Legal News and Articles

September 20, 2019

Based on a newly implemented rule, pursuant to the Rules of the City of New York, Title 19, Chapter 33, § 33-03 [Penalties for Failure to File], (a)(2), Owners who fail to file an income and expense statement for three (3) consecutive years shall be subject to a penalty of five (5) percent of the final assessed value for the property promulgated in the calendar year in which such a statement was to be filed. For instance, if your property is assessed a valuation of $25,000,000.00 in 2016, and you failed to file your statements for 2016-2018, you would be assessed a penalty of $1,250,000.00. 

The deadline to file the yearly RPIE (income and expense statement) is June 3 of each year. 

This publication is issued by Simon Meyrowitz & Meyrowitz, P.C.  for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney...

August 20, 2019

            On May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court held that the Professional and Amateur Protection Act of 1992 (“PAPSA”) was unconstitutional in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, revolutionizing the world of sports betting in the United States. The groundbreaking decision has left the door open for state legislatures to establish state-regulated sport betting industries, which several states have already taken advantage of. As of August 2019, ten states have utilized the Murphy decision to legalize sports betting, while another eight have pending legislation to do so. Specifically, New York legislators have chosen to take advantage of the Murphy decision and craft new legislation which has legalized sports betting within the state. In doing so, the state of New York has employed a federalist power previously withheld by PAPSA...

August 15, 2019

Local Law No. 7 of 2018 requires the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to evaluate certain sales of select rent-regulated multiple dwellings for potential inclusion on a “Speculation Watch List”. HPD proposed guidelines for what buildings will appear on its “Speculation Watch List.” HPD seeks to include rent-regulated multifamily buildings that sell below the median cap rate of the property’s borough, saying such deals are potential red flags. HPD stated in its proposal that when a purchaser is willing to pay more than the property value, it indicates a greater potential for property owners to harass tenants to accept buyouts so that the purchaser can recoup its inflated purchase price through forcing tenants out in order to escalate rents. The intent of the list is to help protect tenants from landlords eager to free their buildings...

August 7, 2019

In the past few years, more than twenty states and the District of Columbia have adopted legislation either decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis, giving rise to numerous for-profit businesses. Congress, however, has not seen fit to join this movement toward liberalized controlled substance laws, which means that while growing and distributing cannabis is lawful in certain states, individuals engaged in such conduct remain subject to prosecution under federal laws.

Proponents frequently argue that legalization will, among other things, transform the cannabis industry into a legitimate, regulated business sector, thereby generating significant state tax revenues, however the Internal Revenue Service has consistently applied a provision of the Internal Revenue Code that precludes the deductibility of expenses associated with operating an illegal drug trade....

June 18, 2019

The New York State Senate, together with the State Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo has approved a sweeping overhaul of New York State’s rent laws, offering Tenants new protections against evictions and rent increases, effective June 14, 2019. This law makes permanent the state's rent regulation laws, initially passed as chapter 576 of the laws of 1974, including the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 (ETPA), which provided the process by which local governments declared a housing emergency, and by which they administer their rent regulation program.

Below are just a few of the provisions which have been implemented and/or repealed for cities over a million people, regarding the ability of landlords to increase rents:

  • Repeals the provisions of the previous statute that currently allow units to be deregulated upon vacancy. (Previously a unit would...

June 18, 2019

The New York State Senate, together with the State Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo has approved a sweeping overhaul of New York State’s rent laws, offering Tenants new protections against evictions and rent increases, effective June 14, 2019. This law makes permanent the state's rent regulation laws, initially passed as chapter 576 of the laws of 1974, including the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 (ETPA), which provided the process by which local governments declared a housing emergency, and by which they administer their rent regulation program.

As it relates to dispossess proceedings, the following changes were implemented:

  • Strengthens the existing retaliatory eviction law (prohibiting retaliatory eviction by a landlord against a tenant who makes a good faith complaint to them alleging a violation of the warranty of habitability) by requirin...

June 6, 2019

The City Council and Mayor De Blasio reached a deal on legislation in order to create greater protections for tenants who are seen as being harassed by their landlords trying to get them to move out, renovate, and charge much higher rents. The bill creates a pilot program with the purpose of providing “for the implementation of such a program as a geographically targeted and time-limited pilot program to allow an evaluation of the program’s accuracy and efficacy in targeting and addressing harassment in particular buildings.”

Local Law 1 2018, which took effect September 28, 2018, establishes a three-year pilot program which requires owners of certain buildings to obtain a Certification of No Harassment (CONH) prior to acquiring permits from the Department of Buildings (DOB) for work involving demolition, change of use/occupancy, change in the number of dwe...

June 5, 2019

For decades, New York State has prohibited merchants from imposing a “surcharge” for the use of credit cards instead of cash.  Recently, the New York State Court of Appeals in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman reversed this long-held rule, allowing merchants to openly impose this surcharge to charge to the price of goods in New York.  See 32 N.Y.3d 382 (2018) for the full decision.

Typically, credit card companies charge merchants a commission fee ranging from 1 to 4 percent of the value of each transaction for using credit cards.  These fees may be absorbed by the merchant or may be passed on to the consumer in one of two ways.  One, the merchant may charge a higher fee to consumers regardless of manner of payment or, two, the merchant may institute a surcharge specifically for users of credit cards.  The legality of the ladder has been in constant c...

June 4, 2019

This past November, the Democratic Party gained majority control of the New York State’s Government.  This shift in control has generated a number of new bills being passed by the State Legislature. On April 1, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a particular bill into law, which sets congestion pricing tolls for driving in certain areas of Manhattan.

Mid-town Manhattan especially is notorious for its traffic.  The average car speed for areas around midtown is only 4.7 mph.  In fact, New York City’s congestion generally ranks it as the city with the third worst traffic in the world, only Los Angeles and Moscow ranked lower. The intent of this bill, is to help alleviate New York City’s traffic congestion issues by adding a toll (starting January 1, 2020, the amount of which has yet to be determined) for all drivers who drive anywhere in Manhattan so...

May 8, 2019

For many years, New York commercial tenants have had an important protection commonly referred to as a Yellowstone injunction. This right arose from a New York Court of Appeals decision in 1968, titled First Nat’l Stores v. Yellowstone Shopping Ctr, 21 N.Y.2d 630 (1968), in which the court allowed a commercial tenant who received a notice of default or notice to cure to file an action for declaratory relief and to receive a Yellowstone injunction against the Landlord. This injunction essentially stays the cure period pursuant to the Lease, and enjoins the landlord from terminating the lease while the court determines the issue of whether a default under the lease has occurred.

However, in a recent decision by the New York Court of Appeals, the Court raised the issue of whether an express waiver in a commercial tenant’s lease, regarding Tenant’s right to bri...

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