Problem with landlord who breaks the law, eviction process in ny?

modernline2009June 22, 2010

My father in law, my pregnant wife and myself rented apartment on month to month basis in Queens, NY last summer 2009. Our neighbors who rent apt above ours have wooden floors and 6 children making lots of noise every day until 12am. My father and I have to wake up early to go to work, my wife canÂt relax because of that loud noise. We spoke to our landlords many times and asked him to help us to deal with this problem but unfortunately he didn't do anything about it. We have roaches in our apt, we requested exterminator but our landlord simply ignored it. During the winter we didn't have heat for weeks because it took landlord long time to repair the heating system. My wife gave birth a few months ago, we still don't have window guards even though we requested it many times as well. Since my wife become pregnant, she quit her job and it became difficult to pay for the rent. To increase our income we let our friend to move in with us. We confirmed that with our landlord who verbally agreed on this, however 2 months later the landlord decided to give us 30 days notice of $100 rent increase due to additional expenses related to gas, water and electricity usage.(our landlord pays for that). He said that he will increase rent or the new tenant must leave. Our friend decided to leave on his own because he couldn't take the noise coming from our neighbors. We decided to withhold the rent payment and called NYC to make complaints about our problems with landlord. We received 30 days notice to leave the place. We searched for a new apt but we couldn't find anything that we could afford. We need more time to find a new place. What can we do to extend the process in court, how can we defend ourselves? Please help us.

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Can you talk to the city again, find out what's happening and if your landlord can kick you out because he did not like you're contacting the city (I'm presuming that could be what set him off). Do you have a year's lease or only month to month? He can't just get rid of you if you've been paying on time if you have a long lease. Have you gone to Legal Aid? I also imagine there must be some tenants' associations there that could help you.. look in the phone book (but don't let someone tell you you have to pay money up front for that help!).

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 5:53PM
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"We decided to withhold the rent payment."

Well there ya go. If you do not pay the rent you owe the landlord can start eviction proceedings.

Since you are on a month to month agreement, the landlord can ask you to leave without even having to give a reason (just as the tenant can decide to leave also). It sounds like your state has a 30 day notice requirement like most do. If you refuse to move by the stated date, the LL will start a formal eviction proceeding and yes, sure, this will extend your time there with the additional required court dates, but do you really want to do something like that??? Besides being an immoral thing to do, it would ruin your credit rating and any chance of ever being able to rent a decent apartment again.

Hindsight is foresight..............If/When you "called NYC" to complain about your landlord, had you had a legitimate complaint (something like major repairs needed, vermin, or the LL not providing utilities) you would have been instructed to place your rent money with them in a trust to be held until the LL complied with the city's citations. You can't 'just decide' to not pay the LL the rent you owe merely because you are annoyed with the way things are with living there. There is a proper procedure to follow that could have prevented finding yourself in the situation you are in now.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 12:04PM
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