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Old 02-24-2010, 11:38 AM
 
4 posts, read 9,337 times
Reputation: 11

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We found an apartment we really liked, at $2400, which is over our budget. Landlord offered to give us 1 month free if we paid full year upfront, meaning a net rent of $2200, at the top of our budget.

We were about to sign a lease, but since that's over $28K to hand over, I did an NYC property search and ACRIS search, and found out the owner has never once paid property tax in the 3 years he owned the building, and the tax lien was about to be sold to a collection agency. When I told him this, he said he'd had no idea he owed any property tax. He went in and paid about 40% of it today, and has a payment plan for the rest.

I have no access to any information on if he's paying his (hefty) mortgage or not. I'm pretty sure that the only payment information that's public record is the taxes...I can find out who holds the mortgage, the utility bills, the insurance, etc., but not the payment status.

We've offered to sign a one-year lease with 3 months paid upfront (first, last, security), but he is insistent on the full $28K, or on going back to $2400. I'm not interested in paying $2400, and I'm really feeling like paying 12 months is a bad idea with a landlord who somehow never knew he had to pay property taxes. If there is a foreclosure, or he stops paying the heat, water, superintendent, etc., we could be out of a lot of money.

But my husband wants the place and is trying to talk me into it.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:52 AM
 
203 posts, read 606,801 times
Reputation: 70
sounds very shady of the landlord...especially the part about not having paid property taxes. If you can afford to fork over a lump sum of $28,000, then you're able to pay $2400 a month versus $2200. I'd still negotiate with the landlord though.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
16,238 posts, read 26,868,806 times
Reputation: 22409
do not do it.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:56 AM
 
4 posts, read 9,337 times
Reputation: 11
We budget very tightly. Technically we can afford $2400, but then again $2400 a year adds up to quite a lot in college or retirement savings eventually. We're extremely careful fiscally, more so now that we see people crashing and burning financially around us. A budget of $2200 means a budget of $2200, or we will be reducing our amount of savings. Not wise nowadays!
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:01 PM
 
176 posts, read 655,496 times
Reputation: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanshan5 View Post
We found an apartment we really liked, at $2400, which is over our budget. Landlord offered to give us 1 month free if we paid full year upfront, meaning a net rent of $2200, at the top of our budget.

We were about to sign a lease, but since that's over $28K to hand over, I did an NYC property search and ACRIS search, and found out the owner has never once paid property tax in the 3 years he owned the building, and the tax lien was about to be sold to a collection agency. When I told him this, he said he'd had no idea he owed any property tax. He went in and paid about 40% of it today, and has a payment plan for the rest.

I have no access to any information on if he's paying his (hefty) mortgage or not. I'm pretty sure that the only payment information that's public record is the taxes...I can find out who holds the mortgage, the utility bills, the insurance, etc., but not the payment status.

We've offered to sign a one-year lease with 3 months paid upfront (first, last, security), but he is insistent on the full $28K, or on going back to $2400. I'm not interested in paying $2400, and I'm really feeling like paying 12 months is a bad idea with a landlord who somehow never knew he had to pay property taxes. If there is a foreclosure, or he stops paying the heat, water, superintendent, etc., we could be out of a lot of money.

But my husband wants the place and is trying to talk me into it.

Thoughts?
Wow! This is some crazy stuff I'm hearing. You are right not to agree to pay this money. Here is what I think is happening, I think Mr. Man is about to lose his property, uncle same does not play. Knowing this he is trying to get as much money as possible to start over. If the house if foreclose on he no longer owns it and does not have to give you back a cent. Also a man who own taxes on property also will not be willling to give back any money he took from you. Do not sign the lease and find yourself another apartment or else you will be in some deep stuff.

If you still want the apartment he has to show prove of all he just told you about paying half the taxes. Find out the mortgage company and see if mortgage is paid on loan and current. After all that than if you still want to you can go ahead and sign lease and pay the money, make sure it is a check or certify check or money order do not give him cash.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:05 PM
 
203 posts, read 606,801 times
Reputation: 70
You should not do it if you $2200 is your budget. Where were you going to come up with $28,000 in cash? Theres also the opportunity cost of shelling out the money all at once, probably lose out on $1000 in interest. Is this in your savings account as an emergency fund? What if something comes up but you have no money because you paid one year of rent in advance? And yea, the landlord definitely seems to be hiding something
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:33 PM
 
4 posts, read 9,337 times
Reputation: 11
We have quite a lot of cash socked away to buy the country house someday. Or retire. Or send the kid to college. It's not an emergency fund, that's separate, it's just general savings for the future. Having a lot of savings doesn't change our budget--it's because we have a budget that we have savings! (Way too many Americans seem to confuse "budget" with "every last cent I can scrape up.") We'd still have plenty of emergency money, and the opportunity cost would be about $300 at today's interest rates.

The landlord did show us proof of the 40% payment. The mortgage is privately held and there's no way to find out if it's current. Same sort of thing for the other bills (insurance, heat, superintendent). But he came right out and told me he is only paying the interest on the mortgage, not the principal, and that the holder is "ok" with that.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:21 PM
 
237 posts, read 972,912 times
Reputation: 160
A full 12 months rent upfront seems unreasonable. Something just smells fishy here. If I were you, I would move on. My gut would be telling me that this guy needs the money and as soon as you give it to him, it'll be spent and you will have no way of getting it back. You just never know if he's already in default of his mortgage. You don't want to put yourself in a situation where you get an eviction notice a couple of months into your lease, saying the bank or whoever has taken the property back.

I'm already regretting my 1 year, pay up front pest control service. I saved 10% over paying monthly, but the guy has only shown up half the time, and each time I've had to call him. Mine is only a small matter, but at $28K up front, I think you have to consider many things. He's already got your money. He's probably not going to be as responsive if anything needs to be done around the property and you can't really leave. That's a lousy position to be in. Not to mention that you can't really be sure there isn't some monkey business going on.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:10 PM
 
46 posts, read 154,313 times
Reputation: 36
Fishy - stay far, far away (and be proud of being smart enough to check ACRIS).
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:24 PM
 
461 posts, read 1,874,484 times
Reputation: 366
Stay away from that landlord. Seems very fishy to me.
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