Posted by courtwatcher on August 20, 2001 at 10:25:09:
In Reply to: Re: a few questions about holdover evictions posted by Elizabeth on August 19, 2001 at 19:48:41:
Will a judge make you pay "use and occupancy" during the proceedings? It depends on your specific case. It is the judge's call. In my case the LL's lawyer did not ask for it, so the judge didn't order it (there was a question of law involved & the owner's lawyer didn't want to open that nasty can of worms).
Some lawyers will encourage you to hold back the rent during the months of proceedings (especially in cases where there are possible / actual housing violations).
But: save the "rent" money, don't spend it (especially to pay your lawyer).
You would be wise to view the situation as if the money were due and payable to the landlord. If you get a judgment in your favor and you are able to keep the money then so much the better.
(Note: If the total rent amount you are looking to save iss in the neighborhood of $1500 - $2000, then there is a good chance that lawyer's fees will cost you that much - or more - to drag things out for a few months and keep you in the apartment -- so beware.)
: Thanks. I've read enough to understand about the required notice of termination, and the exact timing of it(Nolo's book for landlords is much better than *any* tenant's rights book I have seen).
: What the book doesn't cover is what goes on after a court date is set. It also doesn't cover whether rent, or as you point out, use and occupancy, must be paid.
: Frankly, people are suggesting that I just sit it out and let the landlord evict me because I won't have to pay rent during the time (I am going to consult a lawyer, but I really, really want to hear some real life experiences from tenants who've gone through court).
: I know he has a lawyer so I expect he will do it according to the letter of the law, so if I can't raise issue of improper service, will I have only 6 months from the court date?
: *Please* tell me, does it ever happen that a judge will say no use and occupany payment is due during the stay?
: And can the six months be extended?
: : By law, a judge can give you a maximum stay of six months, but can give you less time.
: : You would probably be ordered to pay use and occupancy, instead of rent, during the period of the stay. That could be the same as your current rent, or might be higher if the landlord can prove that the market rent is higher.
: : But the landlord has to properly and timely have you served with a notice of termination before he can proceed to housing court, and the Notice of Petition and Petition have to be served properly. If you raise the issue of service of the notice of termination and/or the court papers, the court proceedings could drag on for several months.
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