April 5, 2011 4:24 PM   Subscribe

NYC Landlord Weirdness. Our building had two landlords, each of whom presided over different apts. 3 Apts (including ours) were managed by Landlord A, 4 by Landlord B. Now landlord B is taking over the entire building. I have some questions.

Landlord B (LB) is now taking over our apartment, and this has been confirmed over the phone by landlord A (LA). I have been told our security deposits will be transferred over to an account of LB's. Here are my questions:

1.) Will I need to sign a new lease with LB? (Pretty sure the answer to this is yes.)
2.) I just signed my lease with my LA in November. If I don't like the terms of my new LB's lease, does he have to honor this one?
3.) How do we know that our LB's lease is official and our LA's lease is void? How do we know we're paying the right people money?
4.) We already sent our April rent to LA and he told us he wouldn't cash it. Is it wrong to tell LB we would be happy to send him our April rent but we are going to have to deduct the cost of cancelling the checks to LA?
5.) Is it time to be making with the lawyering up?

Thanks in advance. I will be walking away from my computer momentarily but checking back in on the thread @ 11:00 EST, so if you have questions or clarifications you need from me, please ask and I will fill them in @ that time.
posted by to sir with millipedes to Law & Government (4 answers total)
If you call 311 for explanation, or just explore there yourself, you can look up the build owner on ACRIS, part of the website. You first get the block and lot numbers, and use those to access records, such as the building deed. Then you'll know if these guys are owners or managers. Sometimes a manager is presented as an owner, and if you initiate a legal action, it will be void because you are addressing the wrong guy. The owner's address will usually be there, in a mortgage document or some such. If you can contact the owner, ask him for assurances.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:33 PM on April 5, 2011

I can see why you are confused, but no need for the lawyering yet!

- Did you get any official documents in the mail? Because that is the proper way to notify tenants of a change in Ownership. Until then, you continue paying rent and the whole shebang to original owner. A phone call notifying you of a change doesn't cut it!

- I've been through this in NYC. Never had to sign a new lease. Check with 311, but I am pretty sure the law doesn't require or condone this. If you are asked to do so, consider your response carefully.

- Ask the old landlord to send you the original check back, assuming you received that official paperwork I mentioned in the first bullet point. Otherwise, make them sort it out. Your check is a receipt if it gets cashed. It's not like you haven't paid or don't intend to once T's are crossed and I's are dotted. Someone will offer to knock off the cancel check fee if you get stubborn. Obviously, don't have 2 checks floating around for the same months rent. If this becomes an issue and you explain this nicely, I'm sure they'll understand your position.

These guys sound very "flying by seat of pants." Keep everything super polite! But do ask that they provide proper documentation and follow at least some legit protocols.

posted by jbenben at 4:45 PM on April 5, 2011

I've not rented in New York State but in several states I've rented in and had a change in landlord/management company the existing leases remain in effect until they expire. As it happens now I'm still going month-to-month on lease that expired before the new landlord took over. I've never been asked to sign a new lease in any apartment until my lease was up for renewal.

Hence, you're under the terms of your current lease until it expires. They won't present you a new lease to you to sign until it gets close to renewal time. So I think it is a little early to start lawyering up.

I wouldn't bother starting off asking for reimbursement of the check fee. I'd ask the old landlord to mail you your checks back to you and if they get lost in the mail, you can cancel the checks then. Actually if it was me, I'd just instruct the landlord to tear up the old check. Unless your landlord is a thief, that should settle it.

There was another recent ask me post about a change in landlords and the advice about making sure you're got pictures of existing and pre-existing damage and other things the new guys might ding you on when you move out.
posted by birdherder at 4:47 PM on April 5, 2011

When you say landlord, do you meant the person who owns your building, or just the management company that the building owner hires to deal with rent and repairs and such? I can't give you legal advice about contracts and stuff, but you'll likely have better luck figuring things out of you're specific about what's happening to you.
posted by decathecting at 5:17 PM on April 5, 2011

« Older Mise en abĂ®me   |   How do I unscrew a screw that turns freely? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.