations do not fit the definition indicated in N.J.S.A. 54:5-54 as an appropriate party that is able to redeem a tax sale certificate.

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