Category Real Estate

The Basics of Mortgage Refinancing

by Bryan Lane Berson, Esq. Download PDF: Refinancing Mortgages A. Why Do Borrowers Refinance? When you refinance a mortgage, you replace your current mortgage with a new one that has a different interest rate, maturity, or both. People refinance for a variety of reasons. They may want to – reduce their interest rate or monthly […]

Security Deposits: Landlords’ and Tenants’ Rights in New York

by Bryan Lane Berson, Esq. A. What is a Security Deposit? A security deposit is a tenant’s cash that a landlord holds during the rental term to offset potential damages caused by the tenant. It is not rent. A landlord need not apply it to the tenant’s last month’s rent. The tenant must still pay […]

Reverse Mortgage Basics – A Framework for Analysis

by Bryan Lane Berson, Esq.  A. The Difference between Reverse and Forward Mortgages A reverse mortgage is a loan secured by your home. It is a source of funds for homeowners who are 62 or older and who meet certain conditions. Under the terms of a typical reverse mortgage, a borrower’s debt increases and equity […]

Loans, Mortgages, and Liens

by Bryan Lane Berson, Esq. Collateral is an essential component of loan transactions. Realty (i.e., real estate) or personalty (i.e., personal property) can serve as collateral. The creditor’s (i.e., lender) interest in the collateral depends on the transaction, loan, property, and law. The debtor (i.e., borrower) will acknowledge that it is conveying an interest to […]

Avoiding Liability Related to Removal of Snow and Ice in New York: An Introduction for Commercial Property Owners and Landlords

by Bryan Lane Berson, Esq. When New York winters are harsh, it can be difficult for property owners and landlords to clear snow and ice from their properties. This column discusses landlords’ common law (note 1) duties to people invited to the property (“invitees”). New York follows the “natural accumulation rule,” which assumes that invitees […]

Co-ops and Condos in New York: Comparing the Regimes

by Bryan Lane Berson, Esq. A. Introduction.  Cooperatives (“co-ops”) and condominiums (“condos”) share some important similarities and have some distinct differences. This column discusses several basic issues that buyers and residents should be aware of. (I refer to the entity as a whole as a “co-op” or “condo,” a unit within an entity as an […]

Contractor Agreements and Accident Reports

by Bryan Lane Berson, Esq. Property owners hire many types of contractors (e.g., custodians, snow removers, repairmen), and their actions or negligence may cause accidents. Injured parties will likely sue property owners and the contractors. Thus, owners should insist that contractor agreements contain insurance and indemnification provisions. Owners should insist that before work begins, they […]