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Retaliatory Eviction - Owner occupied AFTER lease

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Retaliatory Eviction - Owner occupied AFTER lease

Postby Clopin333 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:02 am

I'm in the midst of a ridiculous holdover case that has its seeds in another housing court case from last year.

Without going into all the details yet, I have a basically incontestable "retaliatory eviction" defense. When I moved into the building, and signed the lease, the LL did NOT live in the building. I live in a brownstone with 3 units. However RPL 223 states that if it's less than 4 units and owner occupied, the retaliatory eviction defense cannot be raised, BUT I do not feel this applies to my case...

My original lease term commenced on 11-1-09, with a rider granting me the right to renewal. LL has not lived in this building for several years and did not move back in until approx. Sept 2010, about 2.5 months ago. She is living in the studio on ground floor of brownstone. I live on top floor and my apt is the entire floor of the building

LL did a full renovation of the kitchen during SIX MONTHS of my tenancy, and is now trying to recover the apt so she can either move back in from downstairs (which she let slip) or rent it at a much higher rate, now that she has a brand new kitchen. However, I was not able to with hold any rent during the renovation, as all of my rent for the entire year was paid up front as a buyout from a rent-stab apt last year. My hands were completely tied and I had no choice but to live in these conditions. Basically, LL promised a full renovation of the kitchen, (which is stated in my lease) complete within 2 weeks, but disappeared once she received all the monies and left me without a fully operation kitchen from Nov 2009 - April 2010. The rest of the promised services weren't fully completed until June 2010. I have opened an investigation with DOB, as no permits were acquired for the work, and it is technically an illegal renovation (installed w/d, new electrical, etc). LL was also served with a bedbug violation on 10/29/10, after I complained that she refused to exterminate after being notified by me weeks earlier. LL filed holdover petition on 11/1/10, only THREE days after receiving the violation from my complaint.

Since LL moved in a signficant time AFTER my lease had commenced, and given the incredible warranty of habitability issues, which occurred while LL was NOT living in building, will the court uphold that the "owner occupation" clause does NOT apply to my case, as I feel they should?

Once again, THANKS!
Clopin333
 
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Postby ronin » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:42 am

You really have a good grasp of some of the concepts, but you kinda miss the point.

If the statute, RPL 233, says you can't raise a retaliatory eviction defense in your situation, then absent some other principle, then that's it. If you think your ideas are better you have to get elected to the state senate or assembly and convince others to rewrite the law! But really, " I do not feel this applies to my case... "??? Be for real! On what case or principle do you base your legal opinion for nullifying that clause of the statute? None? Then stop it. Stick to legit issues. Making arguments like that cloud your legitimate arguments.

Now as you have a lease in place, you can argue your rights under the lease. You also can counter-claim about the lack of a kitchen for 6 months.

But a word of advice, try to avoid being frivolous. The HC judges will screw you no matter how strong your legal standing, but don't give them good cause!
ronin
 
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