Posted by Anna on October 22, 1999 at 09:10:50:
In Reply to: Lease expiration and rent withholding posted by Christina R. on October 11, 1999 at 23:26:50:
: I live in NYC in a rent stablized pre-war building with approximately 66 units. My written lease expires in November. My problem is I have been withholding my rent since January to force my landlord to make building-wide repairs. My landlord, however has not sent me a dispossess in all that time. If I renew my lease, will I have to pay all back rent? If I don't renew, can I be evicted before I get a chance to state my case in court. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.o
Yes: if you do not sign and return the rent-stab Lease Renewal on time, you can be evicted for that one thing alone.
No: there is no connection between the Lease Renewal and the unpaid rent, past or future. They are two entirely seperate subjects.
Withholding rent for building-wide problems? From what you wrote, it sounds like you have no lawyer, other tenants aren't withholding, and you're headed for a non-payment eviction proceeding in Housing Court. If you have not already done so, read and follow all recommendations on TenantNet Home on this subject: e.g., send Notices to LL, report violations to HPD, file complaint with DHCR, get other tenants involved, get an attorney or at least go to a Tenant Clinic.
Why hasn't your LL sued you yet? 1. really sloppy bookkeeping, or your overdue rent has not hit their "sue them" minimum (some LL's use x number of months, others use a dollar minimum); 2. LL is hoping that you've spent the unpaid rent and will be an easy eviction target in HC; 3. LL already sued, used Sewer Service, you just don't know yet... go to HC, 111 Centre St, 2nd floor,check the public access computer under your name, several misspellings of your name, and under the LL's name and the mgmt co's name. If you find anyone else being sued by your LL, look at a recent case, write down the attorney's name, very useful info for you attorney or the Tenant Clinic.
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