Apartment Living Tips

Published on Mar 19, 2012

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From time to time we like to give our readers a few apartment living tips. There's not always a "theme" to these tips on apartment living.  They're usually just random tips that we think might be of interest, or about a topic that was recently in the news.

Thus: here are three apartment living tips that caught my eye recently as I made my NYC real estate rounds, one or more of which--who knows?--may be exactly the sort of tip you've been looking for, or may need sometime in the future.

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First, in Jay Romano's always-interesting "Q&A" pierce in the New York Times, someone asks an unfortunately increasingly relevant question about what happens when your NYC rental apartment building goes into foreclosure due to non-payment by your landlord. Basically: can you be evicted by the lender who initiated the foreclosure, even if you've been model tenant, before your lease is up?

Turns out, it depends. If you're a NYC rent-regulated apartment tenant, then, no, you can stay as long as you like, regardless of who now owns the building. However, if you apartment is subject to free-market rents, then the lender can "name you as a defendant in its foreclosure action" and kick you out when the sale is completed. Of course, the lender/new owner may not WANT to kick you out, so it's a good idea (as it always is) to keep paying your rent on time during the proceedings.

Please note that this applies to New York apartments--tenants in NJ obviously fall under a different set of laws--perhaps we will do a future edition of "Apartment Living Tips" just for New Jersey residents!

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The folks at BrickUnderground had a couple of interesting takes on NYC rental apartment living recently as well. For example, in their "insider's guide" to running a successful Tenants Organization, the point was made that it's important to meet on a regular basis just to shmooze and commune, and NOT only when there's some kind of uncomfortable change happening within your building.

Whether it be a new landlord, or a conversion to condos, or anything else that seems to threaten your residential security, when you begin to have problems is not the time to fiirst get to know your neighbors (and allies in the fight). This way, when the crisis hits, the foundation of familiarity is already in place, and can only make your building's community stronger.

And our final of this week's three apartment living tips is also courtesy of BrickUnderground, in an interview with a super (potentially your most important ally for day-to-day piece of mind in your NYC rental apartment!), I was reminded that you should never use your outside hallway as a storage area (boots, bikes, strollers, etc) because it 1. looks messy, 2. is rude to your neighbors who may not want to look at your stuff, and 3. makes it tough to mop.

Actually, the BrickUnderground interview has a lot of great tips (not just the one above) if you don't to annoy, or otherwise incur the wrath of, you super. Required reading for all tenants, perhaps?

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