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Jeffrey McAdams, Esq.
New York City
New York attorney Jeff McAdams has a 20-year stellar track record in representing tenants successfully.
Interests: Suing landlords.
Recent Activity
Without knowing it, you may be living in a loft. Lofts are numerous in pockets of New York City. Protections that are similar, but not identical, to rent regulations applying to apartments, cover loft tenancies. Whether or not loft laws apply can make a big difference in the outcome of... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2013 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
One ploy unscrupulous landlords have used is suing for rent after the tenant moved out, claiming the apartment was never surrendered. Your first defense to this is carefully documenting the end of your tenancy and return of the premises to the landlord. If you suspect the landlord may attempt something... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
“First rent” is a principle of law that applies to certain legal rents and registrations after construction work qualifies renovated apartments as new units. For example, if the landlord changes walls in an apartment with the effect of increasing or decreasing it’s overall size, the “first rent” provision may come... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
At times, landlords will send out forms to tenants asking for personal information. Unfortunately, sometimes supplying what appears to be harmless data that’s being reasonably collected can be dangerous. Income, occupancy, and other data may be used against you. So be wary of revealing anything you aren’t legally obliged to.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
What you say can and will be used against you. That’s the rule to keep in mind whenever you’re in court. In a landlord-tenant dispute, the most common bone of contention is back rent. Tenants often think they owe the full past due rent, when in reality there may be... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
In an effort to curb costs, landlords sometimes use unlicensed workers for construction and repairs. This can have serious consequences when work involves major building systems. For example, defective work from unlicensed plumbers can damage the building or make your apartment uninhabitable. Whenever defective conditions affect your use of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
If you see that a problem you’re having with your landlord may develop into a full-blown dispute, research the issues before saying or doing anything rash. Frequently, difficulties between landlords and tenants cause tempers to flare; situations which could be handled better turn into bad blood and unnecessary legal expense.Start... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
If you litigate with your landlord and reach a settlement under which you will pay what you agree you owe, it does not automatically make you liable for the landlord’s legal costs. Unless you agree to it outside of the court’s ruling, only the court can award payment of legal... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
Landlord-tenant disputes can have unique facts. Sometimes unusual fact patterns seem to fall outside existing regulations. In making a determination, the judge may have discretion in applying the law. For example, let’s say you are living in an apartment where the original leaseholder, a family member, moved out. Every year... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
When you need to communicate with an unresponsive landlord to make requests or document facts, it’s best to follow up on conversations with standard paper letters, in addition to e-mail. You can send letters by certified mail, or with a “certificate of mailing” from the post office. In court, your... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
When you end your tenancy and leave an apartment, you must return the keys to the landlord. It’s generally best to return the keys to the landlord or management office personally, and get a written receipt documenting their delivery. Another option is to give them back to an authorized agent... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
Roommate arrangements are frequently short-lived. Often one person will move out unexpectedly, then another person moves in. Some landlords like to take advantage of tenants who lack knowledge of their rights, and charge an “application fee” for each new roommate that occupies the apartment. However, you may not have to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
Some disputes between landlords and tenants escalate to calling the police. Cops are supposed to stop landlords from breaking the law and illegally evicting tenants. Unfortunately, some officers can be biased and willing to support the landlord in throwing you out of your apartment, even without court process. However, if... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
Landlords who own smaller properties sometimes use non-standard leases, or have unusual language in lease agreements that can create problems for tenants. A clause that specifies that the lease automatically renews unless the landlord elects to end the tenancy, or receives notice you’re terminating, can be problematic when you move... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
In a nonpayment proceeding, if you agree to pay the back rent, the landlord’s lawyer will usually require the written agreement (or “stipulation”) to include a judgment against you for the sum, with possession of the apartment if you don’t pay. This means that if you don’t pay on time,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
Particularly in smaller buildings, landlords are sometimes delinquent in paying utility bills for oil, gas, electricity, or water. By law, utility companies must notify the tenants in buildings before shutting off service. Tenants then have the opportunity to make payments themselves for the services, and can deduct these charges from... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
If there’s an emergency condition in your apartment or building, like a major water leak, sewage back-up, or no heat or hot water, you can call 311 to complain to the Emergency Repair Unit. Explain the situation and request an immediate inspection. Don’t be shy about calling several times if... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
If you are sharing an apartment with others and your name isn’t on the lease, your legal rights to stay are very limited. Once the leaseholder moves out, or the lease terminates for any reason, the landlord need not accept you as a tenant. You can be evicted when the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
If you’re in court fighting with the landlord over repairs and finally agree on a settlement, the stipulation’s wording is critical. The landlord’s lawyer may try to be as vague as possible with wording concerning landlord obligations, using phrases like “inspect the apartment and repair as necessary.” Be sure to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
Landlords do not have the right to take photographs inside your apartment without your permission. If your apartment is messy and the landlord knows it, he or she may come up with a reason to request an inspection, and then try to take pictures to use against you on a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
In Housing Court, pointing out technical errors in the landlord’s papers in your Answer can beat the case, even when those mistakes seem unimportant. A technical victory may only be short term, but that may be enough to buy the time you need to raise the money to pay any... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
To prove your case at trial or defeat the landlord’s claims you will usually need witnesses to testify or to send documents to the court in a proper form, so the evidence comes into the record. Unfortunately, people don’t usually come forward voluntarily in time for trial or the court... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
If you owe back rent to your landlord and are a victim of domestic violence, you may be eligible for a “one shot” emergency grant. To qualify you need to meet eligibility criteria. Call 311 to find a local public assistance center where you can apply. If you are a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
If an apartment you rented is not available for occupancy at the beginning of the lease term, you have an opportunity to rescind the lease if you’ve had a change of heart after signing it. For example, if the apartment isn’t ready when it’s supposed to be, it can be... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog
If your landlord aggressively pursues every means to throw you out of your apartment, then when you pay rent every month, send the check by certified mail and make sure the checks are being received and deposited. If Post Office records show the mailings are being rejected, or if the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2012 at NYC Tenant Lawyer Blog