Posted by DK on September 20, 1999 at 13:06:00:
In Reply to: illegal apt eviction from the bronx in NY posted by lea on September 20, 1999 at 12:06:58:
You should definitely read the FAQ page cited below.
Multiple Dwelling Law § 301 requires that the landlord obtain a certificate of occupancy from the Department of Buildings. Multiple Dwelling Law § 302 says that if the landlord does not obtain a certificate of occupancy when required, no rent is owed.
So at the very least, you should not be paying rent.
It appears that you have received a summons and complaint which seeks your eviction. It would be helpful to have an attorney and you could use the rent money which you are not paying to finance the attorney's retainer. If it is possible to legalize the apartment, you may be able to obtain a court order directing the landlord to legalize your unit. If this is impossible, the landlord will be entitled to evict you and will not be legally able to re-rent the apartment.
The landlord is not allowed to retaliate against you for exercising your legal rights (Real Property Law § 223-b), but it is unclear whether the courts would allow a landlord to pass on to a non-regulated tenant some of the costs of legalizing the unit.
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