Posted by TenantNet on February 22, 1998 at 09:09:49:
In Reply to: URGENT! I only have 30 days... what are my rights? posted by Josh on February 18, 1998 at 10:50:49:
: I rented this apt about a year and a half ago from a person who has been living in it for the last 20 years or so. I did not sign any lease or legal paper for this rental. All rents have been paid in full and on time so far. I recently found out that the apt was leased under this person's father's name who has been dead 15 years ago. The landlord also discovered that this person has been forging his father's signature to keep this apt. The landlord is very mad and wants me, a by-stander who is caught in between the brawl, to vacant the apt in 30 days. I offered to transfer the lease under my name, but the request was turned down. I wanted to rent another apt in the building (there are many vacant ones!), but was refused as well. The landlord has been hoarding apts with the plan to renovate it and rent them out at a substantially higher price a few months down the road.
: My questions:
: What are my rights as a good renter who did not have any knowledge about this person's misconduct?
: Can the landlord throw me out (or deny access to the premise) 30 days from now?
: What are my chances if I decide to take this matter to court? Do I have any rights at all in the eye of the law?
: Is there any other way to go around this problem?
This is a combination illegal sublet and non-primary residence (assuming you are in NYC).
Obviosly the owner wants to hoard. You have little rights as the owner is
not required to rent to you directly. But you are in occupancy and that
means the owner must go through the courts and can't just change locks.
You should be served with court papers and your name should be on it
as "John Doe". If not check to see if a court case has been commenced
agains the prime tenant. See if you can intervene and make the offer
in front of the judge. In the end you don't have absolute rights to
take over the lease, but if you get a good judge, he might convince
the owner to take you on (sometimes such pressure helps). In the
alternative ask for several months to move.
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