TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



Who owns my building?

Rights for non-regulated tenants

Moderator: TenantNet

Who owns my building?

Postby Cazmia » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:32 pm

Hi,

A very odd ocurrence today (Sunday) at the 5 unit building I have livrd at the last 6 years in the Bronx. A gentleman came by knocking on apartment doors as if he were the new landlord and saying this is the result of foreclosure.
I have a good relstionship with the person I know to be the landlord and I called him at once. My landlord says he has no idea who this person is who is knocking on doors but that it would be "interesting" to find out.
I even went to ACRIS and the last document on file I could find for my building was date August of 2012 and was called "Tax Lien Sale". Party 1 was City of New York, Party 2 was Bank of New York. There wasn't anything after that.
How can I tell who really owns my building?
Cazmia
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby TenantNet » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:21 pm

To the simple question, I would have suggested ACRIS, but you already found that.

But you need to do some digging, especially if ACRIS reports a tax lien sale.

Now, you may know the person you think is the landlord, but he/she might be a managing agent, or a net lessee, or something else. They may honestly not know what is going on ... or maybe they aren't telling you.

It happens every day where tenants pay rent to the person they think is the landlord, then all of a sudden along comes a bank or a mortgagee-in-possession and says you must pay the rent to them, and in many cases the rent you already paid to the old landlord. You're stuck in the middle.

The person that was knocking on doors, what was he doing? I'm sure it was more than just a pleasant introduction. Did he hand out papers of any sort? Legal papers? Anything informational? Did he leave his contact information? This is where to start.

Second, ASAP for a tenant association with everyone. They might be trying to clear the building.

Third, talk to a lawyer. Not just any lawyer, but a tenant lawyer that knows how this stuff works. I would get consultations with several lawyers and shop around. If one tenant qualifies for Legal Aid/Legal Services, then that can get the whole building in. Otherwise you might be stuck with a private attorney who can be expensive. Some are worth their weight in gold (and some are not).

Put together a plan to maybe put the rent into escrow until the legal situation can be sorted out. The last thing you want is both "landlords" claiming the rent, and in the end the tenants lose out. In the process you might also put together a plan to get repairs in the buildings and in the apartments.

Depending on where you live, you could be fodder for developers or equity speculators, who might try to sell or tear down the building, or empty the rent stab tenants and bring in people willing to pay market rents.

I'm not saying you will have all these troubles, but there's a good chance. You need to organize, learn the laws and get legal assistance ASAP.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9163
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby Cazmia » Wed May 29, 2013 4:14 pm

Thank you for your advice. It's greatly appreciated.
Cazmia
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:05 pm

Who owns my building?

Postby Cazmia » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:58 am

A strange man and his wife have handed me a Referee's Deed in Foreclodure-Statutory Form F. My current landlord still tells me NOT to pay rent to this stranger or let him in my apartment. He states he needs to show this paperwprk to his lawyer for when he goes to court.
This new person wants rent and wants me to come in and sign a new leaseAND wants to violate my privacy and inspect my home right away.
I don't know this new person, am not familiar with this form and don't wsnt to end up with 2 landlords demanding rent from me at the end of this month.
Cazmia
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby TenantNet » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:17 am

So it seems your building is in foreclosure and you're caught in the middle. We're not familiar with a Referee's Deed, but we have seen Notices of Attornment, which designate tenants to pay rent to a new landlord.

At this time I would consider not paying rent to anyone as long as there is a legal dispute, but put any rents that are owing into escrow so you will have it to pay to the correct landlord when all is resolved. You and your neighbors should immediately form a tenants association and consult with a tenant attorney (not just a regular attorney).

Here's the problem: if you pay rent to the alleged new landlord, but the court decided the old landlord has the legal right to collect rent, then the old landlord can come after you for non-payment and you end up paying twice.
Or if the new landlord (which could be a bank or a receiver) ends up with the legal right, and you've been paying to the old landlord, you could in that case end up paying twice.

Get yourself to a tenant lawyer who knows how to handle this stuff.

Aside from the rent, I would not let the new LL into your apartment without a court order.

The old LL may have a lawyer, but he is not YOUR lawyer, and is not representing you and does not have your interests in mind.

And do not sign a new lease with anyone. If you have a current lease, then that is good until the end of the lease (as written in the lease).

You may feel like you're under a lot of pressure, and either LL (or both) might start with some harassment. You'll have to be strong and stand up to it.

Get the tenants together on this.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9163
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Thank you.

Postby Cazmia » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:16 pm

Thank you,

I'll be taking a day off of work this Wednesday and heading to Housing Court to find out if the papers of ownership are genuine.

Another tenant has also told me that the new landlord will be asking for a month's rent and a month's security from everyone. I've already lived here 7 years and I paid that when I first moved in. That is not within my budget. It seems, when a building is less than 6 units, you have NO rights as a tenant and a landlord can threaten to throw you out if you don't meet any demand, legal or not.

It's a shame there aren't more rights in place to protect the tenants of 5 unit apartment buildings.
Cazmia
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby TenantNet » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:28 pm

First, Housing Court will have no information on these papers. Even if it did, proper interpretation is necessary, and you need advice on what to do (or not do). You are not in the middle of a non-pay case yet.

Do you have a lease? Landlords can't change the terms of the lease until the present lease expires.

Even if you are month-to-month, the LL must give you 30 day's written notice.

You say 5 units. Did the building have, at one time, six units or more? Were any apartment combined to reduce the total from 6 to 5 units? If so, there might be a case for rent stab coverage. Look into the history of the building.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9163
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby Emeraldstar » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:52 pm

Hi All
Thought this might help with understanding what is a referee deed

http://www.zillow.com/foreclosures/over ... rees-deed/
Emeraldstar
 
Posts: 967
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:01 am

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:36 am

It might be on the up-and-up, but the tenant should still get legal advice and determine what happened and who is the real landlord. I would not trust a paper given out by my landlord unless it can be authenticated.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9163
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby Emeraldstar » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:36 pm

Hi All
Agree with you TN. I don't know a thing about foreclosure, but I'm wondering if a sale would be public record? I'm thinking if the op can start there? When I googled referee deed a lot of info came up & I got the impression to get that deed it's pretty far into the court process.
Emeraldstar
 
Posts: 967
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:01 am

Thanks

Postby Cazmia » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:02 pm

Thank you all for the feedback. My day off of work seems to have been in vain. Housing Court led me on a wild goose chase to the Supreme Court, because they don't document foreclosures. So we drove to the Supreme Court, where I was told I couldget the information I need at their property records dept. I was told at property records that they might have a record of the sale, but not the deed or if the sale was finaluzed and I was sent to ANOTHER address called the Bx Register to speak to the judge whose signature was on the referee's deed, and I was also provided a phone number.
So we drove to the County Register, where they told me there are no judges in the bulding and directed me to a computer room where they looked up my buildings re ords from ACRIS that I had already found on my own home computer.
What a sad waste of time. The phone number I was given was disconnected
There is a 6th apartment in my building. It was converted from an office...Another tenant who is being evicted has been trying to prove this. I do have a lease, my name is even somehow down as one of the defendents on the foreclosure paperwork..I would LOVE to claim rights as a rent regulated tenant, but I wouldn't know how to have it declared as one. It isn't even residential online, it comes up as some class b dwelling, when it is clearly a small apartment building.
Cazmia
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby TenantNet » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:12 pm

Housing Court led me on a wild goose chase to the Supreme Court, because they don't document foreclosures.


That's what I said.

ACRIS ... we could have told you that.

Ever consider talking to a good tenant attorney? Granted, not all lawyers are good, but you can shop around.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9163
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby Emeraldstar » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:03 am

Hi All
I reread a post and the thought came to mind that if this "stranger" has any legal standing in order to "inspect" your apt I would think they are obligated to follow the rules for LL access. Read up on access rules on this site. I'm thinking that you can get a name & a contact # if the "stranger" does it by the book. If you get a written request get it to your lawyer immediatly.
Though TN can't say it, I can, google Hawco who advertises on the site. Quite impressive. I have no clue if a consult cost or not but it's a start.
You may also find this link interesting re: what is a class b build.

http://www.propertyshark.com/mason/text ... class.html

Keep us posted it's quite a topic.
Emeraldstar
 
Posts: 967
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:01 am

Thank you

Postby Cazmia » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:32 pm

I'm just fed up at this point. I know investing in a good lawyer as suggested would make a difference, but I am living paycheck to paycheck. Since my day off of work has been in vain, I have still been using my internet resources to investigate at The dept of Buildings and HPD online. There is a deed that was transferred to the person who still claims he is the landlord from 2011 and, at the dept of bldgs, the same person also has the bldg registered until Sept 2013.

We tenants are getting together. Another woman in my building is very upset, because she says this so-called new landlord came to her door and told her to let him in because (and I quote) he "wants to see what's in there". He told me the EXACT same thing!

When she asked him for something proving he was the landlord, he became belligerent and yelled, "If you DON'T want to pay then GET OUT..or I will break in and change the locks".

He keeps demanding entry into my place to "see what's inside"..3 times last week. Whenever I call my current landlord, he tells me the same thing--that he is trying to work things out with his lawyer. The only webiste that reflects this new person MIGHT be the owner is ACRIS, which reflected some sort of "Mortgage Assignment" to this person's corporation in 2012..but after that, another listing called "Lien Sale Certificate" in which the city of New York and the Bank of New York are party one and party two come up. The deed is at ACRIS and IT says an owner from 7 years ago sold the building to my current landlord and that deed has a scan number from the court.

How could a former owner have lost the building to this new rude person after she had already sold it to my current landlord?

At any rate, I REFUSE to pay ANYONE rent until I know what's going on. I know they'll be A LOT of harrassment in my future..and this was such a nice, quiet building. =(
Cazmia
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby Emeraldstar » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:30 am

Hi All
Jeeze it's quite confusing...that said, if your not paying rent, make sure you have it in total should you end up in court.
I would print out the LL access law & hand it to the "rude person" stating as soon as you get a proper request with purpose for entry an inspection can take place. If you have their office address you might want to send it there as well RRR. That goes for your neighbors too. I'm not certain but together you may be able to do it as a petition. Also a word of warning, do not allow pictures to be taken during an inspection. Some sneaky LL's try so stay in every room with them. They use the pics against you if there have been changes unapproved.
Since the "rude person" threatened to change locks I also advise looking at illegal lockouts. It may be prudent for everyone to carry a copy (not orginal) of their current lease with them.
If you really want to hard ball their rudeness...next time they knock say who is it, get response, say one moment please, get to the phone call 911 & say there's a stranger at my door demanding to get in, I'm afraid & give your info, say to rude person I'll be right there & then wait for the police. Open the door to police & explain. Get your neighbors in on this. Eventually the "rude person/stranger" may get to notifying tenants of their LL status.
Emeraldstar
 
Posts: 967
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:01 am

Next

Return to NYC Non-Regulated Apartments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 4 guests