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Non-payment 2 mos. but I've paid one month

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Non-payment 2 mos. but I've paid one month

Postby operagal » Tue May 07, 2013 9:08 am

Received Notice of Petition for March and April rent. But I've paid March rent and have the canceled check. I'm in a rent stabilized apt with lease over 20 years.

I'll have April rent this Thursday. I must respond to court by Friday.

What is proper procedure? Can LL refuse to accept April rent? Do I just go to the court and say "wrong amount" and then get a court date? I'd like to pay and fix this asap. Thank you for any advice.
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Postby TenantNet » Tue May 07, 2013 10:45 am

First, you must go to court, at least twice. Read the court section on this site.

Even if the LL says they will discontinue it, you MUST go to court as as case has been filed.

First, you must put in an answer (if in Manhattan, at the courthouse at 111 Centre St., 2nd floor). In that answer tell the clerk that rent has been partially paid.

Second time is the date the clerk will give you.

The second time (actually the first court appearance), tell the court attorney the rent has been partially paid and are willing to pay the rest ... assuming there are no counterclaims or other warranty of habitability claims. I would not send the rent to the LL at this point by mail. Pay the LL in court and get it in a stipulation of discontinuance.

No matter what, do not agree to a a stip that has the word "judgement" in it.

No matter what, do not agree to attorney fees being awarded to the LL.
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Postby operagal » Tue May 07, 2013 10:54 am

Thank you so very, very much. When I go the second time to the court with my rent check in hand, who do I speak with? Will there be a time to just give my rent to the LL attorney, or do I go before a judge?

Again, I think I understand everything you said and I'm very grateful. Up all night worrying about this.
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Postby TenantNet » Tue May 07, 2013 11:11 am

Again, read the material in the court section.

When answering the clerk will give you a date, time and room number.

When you get there, look for your case in the bulletin board outside the room. Get the number in the list (are you first, last of whatever?). Go inside and check in with the clerk in that courtroom (it could be a court officer). Your LL and his/her attorney might be there, or not, or might have a lawyer appearing. Do not be intimidated by the lawyer, and half of what they say is meant to mislead you.

The is the resolution part, not the trial part. You can also ask for an adjournment, or the LL can ask for one. (It's wise to let them ask for an adjournment). If that happens, make sure the stip has language like, "Cased adjourned on consent to [date] for all purposes.

Make sure the word "judgment" does not appear in any stip. And you have a right to have the judge explain what it all means.

If not the judge, the case might be conferenced with the court attorney. You can ask for an inspection if there are problems in the apartment. At that time explain a) March is paid and b) you are willing to pay April and c) what you plan on doing about May. A smart LL will take the money and discontinue the case, and a stip of discontinuance can be written. That should be signed by a judge.

Remember, do not allow the word "judgment" appear in the stip and do not agree to attorney fees for the LL.

If the issues are too far apart, they might send you to the trial part. But from what you've said that is unlikely here.
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Postby operagal » Tue May 07, 2013 11:29 am

Reading the pages you mentioned. Thanks very much.

I want to pay April rent and will have May soon. I don't see any reason to adjourn it... why would they want to do that?
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Postby TenantNet » Tue May 07, 2013 11:56 am

There are many reasons for things to happen in court. And unfortunately things always don't happen quickly or with due speed. Take one step at a time and protect your rights.
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Postby operagal » Wed May 08, 2013 9:31 am

When you say "protect my rights", I assume that's by going to court and not ignoring this, which of course I will do. And also by not signing anything that says, "judgment". I've read through the court section here... but I dont' see other things on this matter. Anything else I'm missing?
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