February, 2007

David A. Kaminsky & Associates, P.C. is pleased to announce that we will now be using email to send out our newsletter. Please contact the office to update your email address and to add others to our list.
Every Sunday, the New York Times Real Estate section answers real estate questions sent in by readers in the Q & A portion of the Real Estate section. David A. Kaminsky & Associates, P.C. was asked by Jay Romano of the New York Times to answer a reader’s question regarding whether or not rent stabilization laws apply to the rental of a garage space. See the Q & A below from January 14, 2007.
Question: When a tenant living in a rent-stabilized apartment rents a parking space in the building’s garage, is the garage rent subject to stabilization too?
Answer: David A. Kaminsky, a Manhattan landlord-tenant lawyer, said a parking space in the garage of a rent-stabilized building is an “ancillary service” that may be provided pursuant to the lease for the apartment or pursuant to a separate rental agreement.
Whether the garage rent is subject to stabilization is typically influenced by three factors: whether there is a separate charge for the apartment and for the space; whether the owner of the building became subject to regulation; and whether the building and garage are owned and operated, directly or indirectly, by the same person or company.
If the building owner was providing the space when the building became subject to regulation, and the rent for the space was included in the lease, Mr. Kaminsky said, then the charge for the space is probably subject to stabilization.
On the other hand, he said, if there were initially separate leases for the space and for the apartment, and the building and garage are or were owned or operated by different companies – whether at the time the building became subject to regulation or afterward – then the parking space would probably not be subject to rent stabilization.
Federal Laws have been enacted to deal with racial discrimination, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964., which prohibits discrimination in compensation, terms and conditions of employment based on race, religion, sex, nationality or color, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which strengthens civil rights laws and allows for monetary damages when there is intentional employment discrimination.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports that it received 26,740 charges of racial discrimination and resolved 27,411 race based discrimination claims in the 2005 fiscal year. The good news is that the number of charges of racial discrimination decreased by almost one thousand charges from 2004 and statistics show that the number of complaints are decreasing every year.
If you have suffered from racial employment discrimination do not ignore the situation. Speaking to an attorney will help you in deciding the course of action you should take. Depending on your individual case of racial discrimination, it may be necessary to litigate or your case may be solved without having to proceed to court.
Another option is to have your case arbitrated. Obtaining an attorney to represent you in arbitration is not necessary, although having a lawyer represent you helps to ensure that your legal rights are being protected.
You may also decide to file a charge of racial employment discrimination with the EEOC. Before filing your charge check with the nearest EEOC office or consult an attorney to make sure that time limits and requirements are met as well as to determine the best way to proceed with your claim.
In November 2006, the first “eclosing” took place in Pennsylvania. An “eclosing” is a paperless closing for Real Estate transactions, with all documents created, revised, signed, notarized and recorded electronically. The “eclosing” in Pennsylvania paves the way for fully electronic closings to take place throughout the country and stands to change the way real estate transactions are conducted in the future.
With the inception of the “eclosing” more businesses will be looking to complete transactions electronically. Completing transactions electronically is appealing to businesses and consumers alike because it lessens any potential personal liability. As there are no papers or documents to be lost or forgotten about, it reduces the potential for mistakes.
Notaries Public will also benefit from this innovation. As more transactions are done electronically, the need for Notaries that perform eNotarizations is increasing. eNotarization is fast and secure, and because of this more businesses are using this method.