News & Insights

Access to Neighbor’s Property for Repairs and Improvements

When properties are close together, it can be difficult to repair or make improvements to your own property without accessing a neighbor’s property. Particularly within New York City, you will often be required to place protective structures on your neighbors’ property in order to get a permit. While the best solution to obtain access is to negotiate directly with your neighbors, what if negotiations fail? How can you still gain entry to the other property?

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Buying a Home with All Cash? Additional Disclosure Requirements May Apply

In an effort to combat money laundering, the U.S. Treasury Department requires additional disclosures in certain types of real estate transactions. First passed in March 2016, the disclosure requirements apply to a non-individual (corporation, LLC or partnership) who purchases a residential property for “all cash.” The rules were recently renewed and apply at least through … Read more

Has the government “taken” your property with too many regulations?

Under the Federal (and most state) constitutions, the government cannot “take” private property for public use without just compensation. Historically, this meant physically seizing or intruding upon all or part of your property and is often referred to as “eminent domain”. But takings are not necessarily physical. They can result from government regulations restricting the use of your property. It can be difficult to determine when the regulations go so far that they constitute a taking and require compensation.

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When It’s Just Too Much: Limits on Fees Charged by a Zoning Board of Appeals

As many property owners may know, zoning restrictions can have a significant impact on how a property can be used and improved. A zoning board of appeals (“ZBA”) is an independent board whose decisions impact a landowner’s property rights and can frequently affect the value of the property.  Municipalities have authority to charge fees for the ZBA’s functions. However, there are limits on such fees of which landowners should be aware. 

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Buying or Selling Real Estate on Long Island? Expect More Fees in 2017

Nassau and Suffolk counties are again attempting to raise revenue, this time targeting real estate transactions. Those buying or selling real estate on Long Island or looking to borrow funds should be aware of the following new and increased fees:

  • Suffolk County Mortgage Verification Fee. Effective January 1, 2017, there is a $300.00 charge at the time of filing of any “mortgage related documents.” It appears that this fee, which would be paid by the Borrower, would apply to mortgages, assignments of mortgage, subordination agreements, home-equity line of credit documents, satisfactions of mortgage and consolidation, extension and modification agreements (CEMAs), all of which are recorded in mortgage books of record (Libers).

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Beware of Zoning Changes: Protecting Your Non-conforming Use

ZoningLocal zoning codes established by a town, village, or city control and establish what you can do with your property, as well as the size and boundaries of structures. Those codes can change over time, resulting in potential problems for property owners. This is increasingly an issue for many owners as localities look to prohibit certain uses of property because of growing concerns of conservation, exposure risks, etc. However, owners are often protected from a change that makes a pre-existing use illegal because they are considered to have a “prior non-conforming use.”

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How a Conservation Easement Can Benefit Your Estate Planning

Could your estate benefit from a conservation easement? A conservation easement limits the amount of development that can be done on land. For the property owner, gifting or selling an easement can provide certain financial and business advantages. An easement can also benefit the larger community by conserving the property’s scenic and natural attributes, and ensuring that the property is preserved for open space, agricultural or passive recreational uses.

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