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Eviction settlement and unreachable landlord

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Eviction settlement and unreachable landlord

Postby JeweledLeah » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:13 pm

I hope I can get some advice here.

Firstly, allow me to give a brief background on our situation. Lived in the same apartment for 8 years (3 family house), about 5 years ago started getting a steady stream of notices to the landlord and tenants about the house going into foreclosure, confronted (read asked face to face) our landlord about it few months later, after which he disappeared, quite literally. We used to pay in person, our second floor neighbors were sending their checks to a PO box, several of those, following the conversation went uncashed. End of November 2009, we've received a notice of eviction, by December 31, stating the reason as the end of our months to month agreement (unfortunately we had no lease renewal even while the landlord was present, after first year of residency) We did start looking for a new place to live, but were unsuccessful. Immediately after New Year, the landlord started holdover proceedings, against all the tenants in the house, including those who moved out around October 2009 and were obviously not in possession of the premises.

On the advice of the court lawyer, we've chosen to settle, to avoid any future lawsuits for back rent and to buy us more time (we cannot afford to pay a lawyer and have too much income to qualify for a free one, and I'm not confident that I can self represent well enough). We're currently paying a monthly Fee that is above our prior rent. Landlord made a verbal promise with his lawyer present to give us assistance with finding a new place, specifically by acting as our reference. I've been unable to reach him since.

We sent our checks to the PO box address he's provided and have receipts to prove it (certified bank check, postal service receipts from certified mail). We currently have no hot water or heat in the house and have been unable to reach him about it either. Complaint with department of buildings was filed and they even sent a second agent to follow up on a first visit, but nothing is done. and we still cannot reach him

the house, our apartment included is in terrible condition, mold, severe mice infestation, holes in the walls, huge hole in the ceiling, half the electric sockets not working. We have been told that since we didn't file complaint 4 years ago, its now too late to use it as a leverage in a nonpayment case (which is what we've been threatened with unless we went for a settlement) We don't have 4 years worth of rent either. However, as far as I know, now that we're in a house completely legally even if for a short duration (we have until end of april to move out), we're are at least entitled to such basics as hot water.

Worst part is that we've actually found a possible place to live that fits our budget and allows dogs (reason why we were unable to find a new place for so long), but the prospective landlord wants to talk to our current one. We might end up losing it.

If the situation continues as it is now, we will not be able to move out in time and will be forced into filing an order to show cause, which will make our "will not be sued for back rent" court agreement null and void. We don't have that money. Our dogs are not adoptable (they are 8 and 10 and they get depressed when away from us and each other even for one night), so letting go of them to have easier time with getting a new place means killing them.

So what should we do?
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 1:01 am
Location: Brooklyn

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