CRE Insider Blog
Welcome to the Commercial Real Estate Insider, insights from First American's real estate experts.

Recent Posts by Mike Berey

Senior Underwriting Counsel First American Title Insurance Company; formerly Chief Underwriting Counsel (New York) and Senior Vice-President, First American Title Insurance Company; Fellow, American College of Mortgage Attorneys; Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers; Member, Executive Committees of NYSBA’s Real Property Law Section (2000 – 2014) and the New York State Land Title Association; Chairperson, Task Force on Electronic Recording and Webmaster, NYSBA Real Property Law Section (2000-2014); Chairperson, Law Committee (2010-2013) and President (August 2013 – September 2014) New York State Land Title Association; Recipient of NYSBA Real Property Law Section’s 2014 Professionalism Award. Boston College Law School, 1976. Frequent lecturer on mortgage recording tax, transfer taxes, transferrable development rights and New York’s Lien Law. Author of “Current Developments”, a summary of real property-related cases and legislation for New York, since 1997. Author of numerous articles including, most recently, “ Step Transaction Doctrine Applied to New York City Transfer Tax”, New York Law Journal (“NYLJ”) June 9, 2015; “A Primer on New York’s Mortgage Recording Tax”, N.Y. Real Property Law Journal (“RPLJ”) Spring/Summer 2015; “New York’s Court of Appeals Rules on the Lien Law”, NYLJ August 6, 2013; and “New York’s Mortgage Tax Partially Securing Multiple Obligations”, RPLJ Spring/Summer 2013. Current Developments and articles are posted at www.firstamny.com.
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Ny Statute (2019) Prohibiting Lease Provisions Waiving The Right To Bring A Declaratory Judgment Actions Held Not Retroactive

By Mike Berey on August 18, 2021

As noted by the Supreme Court, Kings County, the issuance of a Yellowstone injunction must be predicated on an action for a declaratory judgment. Leases entered into in 2010 provided that the tenants waived the right to bring declaratory judgment actions with respect to any lease provision or any notice sent pursuant to the leases. Based on...

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Waiver Not A Consent To Further Expansion Of Zoning Lots

By Mike Berey on July 29, 2021

The ground lessee of tax Block 248 Lot 76 in New York County and its mortgagee, the Plaintiffs, objected to the expansion of a zoning lot which included tax lots 15 and 76.  The Plaintiffs had each executed a Waiver of Declaration of Zoning Lot when those tax lots 15 and 76 were combined into a single zoning lot. The Plaintiffs asserted that...

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Topics: CRE land zoning

Impact Of The Pandemic In New York City

By Mike Berey on March 24, 2021

A number of decisions were handed down on the impact of the Pandemic on commercial leases.

New York City has enacted Local Law No. 55-2020, adding Administrative Code Section 22-1005 (“Personal liability provisions in commercial leases”), also known as the “Guaranty Law.” The Guaranty Law provides, in part, the following:

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Topics: laws for pandemic impact of the pandemic

Debtor’s Rights Of Redemption From A Mezzanine Loan Ucc

By Mike Berey on March 16, 2021

In Atlas MF Mezzanine Borrower, LLC v. Macquarie Texas Loan Holder LLC, 2019 NY Slip Op 04495, decided June 6, 2019, the Appellate Division, First Department, dismissed causes of action seeking an Order overturning a mezzanine loan foreclosure sale, on grounds including claims that the lender breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing by...

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Topics: mezzanine loan

Nyc Local Laws For Pandemic Upheld

By Mike Berey on February 23, 2021

In a decision dated November 25, 2020, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York upheld the validity of three local laws enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Local Laws are the “Residential harassment law” (Local Law 56-2020, amending Admin. Code Section 27-2004(a)(48)); the “Commercial harassment law”...

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Topics: New York laws for pandemic

Lease Surrender’s Liquidated Damages Provision Held Unenforceable

By Mike Berey on February 3, 2021

A lease between the Plaintiff, as landlord, and the Defendant, as tenant, was terminated. Under the Settlement Agreement the Defendant paid the Plaintiff $261,751.73. The Agreement also required the Defendant to make monthly “Surrender Payments” and further provided that if the Defendant defaulted under the Agreement “the aggregate amount of...

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Topics: liquidation landlord