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court next week - please advise

Posted by nytenant on August 10, 2001 at 14:14:25:

I lived in an unfurnished, NY rent stabilized apt for 2 yrs. I had no agreement with the landlord. I only signed a 6 month lease with the primary tenant, which stated I was living in the apartment as a roommate. I paid rent directly to the primary tenant, which turned out to be more than the legal stabilized rent (DHCR rent history confirmed). The LL decide not to renew the lease with the primary tenant in July b/c he said our situation was an unauthorized sublet and illegal. I moved out at the end of June as requested.

The primary tenant is refusing to hand over the apartment or pay rent (hasn't paid June, July, or Aug rent). The LL is now trying to evict her and get paid. The LL knows I no longer live there but has served me and the primary tenant "Notice of Motion" papers (via mail) requesting that we both attend court next Tues, 8/14.

The landlord is insistent that I attend the hearing (he has called me 5 times in the past two weeks)...stating he doesn't want to go after me, but I could be liable for the money owed. Why??

I am incredibly annoyed by this whole situation. Am I obligated to go to court? Am I potentially liable for the rent due even though I'm not living there? I wasn't going to cause a commotion about being overcharged by the tenant -- just wanted to cut my losses -- but now that I'm spending so much time and energy trying to defend myself in the this mess, I'm tempted to try to recoup the money I was overpaying the tenant.

I would greatly appreciate it if someone could provide answers or advice regarding my situation. Thank you.

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