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Re: Refusal to accept rent check

Posted by TenantNet on January 18, 1998 at 01:28:41:

In Reply to: Refusal to accept rent check posted by Dan on January 17, 1998 at 16:06:15:

: I am not the leaseholding tenant of my apartment, but my roommate is.
He is away for six weeks (in India) and the day after he left, an eviction
notice was left on our door,

Wasn't that a great coincidence...

: along with a note saying that the landlord was taking legal action
against some back rent and legal fees that was owed.

It's probably court papers (technically not an eviction notice)

This back rent goes back at least two years (before I moved in) to a time
when he withheld rent rent due to no hot water for a month.

If that old, one defense is "laches" meaning it's a stale rent claim,
which would mean they could seek it in a full court proceeding, but not
housing court. Make sure you cite that.

: Additionally, the landlord returned (uncashed) the rent check for
: My question is, why is the landlord refusing to accept our rent, when
the real issue is the back rent? And, more practically, what can I do,
since the leaseholder is out of town for so long, to prevent a summary
judgement for the landlord? Can I go to court on his behalf and explain
that he wasn't served properly?

In some cases current rent paid is applied to the oldest outstanding
rent claim, but he knows not to accept it from you so you can't later
claim you have tenancy rights. Also (if it's a holdover) there's a window
period that if he accepts rent, it would reinstate the "terminated"

Yes, go to court and read our court section on the web site. Cite
laches and explain that the prime tenant is away (work, vacation, etc.),
when he will be back. You may get some adjournments, but with the new
rent deposit bill you may be forced to deposit rent into court. I think that
is being interpreted as current and new rent, not old rent, but that's
a fluid situation. I would also consider consulting with an attorney.
If the tenant is reachable, he may wish to give you authorization to
hire a lawyer.

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