May 11

Wolf Richter writes:


Steps in the Fed, and trillions of dollars get printed and handed to Wall Street, and asset prices become airborne, and Wall Street jumps into the housing market and buys up hundreds of thousands of vacant single-family homes, drives up prices, and armed with free money, shoves aside first-time buyers and others who would actually live in these homes, and turned them instead into rental units. Now in over 1,000 cities, prices are, or soon will be, as high as they were at the peak of the last housing bubble.

The difference? Last time, all that craziness was called a “bubble” with hindsight. This time, it’s called a “housing recovery.”

If you are planning to buy now and catch the rising market you should read this and think 2006…

May 01

Long time AASEW member, Attorney Cheryl Baraty passed away yesterday after a difficult battle with cancer.  Many times I thought she would win the fight.

Cheryl represented quite a few of our members in eviction court and other actions, as being active with the Association in some legislative battles.  She was a close friend to former board member Kim Queen.

One of her more interesting achievements was finding that the Department of Neighborhood Services (building inspection) court section was “robo signing” court docs  long before anyone noticed that banks were doing it also.  That resulted in a number of cases being dismissed.

Apr 30


Bloomberg reports on a case in CA where  Deutsche Bank is being sued for evicting the tenant of a foreclosure in violation of the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009

Rothschild, legal director at the Western Center on Law and Poverty, said the January ruling established that tenants can take owners who acquire properties through foreclosure to state court for violating protections Congress afforded renters under the 2009 Protecting Tenants Against Foreclosure Act. The law doesn’t give renters the right to sue in federal court.

An attorney for the United Trustees Association states:

The overly broad decision may lead to a proliferation in lawsuits for breach of the lease imposed upon purchasers at a foreclosure sale. With no prior knowledge, a purchaser at a foreclosure sale now may be burdened with a lease with unlimited combinations of potential contractual obligations ranging from unilateral renewal rights to mandatory substantial improvements to the property.

All of this could make buying an occupied or recently vacated unit a dicey situation.

Apr 30

Perhaps not, especially  if your tenant is on a HUD lease such as Section 8.

In an April 11th, 2014 opinion a NY Appellate Court ruled  against the landlord in the eviction case, finding that an arrest for possession

“was insufficient to meet its burden of showing that tenant engaged in “drug related criminal activity,” a term defined under governing federal regulations as “the illegal manufacture, sale, distribution, or use of a drug, or possession of a drug with intent to manufacture, sell, distribute or use the drug” (24 CFR 5.100).”

It is difficult to believe, but the court did not view the tenant’s possession to be an intent to at least use the drugs.

Apr 29

Vox Explains that Donald Sterling was accused of housing discrimination as well as all that NBA stuff, with the reported parts of fines and settlements in the millions.  One described as “one of  the largest ever discriminatory housing case.”  If you had doubts on the authenticity of the claims, this story seems to put an end to them.

Housing discrimination

In 2004, Sterling was sued by the Los Angeles Housing Rights Center for discriminatory rental practices. After buying the Ardmore Apartments complex, he attempted to force out minority tenants by refusing to do repairs and refusing rent checks, then accusing them of nonpayment. When told that a 66-year-old, legally blind, partially paralyzed tenant named Kandynce Jones wanted to be reimbursed for the damage to her flooded apartment, he reportedly said, “Just evict the bitch.”

The case brought by the Housing Rights Center was eventually settled for an undisclosed sum. The plaintiffs were reimbursed $4.9 million for their legal fees, and the judge described the total judgement as one of the largest ever in a discriminatory housing case.

In 2006, Sterling was sued by the Department of Justice after he allegedly refused to rent to Mexican-Americans and African-Americans in his apartment complexes, reportedly saying that “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.” Sterling paid $2.73 million to settle the suit.

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