Posted by New York Tenant on June 16, 2001 at 11:15:05:
In Reply to: what to do next? posted by chelsea on June 15, 2001 at 17:39:31:
If the landlord doesn't have a proper Certificate of Occupancy covering your apartment, you have to withhold your rent to take advantage of Sections 301 and 302 of the Multiple Dwelling Law. You can't pay the rent and then sue to recover it.
Landlords claim to use a data base of housing court records, in addition to standard credit reports, to check out prospective tenants. This may be true, and it would not be as easy to learn what information -- accurate or not -- is in that data base, or any similar date base.
: ... I've withheld rent for a good long while (for overcharge and the landlord's failure to obtain a certificate of occupancy), and have seen no effect on my good credit rating in credit reports I've ordered. Landlords have posted messages on this list swearings that they check court records for tenants involved in lawsuits, but I've seen very little hard evidence of this. If it is true, I doubt they would look any more favorably on a civil or supreme court overcharge case than a housing court nonpayment case.
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