New House Owner Making Changing For The worst

10 Replies

Hello all,

I'm renting a 3 bedroom unit in a great house in Westchester County in New York. We moved in during the sale process of the house, and were verbally promised a few things, washer & dryer, lawn, and one of the two available parking spots. The house sold, the new guy comes in and says he's going to put coin machine laundry in the unit (which was never mentioned), and is in the process of digging up half of the yard we were told we'd have in order to put in a new garden. We expressed our position but the new owner wasn't trying to hear any of it. We asked to renegotiate the rent, and were told absolutely not. 

Is there anything we can do about this? We feel like it's a breach of what was promised us, but does that potentially mean a breach of contract? The lease itself, signed by me, the old owner, and the new owner, seems pretty airtight, but I'm not real estate contract lawyer. Anyone know of any resources I can leverage to come to a fair end to this. 

Thanks all!

Chris

@Andrew Kerr ​​ you are correct. We didn’t anticipate the coin machines or the changes to the yard, so we never asked for anything in writing unfortunately :-/ On that note, the landlord said he “had to” put in coin machines because it is a multifarious unit of 3 units. Is that true? Because it seems like a silly thing to be required to do.

Yes, with all lease related issues or revisions, always get it in writing. I can give you a few attorneys you can contact that we have worked with before that would be able to answer your questions.

Find it weird that you have 1 lease signed by both the old and current lessor.

@Chris Mooney In general I’d say if it’s not in the lease you’re out of luck. I don’t think anyone “needs” to put in coin laundry but he probably wants to, to make more money.

Everyone is confirming the thoughts I already had in my head. Just wanted to get some advice from more experienced real estate minds. Thanks all!

@Chris Mooney

Just like everyone said above, if it isn't in writing it practically doesn't exist when it comes to real estate. If your lease didn't state it and you try to renegotiate, a landlord isn't going to go for that. I learned a long time ago to be a stickler about the paperwork. I've had people say this and say that, but were to worried to put it in writing. Take this one as a lesson to anything real estate related you do. Always, always in writing. Good luck buddy!

Unfortunately, I have to agree with the others.  If it isn't in the written lease, then the verbal agreement doesn't exist.  At least not anything that would potentially get you help from the courts with, if you all decide to break the lease.

I've never heard of a LL being required to put in a coin-op laundry in a multi-family house.  That sounds bizarre and like an excuse.  But then, I don't have rentals in NY state, so I couldn't say for sure.  And, of course, it wouldn't have to be coin-op.  That was his choice.  Which I wouldn't normally have a bone to pick with.  When I was a renter, I lived in two different multi-family houses where a community washer/dryer was provided for everyone at no charge.

Are there washer/dryer hookups in the unit?  If so, you might consider just buying your own set.  You can probably get a decent used one for around $300.  It's lame and it's unfair!  I agree.  The new owner should have lived up to his word, whether it was written in the lease or not.  But this is the situation you are now in and that's an option to at least solve one of the problems.

@Ceasar Rosas Thanks Ceasar, it's definitely a learning lesson. Thankfully it's one I can easily live with! "Always, always in writing" ~ real estate words to live by.

And thanks for your input @Jennifer T. There's no W&D hookup in the unit, but I can definitely live with the cards I've been dealt. But I see the importance of having things written into legal contract. I'll take this lesson forward when I become a landlord. 

Thanks everyone for the input, its great to be joining such an active community!