How to Access NYS Executive Orders and ESDC Guidance

March 24, 2020

As the coronavirus situation rapidly evolves, it is important for businesses to keep abreast of the changing legal landscape. Here is the link to the New York State Governor’s Executive Orders, some of which directly impact the New York real estate industry and related industries: New York’s Empire State …Read More

Stormwater Laws and Regulations in New York – A Broad Overview

February 11, 2020

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has a good page on their website that explains how and why stormwater is regulated in New York (see link below).  Most local municipalities now have their own local stormwater management laws.  Under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) real estate …Read More

Appellate Division Rules on Breach of Contract Case

July 1, 2019

On June 26, 2019 the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the Westchester County Supreme Court decision, holding that the plaintiff in Premium Cornerstone Properties, LLC v. S&R Main Realty, LLC was not entitled to specific performance on a Contract of Sale because the contract had expired by its terms and …Read More

Court Snuffs Out Town’s Attempt to Restrict the Sale of E-Cigarettes

May 16, 2019

In Bedford Village Service Station of Westchester Inc., et al v. Town of Bedford, Westchester Co. Index No. 70064/18, decided May 1, 2019, the Westchester County Supreme Court granted a preliminary injunction with respect to the Town of Bedford’s ordinance (“Ordinance”) restricting the location of businesses selling electronic nicotine delivery …Read More

Pet Trust Primer

May 16, 2019

The ASPCA has a good “plain English” pet planning/pet trust primer on its website: The ASPCA states in relevant part “Since there is one state in which a pet trust is not valid, and other states where enforcement is discretionary, it is advisable to set up a trust with …Read More

Irvington Legalizes and Regulates Short-Term Rentals

May 9, 2019

On April 15, 2019, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Irvington (“Village”) in Westchester County, New York, adopted Local Law #7 of 2019 (“New Law”) amending the Village Zoning Code (“Code”) to permit short term rentals. The New Law adds the following definition of “Short-Term Rental” to the …Read More

Court Denies Commercial Landlord’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Grants Tenant’s Motion to Amend its Complaint

April 3, 2019

In Catnap, LLC v. Cammeby’s Management Company, LLC the Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed the lower court decision denying defendant’s motion for summary judgment and granting Plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend its complaint. Plaintiff leased property from 19-20 Industry City Associates, LLC (“19-20 Industry City”), and Plaintiff in turn …Read More

Court Incinerates City’s Denial of Crematory

February 8, 2019

In the Matter of White Plains Rural Cemetery Association v. City of White Plains, decided January 30, 2019, the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the lower court decision to annul a determination of the City of White Plains Zoning Board of Appeals denying a use variance for a crematory at …Read More

Village of Dobbs Ferry ZBA’s Excessive Dissimilarity Decision Upheld

February 8, 2019

In Matter of Livingston Development Group v. Village of Dobbs Ferry, decided January 16, 2019, the Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed the Supreme Court and upheld the Village of Dobbs Ferry Zoning Board of Appeals’ decision that the petitioner’s two proposed six-unit multi-family buildings were excessively dissimilar to the character …Read More

Owners of Public Horse Farms

February 8, 2019

Owners of horse farms which are open to the public should be reminded of New York General Obligations Law Article 18-B, enacted January 6, 2017.  Said law imposes specific responsibilities on the horse farm owner such as trail signage, employee training, warning signs, preventing reasonably foreseeable risks, etc. A copy …Read More

How Can Real Estate Investors Benefit from a Qualified Opportunity Fund?

February 5, 2019

According to the Internal Revenue Service, a Qualified Opportunity Fund is an investment vehicle that is set up as either a partnership or corporation for investing in eligible property that is located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone.  An Opportunity Zone is an economic development tool.  Opportunity Zones are designed to …Read More

What is a Commercial Lease Surrender Agreement?

February 5, 2019

Simply put, a Lease Surrender Agreement is an agreement whereby the landlord and tenant agree to terminate the lease prior to the expiration date. “Surrender” is a legal term referring to the tenant’s surrender, or relinquishment, of its leasehold estate. Parties may wish to enter into a Lease Surrender Agreement …Read More

The Costs and Benefits of Forming a LLC to Acquire Real Estate

January 29, 2019

A real estate investor recently asked me whether she should form a LLC to purchase a residential investment property in New York. Some of the advantages of forming a LLC are obvious. First and foremost is liability protection.  If there is a claim not covered by insurance, the LLC shields …Read More

Why Isn’t Estate Planning Just for Rich Old Folks?

January 9, 2019

Young, healthy people with modest means can benefit from estate planning largely for the same reasons wealthier, older people benefit from estate planning. First, estate planning takes disability into consideration – not just death.  If, for example, a young person is rendered unconscious after a car accident, the living will …Read More

What is a Living Will?

January 9, 2019

A living will is not an oxymoron.  Simply put, a living will (sometimes referred to as an “advance directive”) consists of a person’s instructions for how to make medical treatment decisions in the event that he/she is unable to do so.  For example, if a person is unconscious after a …Read More

Why People Under Forty Should Consider Estate Planning

January 9, 2019

A client once asked, “I’m not married, I don’t own a house and I don’t have kids; do I need to do Estate Planning?”  The short answer is that no one is required to do estate planning.  However, estate planning can be beneficial if a person wishes to appoint someone …Read More

Why a Pet Trust May be “Man’s Best Friend”

January 9, 2019

Perhaps the richest dog in the world is buried in Westchester County, New York.  Leona Helmsley left Twelve Million Dollars for the care of her Maltese named “Trouble” and stipulated that Trouble would be entombed by Helmsley’s side in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Obviously, that is an extreme example.  However, …Read More

How to Ensure that a Pet is Cared For After the Owner’s Death

January 9, 2019

Pets often become honorary members of the family.  But what happens to a pet after its owner becomes incapacitated or dies?  For pets with longer life expectancies, such as horses, birds and reptiles, this dilemma may be especially poignant. One solution is to create a trust for the benefit of …Read More

Bedford Adopts New Cell Tower Law

January 7, 2019

On December 14, 2018 the Board of Trustees of the Town of Bedford, New York, Westchester County, adopted a new local law governing wireless telecommunications facilities. According to the new law, its purpose is to establish “uniform standards for the siting, design, permitting, maintenance, and use of wireless telecommunication facilities in …Read More

NYC Judge Rules No Easement So Fence May Remain

October 25, 2018

In Asian American HDFC, Inc. v. 110 Ridge St. Venture, LLC, 2018 WL 3428569 (2018), the New York State Supreme Court, Justice Barbara Jaffe, denied Plaintiff’s request for an injunction prohibiting the Defendant from blocking Plaintiff’s secondary means of fire egress with a fence. The Plaintiff and Defendant own adjacent …Read More

How to Draft a Horse Boarding Agreement in New York

October 25, 2018

A horse owner recently called our office alleging that her stable had mistreated her horse by leaving the animal outdoors at temperatures below twenty degrees and by failing to provide enough feed for the horse.  She claimed the horse was malnourished.  Because she was not satisfied with the manner in …Read More

Court Decides Woman Owns Strip of Land by Adverse Possession

October 25, 2018

In Slacer v. Kearney, 151 AD3d 1602 (4th Dept. 2017), the Supreme Court granted Plaintiff’s adverse possession claim and the Fourth Department Appellate Division affirmed. Plaintiff and Defendant owned adjacent properties.  Plaintiff’s chain link fence encroached on Defendant’s land.  Plaintiff commenced an action alleging that she owned the strip of …Read More

Court Grants Limited Prescriptive Easement over Private Trail

October 24, 2018

In Auswin Realty Corporation v. Klondike Ventures, Inc., 163 A.D.3d 1107 (2018), Plaintiff brought an action against Defendants claiming that Defendants were trespassing over their property and removed/cleared trees without permission.  An approximately one-half-mile long trail on the Defendant’s property encroached onto Plaintiff’s property in two locations to avoid a …Read More

NYSDEC Amends the SEQRA Regulations Effective January 1, 2019

October 24, 2018

On June 27, 2018, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) adopted a Findings Statement and certain amendments to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) regulations. The amendments become effective January 1, 2019 and these changes are the first major amendments to the SEQR regulations …Read More

Due Diligence Checklist for a Vacant Residential Property in New York

September 21, 2018

I was recently asked to assist with a due diligence checklist for a client looking to purchase an approximately 12-acre vacant property in a residential zoning district in Westchester County, New York.  The purchaser’s goal was to build as many homes as possible and sell them for a profit.  While …Read More

Ponying Up to Draft and Negotiate Horse Boarding Agreements in New York

August 2, 2018

Drafting or negotiating a horse boarding agreement? Don’t shut the stable door after the horse has bolted! A good horse boarding agreement clearly sets forth the rights and obligations of the stable and horse owner, and may have significant legal consequences in the future. While pre-printed forms may serve as …Read More

Curing Medical Office Leasing Symptoms

July 19, 2018

In some respects, a lease agreement is like the human body. A lease commences, it has a limited duration and eventually it comes to an end.  During the life of a lease, the parties may experience certain symptoms such as parking woes, defaults, noise complaints or access issues.  Diagnosing these …Read More

Let There Be Parking, Says Court to Church

December 15, 2017

In the matter of Evan Daniel Bray v. Town of Yorktown Zoning Board of Appeals, 151 AD3d 720 (2nd Dept. 2017), the Appellate Divison, Second Department upheld the determination of the Town of Yorktown Zoning Board of Appeals that a variance was not necessary to allow Faith Bible Church to …Read More

Court Denies Neighbor Challenge to Religious School in Ramapo

October 3, 2017

In Elliot J. Cohen, et al. v. Town of Ramapo Building, Planning & Zoning Department, et al, 150 A.D.3d 993 (2nd Dept. 2017) the Appellate Division, Second Department upheld the Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the Zoning Board’s determination granting certain area variances for a religious school in Monsey. By …Read More

Village Puts Up “Hurdles” for Indoor Riding Ring

September 13, 2017

In the case entitled Carnelian Farms, LLC v Leventhal, 2015 WL 3970095 (NY Slip Op 04833, Decided June 14, 2017) the Court upheld the Village of Muttontown’s decision to require the Petitioner to remove all excavated material from the property. By way of background, Petitioner Carnelian Farms, LLC owns a …Read More

Soccer Company is Defeated; Court Decides Sub-Landlord Was Entitled to Keep Sub-Tenant’s Security Deposit Under Rider to Commercial Lease

September 22, 2016

In Urban Soccer Inc. v. Royal Wine Corp., 2016 WL 4187506 (Sup.Ct.NY Co., decided August 5, 2016), the court granted the sublessor’s motion to dismiss the sublessee’s claim that sublessor retained the sublessee’s $638,863.50 security deposit in violation of the lease. The defendant, Royal Wine Corp. (“Royal”), leased a warehouse …Read More

What is a License Agreement?

August 25, 2016

In New York, license agreements are sometimes used in order to grant limited rights to use real property. For example, the government may issue hunting and fishing licenses on State land and waterways.  A commercial real estate owner may issue a license allowing a vendor to erect a kiosk in …Read More

A Planning Board Majority Vote May Nevertheless Result in a Denial

August 18, 2016

The result may be counter-intuitive, but a majority vote in favor of a Planning Board application in New York may nevertheless result in a denial of the application. The applicable law pertaining to cities, for example, is New York State General City Law Section 27(17) which states in relevant part …Read More

Town of North Castle Enacts New Local Laws in 2016

August 11, 2016

The Town of North Castle, in Westchester County, New York, recently enacted several local laws for the following purposes: 1.  To amend Chapter 355 (Zoning), to rezone an area along Route 128/Mount Kisco Road, from R-2A One-Family Residence District to R-1A One-Family Residence District, and to amend Chapter 355 with …Read More

Easements Made Simple

August 4, 2016

Lately I have received an increasing amount of inquiries related to easements. A few examples: (i) a residential property owner inquiries about his right to use a “shared driveway,” (ii) a commercial property owner wishes to understand how access, drainage and sight line easements will impact a project design, and …Read More

You Say Lease, I say License

July 28, 2016

Generally speaking, the distinction between a lease and a license is important because a lease gives a tenant a leasehold interest in real property whereas a license may be non-exclusive and may be revocable. Whether an agreement is deemed a lease or a license may have other legal implications as …Read More

Running With the Land

July 21, 2016

I am sometimes asked to explain the phrase “running with the land.” This legal term frequently arises in the zoning/land use context as well as in the purchase and sale context. Simply put, a variance, covenant or restriction that “runs with the land” remains in the title regardless of ownership. …Read More

Was TRID the Real Estate Y2K?

June 30, 2016

In the days leading up to the implementation of TRID, there was palpable trepidation among many real estate professions.   The million dollar question was how TRID would impact the timing of residential real estate closings given the new forms and notice requirements. In New York, where most residential real estate …Read More

New Law Requires a Mold Assessor License in New York

June 23, 2016

Effective January 1, 2016, under a recent amendment to Article 32 of the New York Labor Law (the “Law”), a person who conducts a home inspection for a potential real estate transaction must also be licensed as a “Mold Assessor” if their report will include a “mold assessment.” “Mold assessment” …Read More

Obama Signs a Bill Allowing Companies to Sue for Trade Secret Theft

June 16, 2016

On April 27, 2016, President Obama signed the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016,” a bill making it a crime to steal intellectual property. As stated by President Obama, “We come up with new services, new goods, new products, new technologies. Unfortunately, all too often, some of our competitors, instead …Read More

Court Affirms ZBA Decision that Owner Cannot Develop Property As of Right

June 6, 2016

In Soldatenko v. Village of Scarsdale Zoning Board of Appeals, decided April 20, 2016, the Second Department, Appellate Division, reversed the Supreme Court and upheld the Zoning Board of Appeals’ determination that the owners could not develop their pre-existing nonconforming lot as of right.  The Court stated, “Contrary to the …Read More

Court Affirms Decision to Grant Variances For a Site Plan Approval

May 31, 2016

In Applebaum v. Village of Great Neck Board of Appeals, decided April 13, 2016, the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the Supreme Court’s decision to deny an Article 78 Petition challenging the Board of Appeals’ decision to grant variances for a site plan approval.  The Court found that the Board …Read More

Court Affirms Town of Carmel ZBA’s Denial of Area Variance Application

May 24, 2016

In Harris v. Town of Carmel Zoning board of Appeals, decided March 23, 2016, the Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed the Zoning Board of Appeals’ denial of an area variance.  The Court held that “The Board rationally found that granting the variances would produce an undesirable change in the character …Read More

Developing a Residential Due Diligence Checklist in New York

May 17, 2016

Even for experienced buyers, purchasing a home in Westchester County, New York can be a daunting process. Most Contracts of Sale will state that the property is being sold “as is.”  This means that the onus is on the buyer to conduct its due diligence before signing the contract so …Read More

Residential Closings in Westchester, New York

April 26, 2016

In many respects, residential closings in Westchester, New York are similar to closings elsewhere in New York. Purchasers often request a mortgage contingency, closing dates are often “on or about,” Purchasers accept the property “as is” and have an opportunity to perform a final walk-through prior to closing, etc.  Most …Read More

Court Awards Commercial Landlord Monetary Damages Against Guarantor

April 19, 2016

In 501 Fifth Avenue Co., LLC v. Aslam, 136 A.D.3d 535 (1st Dept. 2016), the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed the trial court and awarded the landlord $71,542.46, plus statutory interest against the Guarantor on a commercial lease. Specifically, the Court held that pursuant to the clear and unambiguous terms …Read More

Bedford Considers New Historic Property List and Review Procedures

April 12, 2016

The Town of Bedford has published a draft survey, prepared by Steward Preservation Services, of private properties that have been deemed historically significant, as well as a new set of procedures to consider owners’ requests to demolish these structures or make significant exterior alterations. The list filters such properties into …Read More

Contingencies in a New York Residential Contract of Sale

March 29, 2016

Simply put, a contingency is an event that might not occur. In Westchester County, we often see mortgage contingencies in a residential contract of sale. If the buyer cannot obtain a mortgage commitment within a specified time period (usually 30 days) then the buyer may cancel the contract. Contingencies may …Read More

The Infamous Pollution Exclusion to the New York Homeowners Policy

March 22, 2016

Most purchasers of single-family homes in New York probably do not fully understand the scope of their homeowners insurance policy. Often this policy is obtained as an afterthought on the eve of closing in order to obtain bank clearance to close.  However, as with any contract, the devil is in …Read More

Congress Increases FIRPTA Withholding to 15%

March 1, 2016

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“Law”).  The Law amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 particularly with respect to Real Estate Investment Trusts.  The Law also amends the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980. …Read More

Court Denies Commercial Landlord’s Motion for Ejectment

February 16, 2016

In Arista Real Estate Holdings, Inc. v. Kemalettin, 2015 WL 7270744 (2nd Dept. 2015), the Court denied the landlord’s motion for a summary judgment finding that the lease had not expired by its terms. The plaintiff and the defendant entered into a commercial lease agreement for a store in Brooklyn, …Read More

Federal Court Orders Town to Approve Cell Tower

January 5, 2016

On November 10, 2015 the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision ordering the Town of East Fishkill to issue a permit for the construction of a new cell tower near the Taconic Parkway. The Court examined the record de novo and rejected …Read More

Environmental Due Diligence Seminar Draws a Lively Crowd

December 22, 2015

As the co-chair of the Westchester County Bar Association’s Environmental Law Committee, I recently taught a seminar on Environmental Due Diligence for commercial real estate transactions.  My presentation focused on the legal framework for environmental due diligence under applicable federal, state, county and local laws.  Seth Mandelbaum, Esq. discussed contractual …Read More

Appellate Division Affirms Denial of Church’s Article 78 Petition

December 15, 2015

In Saint James Antiochian Orthodox Church v. Town of Hyde Park Planning Board, 17 NYS 3d 481 (2nd Dept. 2015), the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the lower court’s denial of the Church’s Article 78 Petition. The Court found that the determination of the Town of Hyde …Read More

Court Confirms BSA’s 360 Degree Visibility Test

December 8, 2015

In OTR Media Group, Inc. v. Board of Standards and Appeals of the City of New York, 2015 WL 6510756, (1st Dept. 2015) the Court confirmed the BSA’s denial of the Petitioner’s sign application. The Appellate Division found that the “arbitrary and capricious” issue raised by petitioners and disposed of …Read More

WCBA Environmental Law Committee Plans Exciting Legal Seminars for 2016

December 1, 2015

I recently attended the Committee Meeting of the Westchester County Bar Association on behalf of the Environmental Law Committee.  The meeting took place in White Plains.  Other committee chairs from the Construction Law, Trusts & Estates Law, New Lawyers, Bankruptcy, Civil Litigation committee, and other committees were also present.  The …Read More

Court Sanctions Zoning Board’s “About Face”

November 17, 2015

In Gottlieb v. Board of Appeals of Incorporated Village of Lawrence, 131 A.D.3d 481 (2nd Dept. 2015), the Board of Appeals of Incorporated Village of Lawrence (“Board”) denied petitioner’s application for certain area variances. After a rehearing of the application, the Board reversed its prior determination and granted the application …Read More

The Five Elements of a New York Condominium Deed

September 24, 2015

Section 339-O of the New York State Real Property Law requires the following elements in a condominium unit deed: 1. Description of the land as provided in subsection two of section three hundred thirty-nine-n and the liber, page and date of recording of the declaration or solely by naming the …Read More

Due Diligence Checklist for Commercial Acquisitions in New York

September 22, 2015

When purchasing a property in New York, there are a few basic items a purchaser may wish to review as part of its due diligence before signing a contract of sale. The below list highlights some common concerns, though each property is different and the scope and level of scrutiny …Read More

Can A Ten Year Judgment Lien on Real Property Be Renewed?

September 15, 2015

In short, the answer is yes in New York. Pursuant to Section 5014 of the New York Civil Procedure Law and Rules “An action may be commenced under subdivision one of this section during the year prior to the expiration of ten years since the first docketing of the judgment. …Read More

Court Dismisses Horse Injury Case

September 3, 2015

In Quintanilla v. Thomas School of Horsemanship, Inc., 129 A.D.3d 815 (2nd Dept. 2015), the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of a personal injury action to recover damages from a horseback riding academy. The court stated that the doctrine of “primary assumption of the risk” provides that by engaging …Read More

Court Reverses Glen Cove ZBA Denial of Area Variance

September 1, 2015

In Graziose v. City of Glen Code Zoning Board of Appeals, 127 A.D.3d 863 (2nd Dept. 2015) the court set aside the Zoning Board of Appeals’ (ZBA) denial of an area variance application, finding that the ZBA’s decision was irrational, arbitrary and capricious.  Interestingly, although the court noted that the …Read More

Court Affirms ZBA Denial of Area Variances for Accessory Building

August 25, 2015

In Sacher v. Village of Old Brookville, 124 A.D.3d 902 (2d Dept. 2015), the court upheld the denial of area variances for an accessory building. On May 8, 2012, the Board of Zoning Appeals of the Village of Old Brookville (ZBA) denied Petitioner’s application for certain area variances for a …Read More

Town of Bedford Tightens Commercial Signage Restrictions

August 18, 2015

On July 7, 2015, the Town of Bedford, New York’s Board of Trustees adopted an amendment (“Signage Amendment”) to the Zoning Code imposing new restrictions on certain commercial signage. The Signage Amendment affects the appearance and dimensions of signs permitted in the Central Business zoning district and requires Planning Board …Read More

Court Reverses Zoning Board’s Denial of a Use Variance

August 4, 2015

In Greentree Country Club, Inc. v City of New Rochelle, 119 A.D.3d 570 (2d Dept. 2014), the court reversed the denial of a use variance to legalize the enclosure of outdoor porches in a clubhouse, finding that the denial was arbitrary and capricious. The Petitioners and owners of Greentree Country …Read More

The New TILA & RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID) Replaces the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and Truth-in-Lending Disclosures with a Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure

July 28, 2015

In November 2013 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“Bureau”) issued the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure final rule (“Rule”) to implement provisions under the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Rule was initially effective August 1, 2015, which date has been postponed until October 3, 2015. As detailed …Read More

Commercial Tenant Forfeits Lease for Failure to Maintain Insurance

July 28, 2015

In NY Great Stone, Inc. v. Two Fulton Square, LLC, 47 Misc. 3d 720 (N.Y.Sup.Ct. Queens Co. 2015), the New York State Supreme Court held that a commercial tenant’s failure to prove that it maintained insurance throughout the term of the lease constituted an incurable material, default resulting in lease …Read More


July 27, 2015

On July 24, 2015 the United States Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) granted its conditional approval of the transfer of control of licenses and authorizations from DIRECTV to AT&T Inc. (AT&T). According to the FCC, the approval will allow AT&T to acquire DIRECTV and merge the two companies into one combined …Read More

Court Dismisses Woodstock Concert Venue’s Equal Protection Claim

July 21, 2015

In Abramson v Gettel, 2014 WL 6694505 (SDNY 11/25/2014), the court dismissed Plaintiff’s Equal Protection claim. Plaintiffs had commenced an action against Defendants, including the Town of Bethel, alleging that Defendants deprived Plaintiffs of their right to equal protection of law under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. …Read More

Court Dismisses Complaint Against Town of East Hampton On Ripeness Grounds

July 16, 2015

In Safe Harbor Retreat, LLC v Town of East Hampton, 2015 WL 918771 (EDNY 3/2/2015, the court found that Plaintiff’s case was not ripe and dismissed it without prejudice. Plaintiff had proposed an “executive retreat” for persons suffering from alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse.  The Senior Building Inspector …Read More

Court Orders Town of Fishkill to Allow Cell Tower

July 9, 2015

In Orange County-Poughkeepsie Limited Partnership v. Town of Fishkill, 2015 WL 409260 (SDNY 1/30/2015), the Court ordered the Zoning Board of Appeals to grant the application for a cell tower and issue all required permits. Verizon Wireless had sought to construct a new wireless telecommunications facility consisting of an approximately …Read More

Court Finds Challenge to Planning Board Decision is Time-Barred

June 18, 2015

In Bristol Homeowners Environmental Preservation Associates, LLC v Town of South Bristol, 2014 WL 5901427 (4th Dept. 2014), the Court found that although a 6 year limitations period generally applies to a declaratory judgment action, this particular claim could have been brought as a CPLR Article 78 proceeding which has …Read More

What is a Boundary Line Agreement?

June 2, 2015

Simply put, a boundary line agreement is an agreement between two owners of adjacent parcels of land whereby the owners agree on the precise location of an otherwise unclear common boundary.  A boundary line may not be clear depending on the description in the deed or subsequent changes to the …Read More

Top Ten Legal Issues Confronting New Businesses in 2015

May 28, 2015

Having represented a wide variety of businesses for over thirteen years, we have seen a pattern develop as far as legal hurdles that must be overcome to achieve their goals.  Here are a few of the “culprits” that we expect to re-appear in 2015, especially as many new ventures are …Read More

Court Enforces Personal Guaranty on a Commercial Lease

May 26, 2015

The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, recently decided the case entitled, Moon 170 Mercer, Inc. v. Vella, 122 A.D.3d 544 (2014), in which it enforced a personal guaranty of a commercial lease. The lower court had granted the landlord damages in the amount of $414,114.27 on its …Read More

No CO, No Problem?

May 14, 2015

In Westchester County, New York, many older homes do not have a Certificate of Occupancy.  In other cases, property owners have made improvements without obtaining permits.  Most often these issues can be identified and resolved early in the transaction. As part of a buyer’s due diligence, you may wish to …Read More

What is an Inspection Contingency?

May 12, 2015

Some first time home buyers or sellers in New York may not understand the mechanics of the inspection contingency.  Simply put, a general inspection contingency gives the buyer a certain period to cancel the Contract of Sale if the buyer’s professional inspector discovers a property defect.  The scope of defects …Read More

What is a Mortgage Contingency?

May 7, 2015

Some first time home buyers or sellers in New York may not understand the mechanics of the mortgage contingency.  Simply put, the standard mortgage contingency gives the buyer a grace period to cancel the Contract of Sale without forfeiting the down payment if the buyer is unable to obtain a …Read More


May 5, 2015

The Westchester County Private Well Water Testing Legislation, Local Law 7 of 2007, was adopted on May 23, 2007.  The Law applies to properties served by private wells used for drinking water, and requires a water test to be conducted upon signing a contract of sale for any property with …Read More

FIRPTA Made Simple – Foreign Tax Withholding for “Dummies”

April 30, 2015

The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) requires ten percent (10%) of the purchase price to be withheld from foreign sellers of real property located within the United States.  However, the seller may apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a Withholding Certificate indicating that …Read More

The New 007: The Name’s Bond, Mechanic’s Lien Bond

April 28, 2015

How does one discharge a mechanic’s lien? To answer that question, one must first understand what a mechanic’s lien is.  As the name implies, a mechanic’s lien is a secured interest on real property filed by a laborer who claims they were not paid what they were owed under a …Read More

Making the Grade; Riding Ring Maintenance Obligations

April 23, 2015

When negotiating a commercial lease for a riding academy in New York or New Jersey, it may be appropriate to go beyond a generic provision requiring one party to simply “maintain” the riding ring.  For example, some riding rings may have multiple layers of different material requiring a special plow …Read More

North Castle Amends Fence Definition in Zoning Code

April 21, 2015

The Town of North Castle in Westchester County, New York has amended its zoning code to add a new definition of “fence.”  See Local Law 6-2014. The new definition is very broad, including a “visible or tangible barrier enclosing, bordering or delineating a yard.”  However, the definition expressly excludes hedges, …Read More

Shared Driveways: Better Check Yourself Before you Wreck Yourself

April 16, 2015

I recently received an inquiry about a small portion of a driveway that allegedly encroached on my client’s property.  The inquiring attorney was representing my client’s neighbor who had entered into a contract of sale.  The survey exception in the buyer’s title report had apparently included this small driveway encroachment …Read More

Court Finds Seller’s Counterclaim that Buyer Wrongfully Terminated Residential Purchase and Sale Agreement is Full of Hot Air

April 13, 2015

On November 13, 2014, the New York State Appellate Division, First Department, decided the case entitled, Honua Fifth Avenue, LLC v. 400 Fifth Realty, LLC, 122 A.D.3d 434 (1st Dept. 2014), dismissing defendant seller’s counterclaim that plaintiff purchaser had wrongfully terminated the residential contract of sale (“Contract”). Plaintiff had requested …Read More

Court Grants Partial Relief to New York Residential Landlord

April 2, 2015

On December 3, 2014 the New York State Supreme Court, New York County, decided the case entitled, “184-188 Claremont Investors, LLC v. Knowles,” 2014 WL 6848016 (N.Y.Sup. Slip Op. 33126(U). Plaintiff, the owner of a residential apartment on Claremont Avenue, brought an action to enjoin the defendant from allegedly subletting …Read More

The (Not So Great) Gatsby

March 30, 2015

On September 17, 2014, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department decided the case entitled Patsis v. Nicolia, 120 A.D.3d 1326 (2nd Dept. 2014), requiring the defendant to pay the plaintiff $210,000 due to a breach of contract. According to the court’s decision, the parties had entered into an agreement …Read More

A Tale of the Two Castles

March 26, 2015

A cell tower lease is renewed and the tower company and Town live happily ever after, well at least for the next five years. On January 26, 2015, Crown Atlantic Company, LLC a subsidiary of Crown Castle, an international cell tower company, notified the Town of North Castle Sewer District …Read More

North Castle Proposes New Public Hearing Notice Procedure

March 19, 2015

On February 25, 2015, the Board of Trustees of the Town of North Castle, New York (Westchester County), is considering a local law amending its public hearing procedure.  The proposed law essentially changes the manner in which the notice to 250 foot abutters (e.g. for zoning applications) must be sent.  …Read More

Town Board Approves Bedford Hills Post Office Lease

March 16, 2015

On February 4, 2015, the Board of Trustees of the Town of Bedford, New York, adopted a resolution approving a lease with the United States Postal Service at 60 Adams Street, Bedford Hills, New York.  The lease is for an initial five year term at an annual rent of $125,440.00 …Read More

The Friends of Bedford Playhouse

March 11, 2015

It was recently reported that the Bedford Playhouse is raising funds in order to re-open their doors.  We received this promotion seeking additional funding: “The Friends of Bedford Playhouse are raising funds to renovate The Bedford Playhouse (built in 1947) and turn it into a state-of-the-art, non-profit cinema. After a …Read More

Out on a Limb

March 9, 2015

In New York what happens when a tree trunk straddles a property boundary?  Perhaps surprisingly, this is a relatively common occurrence in Westchester and Putnam Counties. First, determining precisely where the tree trunk lies vis a vis the property boundary is not always as obvious as it may seem.  Trees …Read More

What Constitutes a “Fixture” in a Real Estate Transaction?

February 25, 2015

Generally speaking, a fixture is a piece of personal property that is permanently attached to a piece of real estate such that its removal would cause damage.  Some attorneys advise their clients on residential deals that if they turn the house/apartment upside down, the items which  fall are not considered …Read More

Why Get Title Insurance?

February 23, 2015

Some clients have asked me whether it is necessary to get title insurance when buying real estate in New York, including Westchester County.  As a practical matter, if the buyer is financing the acquisition, the lender will require title insurance before funding the mortgage.  Even on an “all cash” deal …Read More

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

February 20, 2015

Local zoning regulations, especially in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties, often make it difficult to develop commercial real estate which is encumbered with wetlands, steep slopes or other related issues.  In these situations owners/investors sometimes consider alternative uses to achieve a return on their investment.  Such alternatives may include telecommunications/cell …Read More

Experienced Westchester County, NY Attorney serving Westchester & NYC. Especially convenient to Bedford, Mt. Kisco, White Plains, North Castle, New Castle, North Salem, South Salem, Cross River and Lewisboro.
Attorney Advertising © Betensky Law, PLLC. All Rights Reserved. | Legal disclaimer | Site map | Website by Upside Business Consultants
Web Design BangladeshWeb Design BangladeshMymensingh