For decades, landlords in NYC have been offering tenants buyout offers to hope they will willingly vacate their rental units. These offers are typically aimed at tenants who reside in rent-controlled or rent-stabilized units where there is a market for the landlord to charge much higher rents. The only problem is, they need the current tenants to vacate the premises first since they are prohibited by law from raising rents above a certain threshold for these units.
Offers range from laughable to generous and the tenants always have the right to refuse the offer. In an ideal world, a refusal would mean things continue on as usual and everyone moves forward with their lives. But, that rarely happens.
Instead, what happens is a series of increasingly harassing actions by the landlord as he/she attempts to persuade the tenant to change his/her mind about the offer. NYC tenants have dealt with these harassing actions for many years. Just when things seem to be under control, a new method of harassment arises and tenants are stuck between wanting to keep their home and wanting to be free to live in peace.
Recently, NYC created stricter regulations surrounding the landlord’s ability to make buyout offers. The changes affect everything from the way landlords can approach tenants to require landlords to inform tenants of their rights in buyout situations.
Contact Brasch Legal for help with buyouts and Tenant protections
If you are a tenant or landlord who wants help evaluating buyouts and to know your rights, contact the attorneys at Brasch Legal at 212-267-2500. We have worked in the field of landlord-tenant law for over 20 years. We have helped many tenants with buyout offers. Just call (212) 267-2500 or email [email protected] for assistance.
In this post, we will take a look at three actions that affect landlord-tenant buyout offers.
1. Anti-harassment policies
In many buyout situations, tenants are simply harassed until they are worn down and give in to the buyout offer or until they move to get away from the harassment. New laws prohibit “harassing” landlord behavior or tenant contact. Specifically, landlords cannot “threaten tenants, cursing at them, call them outside of normal business hours, visit them at their workplaces without permission, or provide them with false information in order to encourage a buyout.” Surprisingly, these actions were not illegal until now and were often used by desperate landlords. Thanks to legislation, landlords now must behave professionally when approaching a tenant about a buyout.
2. Repeated offers
If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again, right? Maybe in most things, but no longer for NYC buyout offers. Sometimes, when buyout offers were refused, landlords would repeat the offer ad nauseam to the point where tenants felt harassed by the frequency of the offers. A new law prohibits landlords from making a buyout offer again until 180 days have passed since the tenant refused the previous offer. The only catch is that the tenant must refuse the offer in writing. A verbal “No” is not enough.
3. Notifying Tenants of their rights
Finally, landlords must now inform tenants of their rights when it comes to buyout offers. This is an extremely important protection for tenants, many of whom are immigrants or may not speak English and are often unaware that they have any rights or what to do when presented with a buyout offer. Landlords must tell tenants that:
- The tenant has the right to talk to a lawyer before making a decision and
- The tenant has a right to say “no” to the offer.
Benefits for Landlords too
Although these new requirements seem onerous for landlords, they do provide certain benefits to them as well as to tenants. Landlords now have a few “ground rules” to follow when making buyout offers. This provides a decent starting point and opens the door to negotiation. It’s entirely possible that some landlords did not realize their actions could be construed as harassing. Now, some harassing actions and activities are spelled out and landlords can take steps to avoid them and possibly develop a better approach, a fairer offer while avoiding charges of harassment.
Learn more about negotiating buyouts with help from Brasch Legal
No one should ever feel forced or intimidated into accepting a buyout offer, but if you are a tenant who is open to a buyout it is worth speaking with a landlord-tenant law attorney at Brasch Legal. Our attorneys can help you evaluate a buyout offer, negotiate a higher amount, or represent you to your landlord so you don’t have to negotiate the process alone.
We also work with landlords to help them create fair and reasonable offers and present them in a non-threatening manner. Presenting a fair offer the first time has become even more important now that landlords are prohibited from making a repeat offer for 180 days after the previous rejection.
If a buyout offer is accepted, we can help facilitate the transaction to ensure that everyone’s rights and responsibilities are protected.
We represent both tenants and landlords in buyout situations, helping to ensure rights are protected and options are understood.
Contact Brasch Legal for help evaluating buyouts
If you have been approached with a buyout offer, contact Brasch Legal. We have worked in the field of landlord-tenant law for over 20 years and bring years of experience negotiating buyout terms. We have helped many tenants get substantially higher amounts in buyouts.
To discuss your buyout situation, please call the team at Brasch Legal today at 212-267-2500.