An Overview of Basic Landlord Laws In New York

Interviewer: How long have you been doing this sort of law?

Glen Malia: I’ve been focusing my practice on representing landlords for almost 2 years, but prior to that, for about 28 years, I had done landlord/tenant work. It’s been 2 years since I’ve become laser-focused on representing landlords. I like to say that I help landlords with their tenants, their buildings, their businesses and their lives.

The Most Common Legal Action Undertaken by Landlords is Eviction

Interviewer: Considering you had a great deal of experience over the years, do you find working with landlords to be a little more challenging in that respect?

Glen Malia: Actually, working with landlords results in me doing a lot of court room work,

which I enjoy. The most common thing I do for the landlord is evictions. In New York state, eviction law is very specific and you really have to know the statute and cases to be successful. You really have to know what you’re doing to make sure that you’d done everything correctly, right from the very start, because any small little mistake can cause the eviction proceeding to be dismissed by the court and then, you’ll have to start all over, which isn’t good for the client.

Many Landlords Procrastinate and Wait Too Long Before Evicting a Tenant

One of the problems is that many landlords wait too long to decide to evict a tenant. This means that if I don’t get the eviction proceeding started right away or I don’t get it done right from the very outset, my client ends up losing a couple more months of rent, at a time when he or she has already lost several months of rent before even starting the nonpayment eviction action. Another challenging thing about landlords is helping them to realize that, in many respects they really are business owners and that they should be dealing with their tenants and properties as a business, for example keeping good records, making decisions based upon business concerns and not on whether or not they like the tenant, and things of that nature.

Landlords Need to Handle Their Buildings Like a Business

So, that’s one of the things that, I don’t say, difficult but one of the things I do need to address with many of my clients to “Look, it’s a business. You guys treat it like a business. And if you’re not going to treat it like a business, then the problem, it’s tough for you to solve it, then your problems are bigger when you come to me to solve them”.

There Won’t Be a Need For an Eviction if a Client Has been Screened Properly and Has a Good Lease

Interviewer: Aside from eviction law, what are some of the other different factors that one must consider when it comes to like landlord laws at the whole?

Glen Malia: I mean obviously, the main thing people think about when they talk about land or

you’re talking about representing landlord is obviously evictions but there’s several other things involved in the landlord/tenant relationship to begin with. There’s preparations of leases, whether or not to have a lease, what to put in the lease and things of that nature, you know, how to screen for tenants, what to do, do you do credit checks and things of that nature. They initially have a tenant application and then, once you to accept the tenant, you have the lease and I know there won’t be a need to evict the tenant if you’ve done a good job in screening the clients and then have a good lease.

There are Many Areas of State Law Involving Buildings that a Landlord can Inadvertently have Building Violations

But then, obviously then if it becomes a bad tenant, then there’s the obviously eviction process. In addition to that, it’s the maintenance of the buildings in order to avoid the town or the municipality, filing building code violations and in New York state, there are so many areas of the state law that involves the buildings when you’re renting out a building that landlord can inadvertently have building code violations without even trying and obviously, just the ownership of the building, with the purchase of the building, the financing of the building, the selling of the buildings and things of that nature.

Malia Law, LLC located in Cortlandt Manor, NY represents Landlords/Tenants throughout Westchester County, Putnam County and Southern Dutchess County, NY.

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