Commercial Leases: Does it Matter if You Fail to Give Notice of Intent to Renew Your Lease?

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

A common provision in commercial leases is an option requiring the tenant to notify the landlord of their intention to renew the lease or purchase the property by a specific date. What happens, however, if the tenant fails to provide the landlord with timely notice?  In New Jersey, courts generally enforce the lease as written. Therefore, if the tenant fails to renew by the deadline, courts will likely strictly enforce the lease terms. Exceptions to the General Rule:  When a Tenant’s Late Notice is Permitted There are a few narrow exceptions to the general rule of strict enforcement of the option provision.  There are five special circumstances:  (1) the tenant would sustain substantial harm if it were forced to relocate; …

New Jersey Tax Laws Strike Again:  New Jersey Just Added Another Tax – This Time It’s a Tax on Short-Term Rentals

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County NJ Real Estate Law Firm If you engage in any “transient rentals” (defined as rentals of 90 days or less), you must collect sales and occupancy taxes as of October 1, 2018.  There are, however, some exclusions. If you rent your property through a licensed realtor, sales and occupancy taxes do not apply. For this exception from sales/occupancy taxes to apply, the renter must pick up the keys from the realtor, and no in-stay maid services can be provided. If you rent your property on an online marketplace which charges the renter directly (such as AirBnb), then the marketplace itself must collect the sales and …

The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code And The Neighbor From Hell

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Business & Real Estate Attorney There is a section of the Uniform Construction Code found at N.J.A.C. 5:23-24.34, entitled Protection of Adjoining Properties.  I read about the regulation in a law journal. In short, the regulation requires that when you are about to undertake construction, rehabilitation or demolition work that could potentially damage adjoining properties, you need to enter the adjoining properties to determine what measures are necessary to safeguard those properties before you can obtain a construction permit from the municipal construction official.   And, while this might sound pretty straightforward, there is one important catch: you have to obtain written consent from the owners of the …

Understanding the Difference Between Owning A Home as “Tenants in Common” and Owning A Home as “Tenants by the Entirety”

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Real Estate Attorney Often times I review real estate deeds for clients in order to determine how assets will pass upon their death or eligibility for Medicaid. Many of these deeds are identified by the name used in the title of this post. Although both sound similar, they are very different and each affects how the property is owned. The term “tenants by the entirety” is real estate ownership that only a husband and wife can have under New Jersey law. The ownership rights of each owner survives death and creates an unified ownership interest. Survivorship means that upon the death of one of the spouses, the …

Growing Your Business: How Reusing Architectural Plans Can Set You Up for Real Trouble

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Business & Real Estate Attorney When you hire an architect to design your home, business, or commercial property, the architectural plans you receive from him/her have copyright protections attached to them.  This means that if you use them to build another structure, you or your contractor can be held liable for copyright infringement.  It’s not just limited to blueprints you receive from the architect.  Any sort of drawing, computer-generated program or draft, and the finished buildings constitute architectural works that are subject to the copyright laws. Copyright infringement occurs when the infringer copies elements of an original work, which is owned by someone other than him or …

Determining the Fair Market Value Credit for Property Sold at a Sheriff’s Sale

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Foreclosure and Real Estate Attorney In a previous blog, I discussed with you the process by which a judgment creditor can collect on his or her judgment through the use of the writ of execution.  After you have satisfied, or attempted to satisfy, your judgment through the debtor’s personal property, you are then empowered under the writ to sell the debtor’s real property, including any houses the debtor has or any land he or she owns.  When the property is sold, the debtor is entitled under case law to a credit against the judgment equal to the fair market value of property purchased by a non-mortgage judgment …

Enforcing a Construction Lien: Putting Someone on Notice

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Construction Lien Law Attorney When you file a construction lien upon a homeowner or a commercial enterprise for services you have performed but have not been paid, New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. § 2A:44A-14 (a) requires you to go to Superior Court to enforce the construction lien.  Often times, you will go to court not only seeking to enforce the lien, but also looking to prove that the customer breached the contract by failing to pay for services rendered and thereby received an unjust benefit by not paying for these services.  The primary goal of this law is to require the lien holder to act on his or …

Does A Real Estate Deed Need to Disclose The Husband and Wife Owners as Married?

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Real Estate and Estate Planning Attorney Recently clients had me review the deed to their personal residence. It lists both their names as owners but does not state “as husband and wife.” There is also no mention to either of their individual rights of survivorship on the deed. The fact is the couple was married at the time they purchased the home. Is this a cause for concern? Should they be advised to have a corrective deed prepared or is it not necessary to disclose their status as husband and wife to get the enhanced creditor protection of such a disclosure. New Jersey law is clear. When …

What is the Tax Effect of Transferring Personally Owned Real Estate to a Revocable Trust?

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Trust and Real Estate Attorney As I give you the answer to the title of this post let me discuss two different issues presented by the question: The first issue is whether a deed from a settlor (a settlor is the owner of the real estate) to a trustee of a revocable trust is exempt from the N.J. Realty Transfer Fee tax (RTF). As long as the trust is established for the “exclusive benefit of the grantor”, under N.J.A.C. 11:16-5.11. it should not make a difference that the transfer is to a trust because the logic of the exemption is that the grantor is still the beneficial …

Does the New Jersey Real Estate Transfer Fee Apply to a Transfer of Real Estate to a Revocable Trust?

HNW Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, and Zoning

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Trust Attorney A widow with no children, created a revocable trust in Colorado when she lived there. She moved to NJ and bought a house subject to a mortgage in her own name. She now wants to transfer the NJ property to the trust. Assuming the mortgage lender allows it (it likely will) the question is whether the transfer is subject to the NJ realty transfer fee based on the current balance of the mortgage loan? If so, other than paying off the mortgage loan, is there any way around paying the fee? While the law exempts a transfer between an individual and a trust being administered …