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Re: I just found out that my apt. is illegal (rent dispute has been going on for 6 mos.)

Posted by cecy on August 04, 1999 at 11:23:14:

In Reply to: Re: I just found out that my apt. is illegal (rent dispute has been going on for 6 mos.) posted by Mark Smith on August 03, 1999 at 21:20:31:

I do have a written lease which does state that I must pay for the landlords lawyer.
I have been withholding the rent becase of the robbery in my apt. My apt. was robbed 3 days after the others were reported
to the landlord. So my lawyer said that he is Negligent because he never alerted anyone about the robberies - if he had I would have immedietly
have had my locks changed and my apt. wouldn't have been robbed - my attorney said that he is negligent because it was forseeable that I might be robbed & something could have been
done to prevent it. The building does have a c/o that seems to be in order but it was never registered as a multiple dwelling the lady at
the DOB told me that the owner had signed an affidavice (sp?) stating that the building was not a multiple dwelling
when he first did all of the paper work associated w/ the c/o. My attorney doesn't seem to really be giving me straight answers
she wants to wait to discuss the case further when I receive the new court papers. Would know how this works ? From what I understand
Iyou cannot be sued for non - payment of rent if the apt. isn't properly registerd - Is this true ? Any answers would be really appreciated Thanks for all of your help !


: Do you have a written lease? Does it have a clause that provides that you pay the landlord's attorneys' fees if he successfully sues you? If so, hire a lawyer to defend any future non-payment proceedings, and the landlord may have to pay your attorneys' fees [Real Property Law 234].

: You would have two basic defenses for not paying rent or use and occupancy charges: (1) the building lacks a proper Certificate of Occupancy [Multiple Dwelling Law 301 and 302], and (2) the building lacks a Multiple Dwelling Registration [MDL 325].

: And you probably have a counterclaim for the robbery, although your attorney might suggest a separate civil court action instead of a counterclaim in housing/landlord-tenant court.

: : I had posted a while ago...6 apts. in my building in SI had been robbed whoever entered had a key
: : to all of the apts. Well I stopped paying rent in March and the landlord was in the process of getting me
: : evicted due to non payment I was counter suing him for the amount of my loss due to the robbery. The judge
: : accepted my order to show cause w/ his negligance. The judge even went as far as
: : having the police reports from other apts. (also robbed) supeoned. (sp?)
: : I just found out that he has since dropped the case because of incorrect information on the court papers
: : (ie. 4 room apt. on the second floor) When I really live in a 2 room apt. in the basement. He stated that he will be
: : starting up a new eviction case in a few days. I had been meaning to visit the Dept. of buildings since my LL
: : kept stating that I live in a condo - I always thought that it was an apt. Well I finally got there yesterday
: : and found out that my building should be registered as a Multiple Dwelling But it is Not. Any idea's on what I should
: : do about this ? The women at the DOB told me to me to make sure that I tell the judge
: : that it is improperly registered. How / Can it help me in court ?
: : Any help would

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