Real Cases in Real Estate by Andrea Lee Negroni, Esq. – September 23rd, 2011 Update

Real Cases in Real Estate by Andrea Lee Negroni, Esq. – September 23rd, 2011 Update

Real Cases in Real Estate is a weekly update on real estate law, with legal principles illustrated and explained by lawsuits from around the country. The topics are wide-ranging for appeal to a broad spectrum of readers including lawyers, homeowners, investors and the general public. Andrea Lee Negroni, a Washington DC attorney and legal writer with 25 years of experience in financial services and mortgage law, contributes the case summaries.

Followers of Real Cases in Real Estate will learn and be entertained by lawsuits involving nuisance, trespass, zoning violations, deed restrictions, title insurance, public utilities, mechanics liens, construction defects, adverse possession, foreclosure and eviction, divorce and marital property rights, tenants' rights, and more. Real Cases in Real Estate uncovers the unpredictable, amusing, and sometimes outrageous disputes between next-door neighbors, contractors and homeowners, condo boards and residents, real estate brokers and homebuyers, and zoning administrators and developers.

Each fully cited case summary highlights the essential law of the case and explains the principal legal theories and concepts relevant to the outcome. Plain language treatment makes Real Cases in Real Estate accessible to lawyers and laymen alike.

Whether you follow real estate law professionally or as a hobby, you'll find something new and useful every week in Real Cases in Real Estate.

Updates for the Week of September 23rd, 2011

A Co-op Board Did Not Act Unreasonably by Denying Extension of Sublease to Subtenants Whose Smoking Created a Fire Hazard.

The Tamburos owned a co-op apartment in Freeport New York, which they sought to sublet to the Browns. The proprietary lease for the co-op required the co-op board's approval for all subletting. The board approved the sublease to the Browns for a one-year tenancy. Board approval was also required for any extension of the sublease. The language dealing with subletting provided that the board's approval of subletting could not be unreasonably withheld.

When the Tamburos requested the board's consent for approval of the sublease to the Browns, the board denied the request. The Tamburos argued that the board acted arbitrarily or committed fraud when it denied consent for the extension. The co-op's management company notified the subtenants twice about smoke coming from the apartment during their initial lease, noting "tremendous amount of smoke emanating from your apartment," which it said was a fire hazard.

The New York District Court, Nassau County, rejected the owner's claim of arbitrariness and fraud by the co-op, finding that the board used its business judgment in denying the lease renewal. Since the Browns did not deny the smoking in the apartment, the court concluded that the board acted "for the legitimate welfare of the cooperative," making the lease denial reasonable.

First Buckingham Owners Corp. v Tamburo, 2011 NY Slip Op 51629 (N.Y. Dist. Ct. Aug. 31, 2011) [enhanced version available to subscribers]

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