Legal Considerations for Short-Term Rentals

Platforms like Airbnb, its lesser-known rival Vrbo, and increasingly prevalent independent listings, provide a relatively simple way for property owners to use their idle properties to make extra money renting their properties to vacationers and other short-term guests. Many entrepreneurs also buy properties for this express purpose. This can be a profitable endeavor for the […]

The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020

Last Monday the New York State Legislature passed, and the Governor promptly signed, the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 (“EEFPA”) into law. EEFPA was designed to dramatically slow or stop any eviction proceeding in the State and to provide relief to homeowners affected by the pandemic. Background Since Executive Order 202.8 […]

COVID-19: Time to think about Force Majeure?

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about how COVID-19 is impacting our clients’ businesses.  Today, let’s talk about something called “force majeure” and what it might mean for your business contract.  So what is force majeure?  It’s basically a term in contract law and it can be used to excuse a party’s obligations under […]

Notarizing Documents During a Pandemic

Governor Cuomo has signed an executive order that enables any notarial act to be performed utilizing audio-video technology[i]. Executed on March 19, 2020, Executive Order 202.7 implements the foundation for contracts requiring notarization to be executed during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine. 202.7 allows any notarial act that is required under New York law to be […]

New Permitting Process for Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects

On February 21, the Governor introduced the Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act for inclusion into the 2020 budget. Its goal is to streamline the process for approving large-scale (sometimes called (utility-scale) renewable energy projects. Currently, projects that anticipate generating under 25 megawatts are required to go through a local permitting process featuring SEQR […]

Zoning for Religious Uses Without Violating RLUIPA

In 1988 the Supreme Court denied American Indian groups, led by the Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association, bid to prevent the construction of a roadway for harvesting timber on Chimney Rock Mountain, California. The site had been a sacred place of worship for local Native tribes for hundreds of years. Native American rights advocates, as […]

You are Buying or Selling Real Estate. Do you Need an Environmental Lawyer?

Yes, you need environmental counsel when any of the following arise: You want to obtain “bona fide prospective purchaser protection” for your property acquisition but are not sure what is required. You need assistance in drafting environmental provisions in a contract of sale in order to protect yourself from risk and future liabilities. The parties […]


Rent control, first promulgated in New York City almost a century ago, has been a consistent feature of the downstate residential real estate market for decades. However, it came as a surprise to some to see headlines appear in recent months teasing the possibility of downstate-style price controls (“rent stabilization”) on residential units making their […]

Hiring an Attorney for Your Real Estate Purchase

If you are a transplant to New York it may come as a surprise to you to learn that real estate transactions involve not only real estate agents, but also attorneys to represent the buyer, seller,and (in some instances) lender.  This is because New York law mandates that only attorneys can practice law and specifies […]

Environmental Due Diligence: Do Your Homework before You Buy

Every now and then we’re visited by a new client who discovers he bought contaminated property and needs legal help.  In almost all of these cases, our client bought the property without first getting advice from an environmental lawyer or conducting adequate environmental due diligence on the property.  We’re always glad to help, but the […]