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Re: URGENT! roommate situation

Posted by William Rowen, Met Council on February 12, 1998 at 01:59:13:

In Reply to: Re: URGENT! roommate situation posted by zann on February 08, 1998 at 16:20:05:

: : : Feb 9th is my court date, i am going to trial and i need urgent info!
: : I am the roommate, the primary tenant is out of town and has lost on
: : default, since i have been present for the past few court dates the judge
: : has said i am the respondent and it seems i have some rights.

: : Either the judge was on dope or you misunderstood. THe primary tenant has
: : rights of tenancy, and may lose that depending on a variety of issues. I
: : hope you notified the tenant of the case. The rights you have are because
: : you are in occupancy and they just can't change locks -- they must go
: : through the legal process to get you out.

: : :I have
: : extensive exhibits validating the apartment is a SHARE [primary residents
: : mail,voters reg, tax stuff etc etc] not a SUBLET and i plan on sticking
: : to that story.

: : Depends on why they are seeking to evict the primary tenant. Is it illegal
: : subletting or nonpayment or something else?

: : : I have requested some form of settlement from the
: : landlords attorney and faxed a plea to the building manager, they are
: : not interested though i said it could be a new lease w/ the 20% increase
: : which is valid in NYC.

: : They aren't required to give a lease to you.

: : They said,"no", so i said well i feel i have a
: : case lets go to trial...the question is "what the hell do i say in
: : court??"

: : Depedns on the nature of the case.

: : Ask them to show burden of proof? Get an order to show cause?
: : please help and explain these terms!!!

: : You should at least consult with an attorney. Read the court section on
: : the web site and figure out what it is all about.

Unless the named tenant of the lease is living with you, you are subletting, not sharing. Did you get the landlord's permission as required by law to sublet. Well, the landlord seems to have overlooked that one because he has based his case on non-primary residence of the prime tenant, instead of unlawful subletting to you.

If the prime tenant does not show up to defend, it will not matter what evidence you have. The court will assume that absence indicates non-primary status. Get smart and decide if you want the apartment enough for you and the prime tenant to spend a few thou on a good tenant (not landlord or real estate) attorney to save your butts in the apartment. If not, the landlord will get you both out sooner or later.

If you decide to get serious, call Met Council for the name of a tenant attorney. (212) 693-0550

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