If you live in New York City, you’ve heard of, or perhaps even been part of, a tenant buyout. A tenant buyout situation exists when a landlord offers a tenant a cash payment to move out of their rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment. The motivations behind these offers usually have to do with the landlord trying to empty the unit so they can redevelop the property or lease the unit to someone else who would not be subject to rent-stabilized or rent-controlled pricing. In either situation, the landlord would be able to charge much more, exceeding the cost of buying out the original tenant and making a bigger profit.
If you are lucky enough to lease a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled unit, you are protected from large increases in rent. You also have the right to remain in the unit, enjoying rent-regulated pricing, for as long as you like, so long as you pay your rent on time and don’t violate any other terms of your lease. It’s a very nice situation, especially in high-priced locations like NYC. Rent-regulated units make it possible for many to live in the City.
While some tenants welcome buyout offers, others want nothing to do with them. Where you fall depends on your personal situation. Still, you may be wondering who is a target for a buyout offer and if you may be one of them.
Contact Brasch Legal for help with buyouts
If you need assistance with a buyout, contact Brasch Legal. We have worked in the field of landlord-tenant law for over 20 years and bring years of experience negotiating buyouts. We have helped many tenants get substantially higher amounts in buyouts. Just call (212) 267-2500 or email [email protected] for assistance with your buyout.
Typical targets for buyout offers
While anyone in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled unit is a target for a buyout, there are some situations that make buyout offers more likely:
- Neighborhood redevelopment. Neighborhoods that have suddenly become fashionable are great targets for buyouts. As these areas become more attractive to real estate developers and high paying tenants, landlords with rent-regulated units see a chance to get in on the action and either sell their properties to developers or redevelop the property themselves. However, they need to get rid of the current tenants, which is where the buyout comes in.
- An uptick in the local real estate market. Similarly, a booming real estate market can also prompt buyouts. Landlords want to have units available when renters are willing to pay high prices. That’s one reason buyouts have surged lately, as the market has recovered from the financial crises of 2008 and 2009.
- Minority Tenants. It’s not at all unusual for landlords to target minorities, seniors, or immigrants with buyout offers. Many of these landlords believe that they can coerce or persuade such tenants into taking the offer, even if it’s not in their best interest. Such tenants are also more likely to believe the landlord if they say the unit is no longer rent-regulated after making small improvements. They are also the least likely to seek legal help, making the landlord’s job even easier.
- The complex is almost empty. If the landlord had a plan to sell or redevelop the property for a long time, there may only be a few tenants left in the complex. To get those people out, landlords often offer buyouts so they can move forward with their redevelopment plans sooner.
- New management or ownership. If the building has recently changed hands, you may be the target of a buyout offer. It’s possible the new landlord bought the unit with the intention of redeveloping it and now is trying to move tenants out to do so. Another reason new landlords might try to move people out is that they need to make more money. Perhaps the mortgage is too high or expenses are cutting into profits. The landlord may decide to buy out some tenants in order to raise rental rates to cover their own costs.
Even if you are not in a rent-controlled or rent-stabilized unit you might still be surprised with a buyout offer. If the landlord wants to empty the building so they can sell or redevelop it, they might try to persuade renters to vacate by offering a buyout.
You have protections in a buyout situation
The most important thing for NYC renters to understand is that they have legal protections in buyout situations. If you are in a rent-controlled or rent-stabilized unit, you do not have to accept a buyout offer. You are also protected from landlords making repeated buyout offers, harassing behavior, and eviction without cause. Additionally, the landlord cannot retaliate against you by denying services or changing your locks.
If you have been offered a buyout and are wondering whether or not to take it, or if you are being harassed by your landlord, call or email the landlord-tenant attorneys at Brasch Legal. We can help you obtain the legal protections to which you are entitled or negotiate buyout offers on your behalf.
Contact Brasch Legal for buyout assistance
If you have been presented with a buyout offer and aren’t sure what to do, or want to know if the offer is fair contact the tenant attorneys at Brasch Legal for advice.
We have worked in the field of landlord-tenant law for over 20 years and bring years of experience negotiating a buyout. We have helped many tenants get substantially higher amounts.
To discuss your buyout situation and learn more about our landlord-tenant law services, please contact the team at Brasch Legal today at 212-267-2500 or online by clicking here or visit www.braschlegal.com.