TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



pro se answer to holdover petition

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

Moderator: TenantNet

pro se answer to holdover petition

Postby BronxRenter » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:46 pm

Hello,

I am helping a friend that has received a summons for holdover.

This is in the Bronx. He has been renting for two years, he made an oral agreement with LL for three years. LL reluctantly signed a 1 year lease after tenant asked him for it, so he could prove residency. LL did not renew lease or offer another when it expired.

A year later LL wants to evict and files in housing court.

My friend was not served properly. They did a nail and mail without attempting personal service first. He is a grad student with no car, pretty easy to find. He then received the postcards from the court. He appeared, asked for an adjournment and received 1 month, no use and occupancy money was discussed.

I have identified several defects in the LLs petition. For one he did not describe the property correctly. He wrote First floor, while my friend rents the basement. Would this be considered deminimus in the Bronx?

Secondly the apartment is an illegal conversion, and not on the buildings c of o . So it is an illegal two (mother daughter) Will Housing Court hear this case or will LL have to file for an ejectment order in civil court?

My last question is can we answer the petition in writing before the court date, without an appearance? Are there any good resources explaining how to do this?

Thanks in advance.
BronxRenter
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Bronx

Postby TenantNet » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:59 am

If the tenant is unregulated, the LL will get the tenant out ... it's just a matter of when. If the lease has expired, then the tenant is month-to-month. Landlord would have to give the tenant 30 days' notice and can then commence a holdover in Housing Court.

1. Check to see if the unit might be under rent stabilization. Many are that LLs claim are not. If the building has 6+ units and was built prior to 1974, and it not a coop/condo or otherwise deregulated, there's a good chance.

Service issues will buy you some time. So will other technicalities. Some issues on the petition might be able to be amended on the spot. Might get it dismissed, but they will file again.

Not all buildings require a Cert. of Occupancy. If older than 1939, it might not need it. But if there is one, then an illegal apartment might present jurisdictional issues. Search this forum for "illegal apartments" - and the forum reference section.

Yes you can answer beforehand. You would need a Verified Answer and Proof of Service (you can serve the LL or his lawyer in Housing Ct.). Look at Ecourts - there is info on answering. You can also ask for help from the Pro Se lawyer at Housing Court. Most tenants use the fill-in form provided by HC clerks, but you can do it yourself.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9502
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby ronin » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:21 am

If the unit is not on the Certificate of Occupancy then the LL will be denied the Holdover and forced to file an "Ejectment" action in Supreme Court. Your friend's time in the apartment is therefore likely to be extended. But ultimately he will "lose" but the LL will feel the pain of renting illegal basement apartments. Queens is the master of the illegal basement apartments, but the Bronx shouldn't have a problem kicking the holdover out either. So no, it should not be de minimus.
ronin
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2002 2:01 am

Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:14 am

ronin wrote:If the unit is not on the Certificate of Occupancy then the LL will be denied the Holdover and forced to file an "Ejectment" action in Supreme Court.


But not if the building does not require a Cert. of Occupancy. If built before 1939 it does not require a CofO ... with some exceptions where the building had a prior change that kicked in the requirement.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9502
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby ronin » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:24 pm

Good point. But since it has a C of O already wouldn't that mean it would be required to list all living units on it? That's my understanding- but it's not based on research. So I'm guessing here.

Most of the Queens basement cases are from new buildings.
ronin
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2002 2:01 am


Return to Housing Court - NYC

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests