Posted by JJ on July 10, 2001 at 22:01:39:
In Reply to: HELP! Where do we go from here??.... posted by Dayann on July 09, 2001 at 20:56:22:
: My husband and I have rented the first floor of a private house on a month to month basis for one year. We paid our rent religiously. Then we had to literally call the landlord every other week due to lack of heat, not enough heat, fumes from the boiler, etc., etc. We finally had enough near the end of the season, this past March, and contacted the City (HPD) to complain. Rather than correct the problem, the landlord sent us a letter expressing his "dismay" at our having filed a complaint against him. Just recently, we sent a letter along with our rent check asking the landlord to install window guards (we are new parents and we're concerned about the safety of our daughter, who is now 4 1/2 months old). After waiting over a week for him to at least call us about our request, we again issued a complaint to HPD yesterday (7/8/01). This afternoon, he handed us a Notice of Termination, telling us we have 30 days in which to move or be evicted.
: The commencement of the eviction process is clearly being done in retaliation for having called the City to complain. We know this type of thing is against the law, but we don't know what to do next. Do we file a harassment complaint with the pollce, contact the housing court or the local HPD office? Or do we just go ahead and hold the rent and go ahead with an HP action? OR, do we wait until he hauls us in to an eviction proceeding and then plead our case? We aren't sure which strategy works best or how to best address his NOtice to Terminate. Does anyone out there have a similar experience that we can draw from? Also, we are looking for a tenant advocacy group in Queens. If anyone out there knows of one, we'd appreciate it.
Stay & fight and sue the b#######.
1st: read about the 30-day notice, use search in this forum, link to and read the actual law. You must receive it 30 days before a rent due date, so usually you'll get 6 weeks or more before moving day. Read about defective notices in the Housing Court section on tenant.net: he has to follow the rules for timimg and words, etc. or start over..
If you don't move out, the landlord can only take you to court. If the judge awards him possession (he wins), then you'll have to leave, usually a few days to a few weeks, sometimes months.
HOWEVER: really really big HOWEVER:
You will claim as a defense "retaliatory eviction"; you should not only win the whole case, but you can win damages $$$$. It is illegal to evict a tenant in retaliation for reporting dangerous conditions to the authorities, amoung other reasons,because he did it within 6 months of your report. Read the decision in Housing Court summeries on tenant.net where tenant won $$$$$ for two false nonpayment eviction proceedings.
This is 223-b of the Real Property Law and it "This section shall apply to all rental residential premises
except owner-occupied dwellings with less than four units.
Read it here:
PS: really big PS:
donot fix things yourself. Landords are evicting tenants for unauthorized improvements. Window gates for children are reuired by law. The NYC dept of Health enforces it. Get more info here: nyc.gov
For a local tenant clinic, call Met Council on HOuisng, tel# somewhere in the tenantnet online section , ask them. Or call any local gov or community office, like your NYC councilmember, your community board office, Claire Shulman's office. see the Queens public library website for names, addresses, tels & links.
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