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Walter Jennings | New York's Landlord Tenant Lawyer


Walter Jennings Lawyer

Walter Jennings

Landlord-Tenant, Residential Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate, Condominiums

www.nycltlaw.com

212-732-0091


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The Law Office of Walter Jennings PC is a boutique law firm concentrating in the area of Landlord Tenant and Real Estate litigation.  Boasting 40 years experience with an exceptional track record and excellent client satisfaction ratings.

We have represented thousands of  tenants and property owners with a variety of real estate litigation issues. We are leaders in the field of landlord tenant matters as well as general real estate litigation. We are a force to be reckoned with. When you hire us be assured that the opposing attorneys know and respect who we are and what we can do.

Our years of experience, combined with up to the minute knowledge of case law and aggressive posture enables us to obtain positive results for our clients.

Our goal is to meet your needs by obtaining the best possible result and resolving your legal matter as expeditiously as possible.

We are a GLBT friendly firm.
Position Organization Location Duration
PrincipalLaw Office of Walter JenningsNew York, NY1971 - Present
School Degree Major Graduation
St. John's University School of LawJD Law School1970  
University of HartfordBachelor of ArtsPolitical Science, Opera1965
State / Court Date
New York State01/15/1971
  • Member, New York City Bar Association
    Member, Legal Aid Society
  • Preeminent 4.8 out of 5, Martindale-Hubbell, 2013-2015
  • Artis v. City of New York Lincoln v. Various Tenants Goldman v Quintavalle Matter of Peachy Jocar Realty Co. v Galas Dezer Props. 4, LLC v Brody Kace REalty v Levy


  • In my nearly 30 years of living in New York City, I’ve dealt with rowdy frat bros next door, an upstairs neighbor whose dog developed a habit of barking until 2:30 a.m., only to start again four hours later, and a woman who lived down the hall from me who let her dog roam free in the hallway and use it as a wee wee pad.

    By NYC standards, I’m actually pretty lucky. I have friends who have gotten into screaming matches with neighbors, and others who have very nearly had to resort to legal action after months of bad behavior.

    We consulted with two lawyers, Walter S. Jennings and  Alan J. Goldberg, who have a wealth of experience with landlord and tenant issues, and Dr. Lynn Saladino, a clinical psychologist who is a health and wellness consultant for Mirador Real Estate, on how to deal with the problem next door.

    Assess: Is it worth making a big issue out of?
    Is your gripe with your neighbor something that’s actually impacting your quality of life, or is it just a nuisance? You may not like that the woman in the apartment next to yours is a bit over-zealous with the garlic when she cooks, but chances are her culinary choices aren't negatively impacting you in any way. If she’s a frequent smoker and the smell permeates your apartment, however, that could be cause for legitimate concern.

    “In New York City the most common dispute I see as a landlord-tenant attorney among neighbors is noise complaints. Second to that is neighbors who are dealing with secondhand smoke issues,” Jennings says. “For apartment owners and renters, disputes that warrant legal action against their neighbors include; noise disturbances, illegal activity, pet problems, secondhand smoke, and water leaks.”

    Do your best to resolve the issue person-to-person
    If you’re somewhat friendly with your neighbor and feel comfortable approaching her with an issue, sometimes a simple conversation can do the trick. Remember the barking dog I mentioned? When I saw his owner in the elevator one day I casually informed her his late-night/early morning barking was keeping me awake and she apologized profusely. The following night I slept like a baby.

    Try to prevent the situation from escalating
    Even if a conversation doesn't accomplish anything, there are still tactics to try before resorting to legal action, which Jennings calls “the last resort.” He suggests you "offer to your neighbor the idea of hiring a mediator." As he sees it, "mediation is affordable and can help create resolution and keep issues outside of the court system." Hiring a mediator does usually cost less than a lawyer's hourly fees.

    Involve your landlord or building management company if needed
    I have friends in Murray Hill with 20-something neighbors who love to party until the wee hours of the night and often trash the hallway in the process. After months of back and forth with little progress, they decided to get management involved.

    "You have recourse," Goldberg says of disputes amongst neighbors. "If you’re a rental tenant, it’s your landlord’s obligation to ensure your warranty of habitability and your quiet enjoyment of your apartment. That means you have the right to complain to your landlord, and the landlord is the one who is supposed to take action."

    Still, just because a landlord is supposed to do something doesn't mean he or she will.

    "If the landlord doesn't take the appropriate action, you have recourse available to you to withhold rent, or to actually bring injunctive proceedings against both the landlord and the offending tenant," Goldberg says.

    As Jennings sees it, involving building management or a landlord could help defuse a tense situation. "They typically have seen all types of disputes and should be adept at finding a resolution," he says. "From my 40 years of experience in this area, most management companies have attorneys either in-house or on retainer that assist them with resolving the dispute."

    When my neighbor’s dog was treating our carpeted hallway like a fire hydrant, for example, it took two calls to management to resolve the issue.

    Approach it differently depending on where you live
    Goldberg cautions that condominiums are very different with regards to residents' rights. "In condominium situations, you have to go into court against the actual neighbors themselves," he says, "whereas in a co-op or a rental situation you just proceed against the board or the landlord and it’s their responsibility to take action."

    And what about co-ops? “The co-op board has substantial power to resolve disputes. Under most co-op lease agreements, the board can bring eviction proceedings against [those] it deems undesirable,” Jennings explains. “The label ‘undesirable’ can stem from neighbors not being very neighborly and causing disturbance among the community.”

    Decide if legal action is warranted
    If talking the issue out and involving your landlord prove to be fruitless efforts, legal action may be your best bet for getting an issue resolved.

    Though we mentioned above that consulting legal counsel should be a last resort, Goldberg points out that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. “Legal action can sometimes be a first resort because of the fact that people are very sensitive about complaints from their neighbors,” he says. “Sometimes the best way to work these things out is by going into court or putting it into an administrative type of proceeding.”

    Noise complaints, for example, might easily be solved by initiating legal proceedings because most people would rather turn down their music or end the party a bit earlier than head to court for what could be a long, drawn-out fight.

    Documentation is key
    If you feel like a trip to court might be in your future, Goldberg advises documenting anything and everything you can. In instances of a noise complaint, which is one of the most common points of contention among neighbors, he says it’s “very, very important” to document all of the noise you hear. Recording the noise is even better, and should be done whenever possible, says Goldberg.

    “You have to keep a log of the noise,” he says. “And if you can record it, it’s very important to record it.”

    Don’t retaliate
    Though it might be tempting at times, retaliation is one thing Goldberg does not recommend, particularly as it pertains to a noise complaint. “If you’re under somebody making noise, never bang up on the ceiling,” he says. That in itself can be deemed harassment and lead to an arrest.

    https://www.brickunderground.com/live/making-peace-with-neighbors
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Walter Jennings has been a Premium Member since November 29, 2017.
Lawyers with longer memberships tend to have more experience so we use the Membership date to help prioritize lawyer listings on search pages.

Verified Credentials Date Verified
(1971) Licensed as Attorney in New York. Verified with New York State Unified Court System.October 21, 2010

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Language: English

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Walter Jennings
708 Third Avenue
Fifth Floor
New York, NY 10017
40.75243,-73.9737387

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708 Third Avenue
Fifth Floor
New York, NY 10017


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