Welcome to David Scillieri, Esq.

Residential Leases

It is very important that Landlords’s check their Residential Leases regularly.  Most leases are on a 1 term and automatically become month to month , thereafter.  A Landlord should prepare and submit to each residential Tenant a new Lease each year.  In this fashion, a Landlord can make sure that all the information and rental increases and other Landlord protections are current.

Many towns have rent control laws, wherein, you can only increase the rent annually based upon a limited percentage.  If you fail to do this for several years, you cannot go back and apply those increases retroactively.  By preparing new Leases every year, you can make sure you always get the necessary increases.  Another benefit of updating leases annually is to review and specifically cite the number and names of individuals permitted to reside in the apartment.

Additionally, Residential Leases should set forth that legal fees, late fees, and any other Landlord expenses are deemed as additional rent. This will allow the Landlord to include these amounts in non-payment cases.

Lastly, it is very important for the Landlord’s to keep the Tenant Security Deposit properly deposited.  If a Tenant has not been notified of the proper disposition of their Security Deposit, the Tenant can utilize said sum toward the payment of rent and leave the Landlord without any security deposit.

Updating Wills

I read a very good article today in USA Today’s  personal finance section.  It talked about preparation regarding your Will and your Estate.  The recommended steps are very valid and important to make things much easier for yourself and for your heirs.  The article discussed reviewing your last Will and Testament every five years.  The article discussed simplifying and consolidating your finances so that it is easier later on for those handling those affairs to know where everything is and to be able to deal with your assets in the manner of which you have directed.  Equally important, herein, is how your assets are titled.  (Joint accounts)  pass according to the title of that asset and not accordance with the directions in your Will.

For the above reasons, it is very important to meet with a professional to review all of your financial details while you still have a firm understanding of what you have and want you want to be done with it.

Short Sale Ramifications

New Jersey is still leading the nation in short sales of Real Estate.  This means that a seller is able to sell the home for an amount less that what is still owed to the Lender.

The Lender must provide their approval to do so obviously, because the Lender looses money from their original investment.

Many Sellers need and prefer the short sale option to foreclosure, because it is less damaging to their credit.  However, a short sale must be carefully examined by the Seller and the Sellers Attorney to determine the income tax ramifications of the transaction upon the Seller.  A forgiveness of debt can be considered as income to the Seller.

In such case, the Seller sells the house, (walks away with no money and no mortgage left on the property) , but then the Seller receives a notification in the mail six months later requiring the Seller to pay a large income tax payment based upon the forgiveness of debt.  It is for this reason that a seller in a short sell transaction should retain a knowledgeable Real Estate Attorney to assist them through the process.

Condominium Purchase

When you are purchasing a Condominium unit , it is very important that you carefully analyze the documentation for that development such as the Master Deed, By-laws and most importantly the physical statement and annual budget.

It is important that you see how many of the condominium  unit owners are current with their dues.  Your particular unit may be perfect, but if the association is in trouble, you could be buying into a money pit with their requirement to offset and be responsible for the dues requirements that are in arrears.


Since 2008, shortsales and bank owned properties have been a large percentage of transactions in the northern New Jersey metropolitan area.

This was brought on by the recession which tremendously lowered the value of many homes.

I represent parties buying and selling properties through shortsale process and bank owned properties.

These transactions usually allow for very little negotiation and/or modification of the agreements once they have been accepted.

Furthermore, these transactions require tremendous patience by all parties involved because the banks have their own internal mechanisms that make responses slow and difficult.

It is not like dealing with another individual on the other side of the transaction.

There is usually no room to resolve repair/inspection related problems.

If you are thinking of buying a bank owned property and/or a shortsale type transaction, please understand that there are many things that can happen to derail the process.




For Sale by Owner

Many people attempt to sell their home on their own without the benefit of a professional Realtor representing them.  Whether you are the buyer or the seller, it is highly recommended that you have a Realtor working for you.  The Realtor can be of significant assistance to you in the determination of the proper value of the property along with the dealings with the other parties.

As a professional, the Realtor can get things done for you quicker and know the specifics of the issues to be addressed.   Also, you can speak directly and confidentially to your Realtor who will make sure that your interests are protected throughout the transaction.  Many times parties are hesitant to speak honestly to the other party in a real estate transaction and it causes delay, confusion and sometimes animosity.

A Realtor can guide you through the process and obtain the best results for you in the largest purchase of your lifetime.

Landlord Tenant Matters

Just a couple of quick pointers:

If you are terminating your tenant’s tenancy in your building and all of the proper Notices have been served upon the tenant, you cannot continue to collect the rent after the date that the tenancy is terminated in the Notice.

Often times the Landlord gives the tenant proper Notice to vacate upon a cerain date.  If the tenant refuses to vacate and pays the rent and the Landlord accepts that rental payment, the Notices previously provided to the tenant are no longer valid.

Additionally, the requirements of the Notice are extremely important as the Court will not evict a tenant based upon Notice provided unless all of the legal requirements are met.

Real Estate Valuation

Very often in Real Estate transactions that I am handling for clients, my clients ask me whether they think their purchase is a good deal or not.  Parties involved in Real Estate transactions must understand that the purchasers Attorney does not know anything about the proper valuation of the subject property.  Obviously, a buyer should do their homework in advance.  More importantly, a buyer should work with a qualified Real Estate professional who is familiar with a specific neighborhood and market in question in order to properly advise the buyer as to the fair market value.

If the buyers  is obtaining a mortgage, the lender will perform an appraisal, however, appraisals for mortgage financing purposes are not often accurate determinations as to the fair market value property.  Often, an appraiser will not go out on a limb and will merely provide a valuation necessary to satisfy the lender.

A buyer must do their homework thoroughly in determining the fair market value of the property that they are purchasing.




Sometimes the best deals that you make are the ones you walk away from.  I have many clients come to my office with transactions and acquisitions that they want to pursue.  It is good to seek out new ventures and to be creative and take risk.  However, the details need to be analyzed very closely and there is cost/benefit analysis that must be applied to make sure that the transaction works.  The worst thing to do is push through a plan that is flawed.  You will spend many future years to come trying to deal with the problems.

Additionally, sometimes the best way to be successful in a transaction is to give a little rather than always take, take, take.  I am involved in several Landlord/Tenant transactions where the Landlords try to keep their boots on the neck of the tenant which eventually kills the business.  I have other transactions where the Landlords compromise and make life financially easier for the Tenant.

In these circumstances, the Landlord has a Tenant that survives for many years and is a continued steady source of income for the Landlord, which is better off in the long run.






The Right Team

I continue to experience the fact that is crucially important to have the right team working for you in your real estate transactions.  These matters definitely are a team effort with the key players being the buyer/seller, the Realtor , the Attorney and the settlement agent.

Each member of the team must be efficient and communicative to make the transaction go smoothly.  It is shocking to me how often I experience Real Estate transactions, wherein, one or more of these team players does not do their job properly and it requires all the other participants to do extra work.

It often leads to miscommunications and problems in the transaction.

I do not intend to discuss at length the role of each of the above stated players in this blog, but the point being made, herein, is to carefully shop around for the right team members that you want in what is probably the largest purchase /or sale that you will make in your life.

You can determine the capability of each team player that you decide to enlist on your behalf merely by discussing with them their experience and by judging their communications abilities.

Again, most real estate transactions do make it to closing conclusion but it will make your life much happier and easier if you work with the right team players.