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Eviction notice questions

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Eviction notice questions

Postby UESManhattan » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:48 pm

On Oct. 21st, I received a 5 Day Notice to Tenant stating I owed rent for August, 2011, Sept. 2011 and October 2011. At the time I received the notice, I had already paid August and September. I immediately emailed my landlord and sent copies of my bank statements and told them I'd have October's rent to them ASAP (I'd just started back to work after being out for approx. 8 months) and they acknowledged the email saying they would notify their attorney. I made October's payment two weeks ago. Today, I came home to find legal documents stating that they are starting eviction proceedings for September, October and November's rent and an additional $3,000.00 in legal fees. They have already acknowledged that I paid September's rent and I have proof of October's payment. Additionally, I was not served a 5 (or any) notice for the rent they are now claiming in housing court. It's my understanding that they would have to serve me a new notice if they were altering the months owed. I understand that either way, I need to appear in housing court ASAP and will do so on Friday but I'd like to be armed with a bit more information. Would the LL have had to reserve notice? Is it legal for them to include a month owed when they've already acknowledged that it's been paid? Please help!
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Postby ronin » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:22 pm

No it is not legal to sue for a month already paid.

Don't freak out about the $3000 attorney fees. That is in there to panic you. It can't be charged until awarded by the court.

Chances are that you can get the case dismissed for suing for rent already paid (IMHO). I believe that they will have to restart with a new demand and a new petition. Even if the judge lets them sleaze through, you are entitled to an adjournment to find an attorney. You should seek direct legal help and also that will give you time to generate more money towards your arrears.

Good luck.
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Postby UESManhattan » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:41 pm

Thank you! I'm hoping I can get it dismissed as I'm fully caught up (including November) now and have proof of payment.
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Postby UESManhattan » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:37 pm

Just an update...the petition was vacated by the court. The judge was pleasantly not-very-nice to my landlord's attorney :)

On another note, I just walked in to a hand written sign on our entrance door stating that we won't have heat or hot water "until further notice" and thanking us for "understanding." :roll:
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Postby TenantNet » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:16 pm

A very typical LL holiday gift.

Get familiar with the heat/hot water rules on the forum's Reference Section. Keep a log and call 311 at lease once a day. Have other tenants do the same. Consider forming a tenants' association.
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