The Executor and the Real Property

N.Y. REAL PROPERTY LAW JOURNAL, Spring 2012, Vol. 40, No. 2, p. 17

A critical historical review of the expanding powers of the executor over real property. At common law, all real property vested in the heir-at-law at the time of death. The executor’s powers over the decedent’s real property are the product of two centuries of statutory law. Originally, the executor was only be able to act on real property in very limited circumstances. Today, the executor is generally recognized as the manager of real property in displacement of the decedent’s heirs and successors. The article traces the struggle over real property between the common law heir-at-law and the executor and identifies circumstances where the historical accidents deliver counter-intuitive legal results.

Development Rights Purchases by Zoning Lot Merger in New York City

N.Y. REAL PROPERTY LAW JOURNAL, Summer 2009, Vol. 37, No. 3, p. 18

Transactions involving the purchase of development rights in New York City is an exciting and expanding field. More commonly known as “air rights”, development rights combine an interesting mixture of private and public law. The article provides a comprehensive explanation for the transactional attorney, from public policy concerns to closing due diligence and documentation. The article also challenges some of the standard practices where legal concepts commonly used in the purchase and sale of property –-i.e., matters of private law– are applied to the purchase and sale of development rights, which are a creature of public –-not private– law.

Water and Sewer Charges in New York City

N.Y. REAL PROPERTY LAW JOURNAL, Fall 2007, Vol. 35, No. 3, p. 21

Water supply and sewer services in New York City are provided by the City and administered by the Department of Environmental Protection. Water charges and sewer rents present a challenge because their regulation and billing practices depend on the actual use and physical layout of the subject real property, and because of the right reserved in the Department to bill retroactively for past periods. Closing attorneys unfamiliar with their regulation risk exposing purchasers of real property to liability for water charges and sewer rents for past periods. The article explains the billing system, how to mitigate the risk, and catalogues a number of special but recurrent circumstances and their implications.