BUYOUT ANALYSIS FOR TENANTS
BUYOUT ANALYSIS FOR TENANTS
We can provide a residential tenant with a systematic and clear written analysis of the dollar potential for being bought out of an apartment. This analysis can be used to help a tenant make a decision about whether they wish to be bought out and, if they do, what their best leverage points are for a buyout discussion. We developed this product in response to a tremendous demand for this specific service.
- What exactly can I expect this buyout analysis to cover?
The analysis methodically covers five things:
- We make sure that your plans and goals are fully formulated for the next step in your housing and that you are being realistic about the value of the regulated apartment you are giving up.
- We try to ascertain what dollar amount the landlord may spend for a buyout, given the facts as we know them. We calculate how much more a landlord can charge a future tenant if you leave. We consider whether your apartment is in a development site, in a building being targeted for a rapid turnover, or in a building where the landlord takes an organic and long-road approach to growing the rent roll.
- We assess, from a legal point of view, what, if any, leverage landlord has over tenant.
- We assess, from a legal point of view, what, if any, leverage tenant has over landlord.
By putting all of the foregoing together, we attempt to assist a tenant in determining - what is the appropriate amount to shoot for in a buyout negotiation and what are the best approaches to take in the negotiation process? Or - should you not shoot for a buyout at all.
- Finally, we also make sure that you understand the tenant anti-harassment laws and how to protect yourself from harassment.
- Does the buyout analysis include suggestions for how to get a current buyout number up?
Yes, the Tenant Buyout Analysis letter will end with recommendations for the negotiation. By hiring me for this service, however, you are not hiring me to conduct your buyout negotiation. If you want to hire me, we can talk about that after the analysis.
- Will you tell me your findings on the phone? Or in writing?
In writing. I will give you a “Tenant Buyout Analysis” letter. The letter will be organized into the five parts mentioned in FAQ # 1.
- Will you still speak to me on the phone after you give me the Tenant Buyout Analysis letter, in case I have questions?
When the Tenant Buyout Analysis letter is complete, we discuss it either via email or on the phone – for no extra charge.
- How much does this buyout analysis cost?
There is a flat rate for this service of $2,500.
- What documents and information do I need to provide you with in order for you to do the Tenant Buyout Analysis?
First, you must receive my standard Consultation Policy and go through a conflicts check. We need to make sure that I do not represent your landlord.
If you clear conflicts, then I need:
- Your current lease and all riders and all renewals and/or modifications and their riders.
- The DHCR Apartment Rent History going back to 1984 and the DHCR “Cases by Building” report. My paralegal can show you how to get these.
- Any correspondence with landlord or the managing agent.
- Full files on any closed litigation regarding the apartment, at DHCR or in the Courts.
- I need to know what you have observed in and around the building. Are there many empty apartments in the building? If so, are they sitting vacant for a long time, or is the landlord renovating them? Have you hear rumors of the landlord buying anyone else out?
- Can you guaranty how much my landlord will offer me as a buyout number?
- I am in a hurry; the landlord brought a case against me.
If there is a case against you or soon-to-be against you, then this service is not a good legal product for you to purchase. If you want an analysis attendant to a litigation or other volatile situation, you should either hire me through my normal channels, or hire someone else. If you are engaged in or about to be engaged in litigation with your landlord, I feel uncomfortable stepping in for a discrete analysis. You should be finding a lawyer to represent you holistically in your dispute. I emphasize that this service is not intended to be for anything other than the analysis of your potential buyout.
- Do landlords only buy tenants out of buildings that are development sites? Does my landlord have any incentive to buy me out now that the law has changed to prevent most Rent Stabilization deregulations?
Landlords definitely have less incentive to buy tenants out since the HSTPA ended most pathways to Rent Stabilization deregulation. Nevertheless, landlords do occasionally “buy out” tenants who they may be liable to. Why would they do such a thing? Three reasons: (a) to avoid the liability to the tenant for big overcharges; (b) to avoid having the apartment pushed back into Rent Stabilization, from which, under the new HSTPA, it would never emerge; and (c) to avoid a written decision on tenant's case, which could fall into the other tenants hands, causing them to bring similar cases, thus causing a building-wide crisis.
- Some lawyer looked at my DHCR printout for free and told me I have a great case, why should I pay you for an analysis?
You should not pay me for an analysis, unless you have read all of these FAQ’s, done some independent research, thought about it, discussed it with whoever else is a decision-maker regarding your apartment, decided that you can afford the service, and feel good about purchasing it. But if you are asking this question, here is my answer: there is no easy, quick, back-of-the-envelope way to really analyze a potential tenant buyout, and there is certainly no standard formula for a legal strategy to obtain a buyout. There are too many factors that need to be considered, and there is ever-evolving case law. See my recent article on Regina , a J-51 illegal dereg case. The complexity of these matters is exactly what landlords count on to dissuade tenants from pursuing these claims. Thus – I came up with this service. It is a methodical, serious approach to your question – How much is a buyout of my Rent Stabilized apartment worth? It lessens (but does not eliminate) the fears that you may be picking a fight you cannot win, or that you may be walking away from a windfall that you deserved. Having said that, as I say above in these FAQ’s, there are certainly no guarantees.