Got Real Estate Questions? Ask Jamie


Jamie Heiberger-Harrison

is widely recognized as a leading female attorney in the New York real estate industry. Her firm, H&A PC, was founded in 1994 and has offices in New York City and Port Washington, where she lives with her family. Submit your real estate questions to

Dear Jamie,
Does an international student require a U.S. guarantor if they will pay several months of paid rent up front?
Since the Housing Stability Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) of 2019, owners and landlords are no longer allowed to collect more than one month’s rent or security in advance. This has and will create problems for international students or buyers/renters who lack proper credit qualifications. Instead, the only option for those who don’t have proper credentials is to use a company like Insurant or obtain a letter of credit from a bank. As the legal changes are still very new, it remains to be seen how New York will deal with this issue and whether this new rule will stick around.

Dear Jamie,
How many months of security deposits does a tenant have to submit, and how long before it is returned?
One-month security deposit, and it must be returned within 14 days.

Dear Jamie,
If a tenant leaves a rent-stabilized apartment and they had a preferential rent, can the new tenant be charged the legal rent? Or does the 1.5 percent or 2.5 percent for two years apply only?
Increases are based off legal rent, not preferential rent.

Dear Jamie,
If a buyer does not want the parking spot when purchasing a unit, can the seller still use or sell it even if he or she is no longer a tenant?
Whether an owner can sell parking separate from an apartment depends upon how the title is held and the co-op/condo rules or by-laws

Dear Jamie,
How can the maintenance on different apartments in the same building be drastically different?
Maintenance is dependent on many factors beyond the size of the apartment, including whether there are amenities such as a terrace or backyard.

Dear Jamie,
If bed bugs occur when a tenant is living in the unit, is the landlord is responsible for remediation?
Yes, the landlord is responsible for bed bug remediation unless they can prove that tenant caused the issue, which is almost impossible.


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