Standing in Landlord Tenant Court

On May 1, 2015, in Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Standing in Landlord Tenant Court

Standing is an affirmative defense that finds its way into many Answers in Landlord Tenant Court.  Standing refers to the right of the petitioner/landlord to bring the case in the first place.  The quick rule of thumb to decipher whether or not a petitioner has Standing is if the petitioner appears on the deed to the property on the date that the action was commenced.  An action is commenced on the date that the index number is purchased with the Court.

In cases where Standing is at issue, it is necessary to determine whether or not a Power of Attorney has given the authority to prosecute a case to another individual than whom appears on the deed.  It is important to note that the petitioner should in most cases still be the person named as owner on the property deed.

If you are involved in a current landlord tenant proceeding or are considering bringing a landlord tenant action, call (516)  858-2620 to speak to a landlord tenant attorney today!

Housing Court Attorneys

On March 11, 2014, in Landlord-Tenant, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Role of Housing Court Attorneys

Court Attorneys in Landlord Tenant Proceedings

Court Attorneys play a significant role in landlord tenant proceedings where the Respondent is not represented by counsel.  In the interest of judicial economy, landlord tenant cases are only sent before the judge for conference after settlement options have been exhausted.  The Court effectuates this by requiring all eviction cases with pro se litigants to conference the facts of their case with the Court Attorney.

It is important to understand that the court attorney has no authority to make a ruling in a landlord tenant case or force any party to agree to terms that they find to be unsatisfactory.  Every litigant is still entitled to their opportunity to be heard by the presiding judge.  If an agreement is not reached after conference with the court attorney, the case will ultimately be sent to trial.

New York Landlord Tenant Attorney

The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC is here to assist you.  Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation with a  landlord tenant attorney.

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Buying Property with Existing Tenants

On February 21, 2013, in Landlord-Tenant, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

Purchasing Occupied vs. Purchasing Vacant

Should I buy a house that already has tenants?

Maybe.

We have represented many Landlords who have purchased homes with existing tenants. In our experience, this has not always gone well for the new Landlord. Many of the new Landlords have ended up starting an eviction action against the existing tenants shortly after the closing.

However, many of our clients are real estate investors and have factored into the purchase price the cost associated with an eviction. In fact, many have weighed these factors well in advance of buying the property and actually end up getting a “better” deal because of the existing tenants. They normally won’t buy the property with existing tenants unless they are getting a very good deal.

Personally, I like to find my own tenants. However, as stated, there can be advantages to buying a property with existing tenants (e.g. instant rental income, lower purchase price, instant occupancy for security purposes).

Therefore, you need to carefully consider many different factors before you decide to purchase a home with existing tenants.

Nassau County Landlord Tenant Attorneys

Call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 for Landlord Tenant assistance

 

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Understanding an Inquest

On June 15, 2012, in Litigation, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Understanding an Inquest

Understanding an Inquest

An inquest is a hearing in which a court evaluates a party’s claims for damages when another party “defaults”. Defaults occur in some areas of law more than others. They can be very common in landlord-tenant and and consumer debt cases.

When someone fails to attend a court date, and cannot give the Court a good reason for the absence, the Court may enter a “default” judgment against that person. The default judgement will mean that, as far as the court is concerned, the person is liable of whatever the other party has alleged.

However, whether a person has caused harm to another, and how much harm a person has caused, are two different issues. For example, assume a plaintiff sues a defendant for damaging a car. The defendant may admit to damaging the car, but may dispute the dollar value the plaintiff assigns to the damage. Perhaps the defendant claims that the car was already damaged in a previous accident. The defendant may argue that the plaintiff is attempting to collect money to cover damages resulting from the previous accident – damages that the defendant didn’t cause. Although the defendant caused some damage to the plaintiff’s car, it would be unfair to hold the defendant liable for more damages than the defendant actually caused. The inquest addresses this issue.
Once a default judgement is entered against a defendant, it is as if the defendant has admitted to causing the harm. But the court will still want to make sure that the defendant is not paying more in damages than the defendant caused. At an inquest, the court will require the plaintiff to provide testimony, affidavits, or other evidence, that will prove how much harm the defendant actually caused. Additionally, the defendant may cross-examine witnesses at the inquest, and may even offer evidence – as long as that evidence is confined to the issue of damages, not liability.
In a landlord-tenant case, it is certainly possible for a landlord to ask for more money than the tenant actually owes in arrears. In this context, a court will want to see some proof that the tenant actually owes the amount of rent the landlord claims. Similarly, a creditor could ask for a higher amount of money than the debtor owes. Perhaps the debtor made payments that have not been credited to the account. Or, the creditor may have charged fees or interest rates that exceed those included in the contract terms. In each of these situations, parties will be able to raise these issues at an inquest, even though a default judgement has been entered against them.

Long Island Litigation Attorney

If you have any questions about this issue, or other legal questions, the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC is here to help. Call (516) 858-2620 to schedule a free consultation.

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