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Paying stipulations in Court

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Paying stipulations in Court

Postby castle777 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:57 am

Just following up on the procedure of paying a stipulation.

If an agreement is made before trial and a stipulation is drafted and signed, is it risky to pay the lawyer representing the LL? Is it covered in the stip about who receives the check? Sorry if this is a stupid question but I've never seen a stip. The LL won't be there in person of course.

Trying to find details on this but it's difficult to via searches.

Thanks.
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Postby TenantNet » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:19 pm

Putting the mechanics aside for the moment... you said "if an agreement is made before trial... Why would you contemplate paying the LL before the trial? What about your defenses and counterclaims, if any? Are all repairs made and bad conditions alleviated in the apt? Are all services being provided? Is the rent the legal rent?

On the mechanics, a stip is a piece of paper that spells out in detail the obligations of both parties, and it would acknowledge receipt of any money you choose to pay as paid in full, and that the LL will correct any monthly billing or statements to reflect that, and that the LL will discontinue the proceeding ... AND ... this is MOST important ... do not agree to any stip that has the word "judgment" in it. NO MATTER WHAT, do not agree to that even if everything else looks OK.

A stip should be signed by the judge as "so ordered." Remember, if you don't do what the stip says, the LL can come back after you even if the LL hasn't done all he agreed to do. The obligations operate independently.

The money would likely be as a Money Order or certified check. See what the LL or his lawyer will accept.

If this is money payable into court while the proceeding goes on, then that is payable by money order or certified check and paid (in Manhattan) in the Clerk's office on the second floor.
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Postby castle777 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:46 pm

Thanks. Good stuff about the mechanics of the stip.

We are actually pretty close to a number only there was a lot to consider.
My main reply to the petition was Breach of Warranty for no heat from a specific incident which was repaired. There is no counterclaim as I filed an HP action for later incidents and violations which were almost all repaired. Rent is the legal rent. Services are OK now.

They offered a deduction for the first incident only I had to sit down and look through ALL my records. Gas bills, electric etc. to get a final number. We should be able to hash it out.

What does "judgement" on the stip imply? Does that signify that the case went to trial even if it didn't?

Thanks.
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Postby TenantNet » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:16 pm

Just put together the dates when heat was not provided, and agree on an abatement for that period of time. I've seen various numbers for an appropriate abatement, but 50% is not out of the ballpark. See http://gothamist.com/2012/11/05/hurricane_rent.php

Of course that doesn't count in July.

I would Google "New York rent abatement for no heat percent" or various versions of those search terms. If they are offering substantially less than that, you should renegotiate. If you're close, then keep going. Remember , situations like this is when seasoned tenant attorneys are helpful (but yes, they will cost a bit of money to hire, so factor that in as well). A lot depends on what your goals are. Do you want the money? Or do you want to bust their balls? Have the been cooperative? Was the situation beyond their control?

Having no heat would be BOTH a defense and counterclaim.

Usually you would see words like "the tenant agrees to a final judgement..." or something like that. That means the court orders your eviction if you don't do everything you are required to do in the stip. You still have to pay the money even if you are evicted. It's a common ply from landlord lawyers. Be forewarned.
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Postby castle777 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:02 pm

Thanks. Those are the details I was trying to look out for with the stip.

They've been relatively helpful with repairs etc since the HP action.

My main question now is: Why are you suing your tenants for non-payment instead of the contractor who destroyed your boiler. !? Maybe because the contractor was unlicensed.

This is a great reference for past weather conditions and temperatures by zip code. http://www.wunderground.com/history/air ... l#calendar
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Postby TenantNet » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:27 pm

Tenant liability is a separate issue from DOB issues or contractor liability.

Is this a relatively new boiler? Did the LL file with DHCR for a rent increase? If so, and if it is still pending, make sure DHCR knows of the problems.

If the contractor was unlicensed, chances are the installation was not done with a valid DOB permit ... which would be required. Looking into that might give you some leverage on the negotiations.

But other than that, safety issues behoove you to have DOB inspect the boiler. Bad boiler installations can be VERY dangerous, from leaking fumes to explosions. Get inspectors in if the situation warrants.
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