apartment, landlord, property management, real estate

$50,000 fines

Ithaca pursues up to $50K in fines against landlord

An Ithaca landlord could face up to $50,000 in fines after pleading guilty to repeatedly violating local and state maintenance laws, the city announced Tuesday.

Ronald Bergman, owner and landlord of a two-unit rental house at 312 S. Plain St., pleaded guilty Thursday in City Court to 350 violations, according to the city.

He signed a $25,000 judgment confession and agreed to remedy all violations in about four months or pay the second $25,000 installment and forfeit the property to the city, according to the city.

An inspection in August 2012 led to the building being posted as condemned but at least one tenant kept living there until Ithaca police helped relocate the remaining tenant and the Department of Public Works secured the building, according to the city.

Bergman was charged in April with more than 8,000 violations, according to the city. Typically, property codes may treat each day of being out of compliance as a separate violation.

Among offenses Bergman pleaded guilty to were failing to have a valid certificate of compliance, failure to obey a building commissioner’s order and failure to provide safe egress.

Neither Bergman or his attorney could be contacted Tuesday evening.

property, real estate

Creative Ads

Need help making your property descriptions more interesting?  Here is one you can get ideas from.  This was on Craig’s List in Lancaster PA.

Do you want a low-maintenance home in a relatively stabby-free neighborhood? Do you want to live within walking distance of 5 bars? In the event of a cardiac emergency wouldn’t it be nice to be only 3 blocks away from Lancaster General Hospital? Well, I have the home for you.

Casa Dobermino is on the market. Built in the 1940s by skilled artisans and stone masons, this property at ———-. could be the work of angels. Probably Hell’s Angels, but no matter. I bought this house in 2004 because I wanted to adopt a dog from the Humane League and my roommates at the time didn’t want a dog. So naturally I walked out of my apartment and bought the house for sale by owner directly across the street.

In the short 10 years that I’ve owned this property I had to replace the roof (2012), Central Air (2012), Gas Furnace (2006), Gas Stove (2013), Hot Water Heater (2010 & 2013 fml) and Dishwasher (2006). Last month I had the interior and exterior painted and the floors refinished. Basically you’ve got a house that someone has already taken a beating on so you can move in and live worry free.

There are 3 bedrooms, of which 2 are normal bedrooms and the 3rd one is tiny. That one would be good for a nursery, office, dark room, massage parlor, really tiny home theatre, or panic room. In the Master bedroom I left a wall mount for your flat-screen TV so you too can enjoy the pleasure of playing Grand Theft Auto from bed.

There is only one bathroom but in a pinch there is a nice laundry sink in the basement. Speaking of basement, half of it is finished so you have somewhere to hide when your spouse is an asshole.

There is one off-street parking spot out back so even if all of the neighbors have guests hogging the street spots, you can still easily pull into your spot laughing at the neighbors without such amenities. There is a tiny fenced-in yard out back that over the years helped confine 4 different Dobermonsters.

Are you lazy like I am? Well don’t worry, there is no grass in back and the front yard you can mow in less than 5 minutes. Or you can hire Stephen, he’s a neighborhood kid (I think he’s 20) that stutters and rides a BMX bike, he charged $10 to mow the lawn or shovel snow.

If you are hungry or wanna get a load on you can walk to Turkey Hill, Stubby’s, Lancaster Brewing, Quips, Cork and Cap, Bakers Table, Rumplebrewskins, ABAG or the Friendly Greek. If you have a medical emergency you can take a quick jog to the ER – Good Times!

But wait, there’s more! My last 3 ex girlfriends all have keys to the place and they rarely do pop-ins. The bathroom sink is located directly in front of the toilet so ina Flu-Emergency you can expel in both directions. The neighbors will pretty much leave you alone as I set the bar pretty high as being the “crazy fat guy with a gun and dobermans”, so if you move in discretely they might think I’m still there and stay out of your business.

**** UPDATED PICS . One pic is of my old big red couch with two of my former dogs. The couch and dogs are all buried now but I miss them so they made it into the photos. There are no pics of the back yard or basement yet because as the photographer said “It is a hot mess”. So I painted the basement mostly today and sooner or later I’ll get around to pulling the dead Morning Glories off my fence.

property management, real estate

Toilets in kitchens?

France allows toilets in kitchens for first time

Do you wish your toilet was closer to the kitchen? Toilet photo: Shutterstock

France allows toilets in kitchens for first time

Doubtless to the joy of Paris landlords, tireless in their quest to redefine the acceptable size of an apartment, French government ministers Ségolène Royal and Sylvia Pinel passed a decree on November 6th saying that toilet facilities no longer have to be separated from the kitchen or living room.

In what the bill describes as “a process of simplification of regulations,” the change to the building code does away with “the prohibition of direct communication between the closets and kitchens and living rooms,” which will allow contractors to build new toilets in living accommodation,Metro news reported.

Previously, the law had required that toilets were not directly accessible from living rooms or kitchens. While the new law might be welcomed by home builders on a budget, if you don’t want to see your privacy go down the pan you might want to do your flat-hunting before December 1st, when the bill comes into force.


apartment, landlord, real estate

Landlord Negligence


A 2010 fire on 86th Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, left five people dead inside a warren of illegally divided apartments. CreditJohn Marshall Mantel for The New York Times

Late one January night in 2010, someone doused a roll of toilet paper in paint thinner in a building in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and lit it, and five immigrants from Guatemala were killed.

The horror was compounded when investigators found that several of the victims were trapped inside illegally partitioned apartments. Prosecutors filed charges against not just the man accused of setting the fire but also the landlord, a rare step.

Rarer still was the outcome: The landlord, Vasilios Gerazounis, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, prosecutors said on Monday. In February, he is scheduled to be sentenced to one to three years in prison.

Seasoned advocates for tenants and landlords said they could not recall the last time a landlord went to prison over a fire death.

“I can’t remember it happening,” said Edward Josephson, litigation director for Legal Services NYC, who has fought for tenants for 26 years.

“I’ve never heard of it happening and I’ve been doing this 28 years,” said Frank Ricci, director of government affairs for the Rent Stabilization Association, a landlords’ group.

Mr. Gerazounis’s real estate company will pay $1 million restitution to the family of a girl who was dropped from a third-floor window and landed on her head, fracturing her skull; she had severe developmental injuries.

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/nyregion/brooklyn-landlord-pleads-guilty-to-negligent-homicide-in-2010-fire.html?_r=0

apartment, landlord, property management, real estate


A Surging American Trend: Living With Roommates [Infographic]
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Countless American sitcoms from Friends to The Big Bang Theory focus on “doubling up” or living with roommates. TV makes it seem like the United States is a nation of buddies living together. Is it really as widespread as sitcoms make us believe?

The answer is a definitive yes. In fact, having a roommate is becoming a common trait of being a young 21st century American Back in 2002, just over a quarter of all Americans, 25.4 percent, lived with roommates. By 2012, this had increased even further to 32 percent.

Read More: http://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2014/11/05/a-surging-american-trend-living-with-roommates-infographic/?utm_campaign=Forbes&utm_source=GOOGLE_PLUS_PAGE&utm_medium=social&utm_channel=Business&linkId=10381768

Americans Living With Roommates: A Growing Trend

real estate

$188 house


Flint, Mich., was one of the hardest hit cities before and during the recession. Once one of the state’s largest cities, and a prosperous one when auto production plants were there, it came under the control of an emergency manager, appointed by the governor, during two periods, long before Detroit did. While Detroit may be the home of the $1,000 house, one home in Flint is on the market for $188.

The house does not have much to recommend it. Located at 2518 Dakota Ave., it only covers 1,225 square feet, which accommodates three bedrooms and a single bath. It sits on a lot of just 5,663 square feet. The house was built in 1928, before the Great Depression.

The listing of the house on Realtor.com says it is a:

“Fixer Upper Home, Needs lots of work, has major fire damage, seller selling AS IS”