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Post HP Action Feedback

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Post HP Action Feedback

Postby castle777 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:09 pm

This board has been so helpful in navigating court. Thanks to all.
Maybe this will help someone also.

After sending my LL/Managers pictures of building/apartment conditions and getting little response(again), I filed an HP action and also discovered that there were 2 separate addresses in the HPD files for the building. I discovered that 311 complaints were going to a false address after an HPD inspector showed up at the neighbors looking for me. After the HP action filing HPD sent another inspector down and he added 6 violations to the building. They also corrected the double address. In court the HPD lawyer explained that LL's don't have access to their system so this wasn't apparently intentional. Court was the only way to confirm this.

Needless to say this freaked the management out and they actually fixed things that had been neglected for decades and decades. It's now a safer place. They filed an adjournment to get this done but now I have to go back and follow it all up. There are still some outstanding issues.

I need an opinion on the financial aspect of this as I have withheld rent for the 3 months as soon as I found the multiple HPD addresses. They have just sent a shake down letter for payment but there is no way I can ethically pay them (and their trumped up fees) in full for their past dangerous negligence and unacceptable service.

Should I do a deal as soon a possible for the back rent as I've noticed that their tactic seems to be to try and destroy credit. Any experiences with this?

Or should I wait to get a non payment dispossess petition from them and file a countersuit for past Bad Conditions in the building/apartment. This might lead to a settlement deal with an abatement.

I have pictures and documents of everything from the paid checks (which are different than what the shake down collection lawyers are threatening me with), to the violations of the fire department shutting down the boiler on one occasion. They almost blew up the building by hiring an unlicensed contractor. They are scary scary unaccountable people. As far as I'm concerned they should be in jail. Great news is that they also manage 20+ other buildings. I've had people tell me to go to the DA or even the FEDs with my info.

Any opinions or perspectives are greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
castle777
 
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Postby TenantNet » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:15 pm

Well, it's possible that the dual addresses might be a problem in any non-payment case. They could say they were unaware of the violations as they weren't being sent to their address.

If you've had reduced services or bad conditions, you are probably entitled to an abatement in rent ... that you would raise as a defense and counterclaim in a non-payment proceeding. How much depends on the judge and historical abatement decisions. There is a list , i.e., so much for no heat, so much for lack of XXX and so on. But I've never seen the list. And there might be factual issues of the case that might impact the abatement levels.

Just curious who this landlord is. Could you send us the info on the landlord via private mail?" Thanks.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:48 pm

Hi All
Thanks so much for your care & concerns for other tenants in sharing your story.
Since HPD had 2 addresses did you find out how? Of course an LL does not have access to HPD's system, but I'm wondering if at some point in time was it clerical or did the LL file seperate docs whenever?
I wish you the best of luck & success :wink:
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Postby castle777 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:16 am

Thanks for the feedback.

I thought the "false address" was highly suspicious and I wouldn't put it past the management to use it to get out of violations.

I filed a heating complaint with 311 when nothing was serviced or turned on for Oct 1. Then I just happened to walk out of my building as the inspector was at the next address. I talked to him and he was looking for me by name at the wrong place. I went online and looked up both the address he had and my actual address and there were two separate HPD codes and entires. There were also complaints from earlier on in the year which a neighbor had reported. I live in a 6 family building. There is a privately owned building in the back of two stories which was getting the complaints. It's clear to see the difference in the records by the amount of floors in the records. HPD said that long ago the two places may have been one property. Now complaints should go to the correct file.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:08 pm

Hi All
Jeeze..sounds like a convoluted bait & switch. Good that you got it straightened out.
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Petition Dates

Postby castle777 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:50 pm

Just an update and a question that I can't find an answer for. I received a non-payment petition even though I started paying rent again. The numbers and dates on the document are completely incorrect. Bogus fees as well.

I'm confused that there is a verified date listed on the petition in a few places, but then there is no date when the doc was served. In my case they taped it to my door on Friday. The verified date was from a week ago. It took them a week to serve the petition. Is this normal? How does the court recognize the served date and 5 days after? Does this include weekends? This is the only thing I've received from the court thus far.

Thanks for any info.
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Postby TenantNet » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:21 pm

I haven't re-read all the previous posts ... but off the top of my head ... even if you started paying rent again, there might be months that are still due in the LL's eyes).

As for coherency, LL's are famous for making it confusing. They often will apply a current payment (i.e., for January 2013) for a month that was outstanding from way back when. If you indicated on your check or MO that the payment was for January 2013, then they should not be able to apply it to a month in the past. Unfortunately some Housing Court judges don't understand this.

They do this to avoid Laches, where if the month they seek is from a long time ago, they have to go to Civil Court, not Housing Court.

As for fees, check your lease. In many cases, they can't add fees to a case in Housing Court, but it depends on what the supposed fees are for.

The Petition and Notice of Petition will have a date on them, and that generally is the same date as the Verification. Service happens after that.

If they taped it to your door on Friday, that's "nail and mail" service where they will state that they could not serve you in person. It also means they must also send it to you by regular and certified mail.

Once the serve you properly, then they must file an "affidavit of service" with the copy they file in Housing Court, where it will attest as to how service was made.

Verification has nothing to do with service. It can take then several weeks to serve a Petition. Don't get caught up on the delay.

But once you are served, you should either go to Housing Court ASAP and put in an answer, or produce your own answer and serve that, if you have the knowledge on how to do that (most tenants don't). The third alternative is to get a lawyer.
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Postby castle777 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:55 pm

Thanks for the info. I have all the cashed checks they said I didn't pay and a paylist to try to sort things out.

It's interesting also how a cleared check from a bank does not have a cleared or deposited date on it. ?! It's in the bank statement however.
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