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Landlord was a no show

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Landlord was a no show

Postby ThruTheCracks » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:22 pm

I went today for housing court in response to a Petition of Non-payment (the building super slips my rent checks back under my door) and the landlord didn't show up at court. The judge threw it out of court without prejudice. I really was hoping to be able to pay my rent! What happens now? My building is Rent Stabilized, and they told me in May of 08 "We want you out". Since then, there are only 4 of the original tenants left in the building. I need to be able to pay my rent and not miss anymore work as I am a temp and don't get paid when I am not present. Any ideas?
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:32 pm

Assuming you have no reason to withhold rent, then why can't you pay it?
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Postby ThruTheCracks » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:12 pm

The landlord refuses to accept my rent checks stating he will not accept "partial" rent. In October, I deducted exterminator fees from my rent. Now they say they will not accept partial payment. They've sent October back, applied November to October, sent December and January back to me.
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:59 pm

Send it to him certified indicating which month it's for in the memo field of the check. Assuming he knows why you deducted exterminator fees ... if not then include the explanation in a letter, then there's not much you can do. He will likely take you to court again. Yes, he's jerking your chain by suing you and not showing up. If he files the case again, if it's a long time since you've deducted the fees, then one of your defenses will be laches (look in the Reference section of the forum). That would force him to file in Civil Court, which is more difficult for him although it won't get you off the hook completely.

He will likely use the rolling payment method, and it might even be in your lease, but that's up to a judge.

Eventually the issue of exterminator fees will be one of your defenses. That's essentially called "repair and deduct" which might be allowed by a judge depending on all the facts, how bad the condition was, if you notified the LL and so on. If he's a typical LL he will claim he didn't know or that you refused to let him in. Most of the time that's utter nonsense.
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Postby ThruTheCracks » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:25 pm

Thank you so much for your advice!
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