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Re: 30-Day Tenant -- Two Family House

Posted by TenantNet on August 25, 1996 at 23:56:49:

In Reply to: 30-Day Tenant -- Two Family House posted by Elise Miller on August 25, 1996 at 23:10:00:

: 1) Retaliatory defense problems,
: My attorney is trying to win my case on technical problems (traverse).
: not on merits.
: He says because I notified the landlord first with my repair complaints
: and told landlord I'd take him to court when he refused,
: then the landlord served a 30-day preliminary eviction notice,
: that retaliatory defense is inappropriate.

I traverse (mini-trial) is held to determine if you were served properly.
If I follow correctly you complained to the owner and he failed to make
repairs and then he is now seeking your eviction [with no meritorious
reason] that does fall under Retaliatory eviction. Check Real Property
Law section 223(b).

: That I have to have filed with a government agency first, even
: though I was told by that government agency to inform my landlord first.

If you're referring to DHCR telling you to complain to the owner first.
they are giving you bad information. They know this by the way and
continue to do it. You are under no obligation to go to the owner first,
except it might not be a bad idea since you can then show he knew about
the problem. Retaliatory eviction occurs when a) you take any action and
b) the owner seeks your ouster. OTOH, DHCR would not have jurisdiction over
you if you are in a two-family house.

: 2) 30-Day Tenant or Lease
: I began my tenancy with a lease and always made known my intention
: for a lease, the landlord always saying he would give me a lease
: and I could live there as long as I like (this is witnessed), but
: he never did. Doesn't the intention and the fact that the landlord
: never verbally rejected me stand for anything?

What are you asking for, a lease? You could claim you had a verbal agreement,
but I don't know if that will get you very far.

: 3) I won the HPAction against the landlord (it cost me $1250 in
: legal fees + my time). As the prevailing party
: shouldn't I be able to get the fees paid. My attorney says I won't
: get them. Yet he is the one who asked to take the HPAction
: with the Holdover Proceeding, that they were the same case.

You tell the attorney to try to get them. I don't know the particulars
of your case, but in my book that sounds reasonable. But if they were
the same case (only one docket number) then it's either a holdover or
an HP action [not both]. You should get an abatement for the lack of
repair and attorney fees. But you will probably have to make a motion
for that. And it depends on the judge you had and the particulars of
your case. I would press your attorney for a full explanation.

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