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Re: court next week - please advise

Posted by tenant on August 12, 2001 at 22:02:38:

In Reply to: Re: court next week - please advise posted by New York Tenant on August 11, 2001 at 14:33:39:

Thank you for your response. I apologize for being a bit unclear.

A Notice of Petition Holdover was mailed to the tenant and me early July. I did not receive the Notice until after the court hearing because I had moved from the apartment at the end of June and it took a while for the USPS to forward my mail. Once I received the notice, I called the LL's lawyer to figure out what was going on and she said there was no longer a problem b/c the tenant agreed to turn the apartment over. So, I washed my hands of it...until...

The LL called to say the tenant is again refusing to leave and, therefore, I would recieve court papers from his lawyer the following week and I must attend the hearing. That's when he also added he's not trying to go after me for money but I could be liable. Is that just a threat to get me to court?

The second set of documents sent to me read:

Notice of Motion

X Landlord, Petitioner-Landlord
Y Individual, Respondent-Tenant,
Z Individual (me) and "John Doe," Respondents-Undertenants

The notice states "the Tenant should be required to pay use and occupancy" for the apartment and also requests "to conduct discovery and to depose the respondent-tenant and respondent-undertenant...and to order the respondents to produce requested documents" -- which happens to be a list of 27(!) types of docs since 1999. Everything from doctor and credit card bills to tax returns and bank statements. All my docs are boxed up in storage since I'm staying w/ friends and in short-term sublets while I continue my apartment hunt. Ugh.

I'm frustrated that the tenant is continuing to cause problems -- even after she knowingly took advantage of me all this time. I don't have time to be digging up 2 years worth of 27 different types of documents and going to court, so if its still true in my case that the LL can't get a money judgment for rent in housing court against a subtenant or a roommate -- great!! If you have any further insight/advice I would greatly appreciate it.

: Were you served with the Notice of Petition and Petition in the case? Did the landlord name you as a subtenant in the caption of the case? Is it a holdover or non-payment proceeding? What is the naure of the motion the landlord is bringing?
: The landlord can't get a money judgment for rent in housing court against a subtenant or a roommate, because there is no privity of contract between a landlord and a subtenant or a roommate. From that perspective, you have little to risk by not going to court.

: The landlord probably wants you to testify against the tenant, to prove that it was a sublet situation, and not a roommate situation. If the landlord is able to prove a subletting without its permission, the most the tenant could have legally charged you was legal regulated rent, and you would be entitled to treble damages from the tenant. But housing court probably isn't the best -- or even proper -- venue for you to bring a cross claim against the tenant.

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