Posted by W. Gordon on November 17, 1997 at 17:39:14:
In Reply to: Re: LL offers lease & renegs 4 months later posted by jo sperling on November 17, 1997 at 11:45:31:
: : My husband and I live in the garden apartment of a four unit building in
: : Brooklyn, NY. In June our lease was up for renewal, and our landlord sent
: : a signed renewal form with a rent increase to $1250. We did not sign this
: : renewal, but instead entered into a negotiation to reduce the rent to $1200.
: : In August, the landlord agreed to give us a 2 year lease at $1200/mo, and
: : despite repeated requests did not send the renewal until mid October.
: : We signed the lease renewal and sent it back. It was accompanied by a note
: : which is dated and signed and says: "Please sign both copies, the owner will
: : then countersign and will return a copy to you. Ten days later we are informed
: : that the landlord is selling the building , and as far as he's concerned, we
: : do not have a lease, and he will serve us with eviction papers at the end
: : of this month. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks . Wendy
: I'm not a lawyer--which you obviously need--but it seems to me that you had a binding agreement with the landlord, and I also think that agreement is binding on whoever he sells it to.
: I assume it is not rent stabilized.
: Presumably you hung on to a copy of the lease.
: Incidentally, take a look at your present lease and see if there's a provision assessing legal fees on you in the event of a dispute. Ask your lawyer if this could get you an award of legal fees if you have to go to court, as there are cases that when tenants are sued for rent and win, they can get legal fees even if the lease says only the landlord is entitled to legal fees for collecting rent.
Thanks for the advice about legal fees. We have one major problem, which is we did not keep a copy of the lease, and according to an attorney we contacted, it would only help a little bit, because we still can't prove that the landlord received the new lease. What is more important, we think, is that we had a contract in effect, as of August 1997, and have both reliance (We wouldn't have agreed to a rent increase if our status was being changed from tenants with a lease to month to month tenants. In addition, we have performance, which is indicated by the fact that the landlord accepted a revised rent amount since August 1997, and still has not indicated all these months later that he did not renew our lease. Our best chance, we have been told, is to prove that we have a lease. Any ideas?
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