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Escrow accounts between Tenant and LL

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Escrow accounts between Tenant and LL

Postby Cylon452 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:30 pm

I have a neighbor that is having the rent check Not being cashed by the LL. No matter how the tenant sends the rent check, certified, registered,signature conformation, change of LL destination address, etc. The LL is claiming they are not receiving the checks or whatever creative story the LL makes up.

Correct me if i am incorrect.
1. i told tenant to file a complaint with HCR ( formally DHCR )
2. HCR will have the tenant setup the escrow account with the proper forms and may even contact the Building owner.

I have no issues and LL yet but it's coming on an unrelated issue. This may be retaliatory for my neighbor ( in the same building ) because tenant force the LL to due work in his unit ( with email proof) and i feel there may be some discrimination going on. This has been going on for months.

So i told tenant to setup a escrow account where tenant and the LL open a special joint bank account where the tenant deposits the money in a bank an the LL make the withdraw for the rent. Therefore there is proof the tenant payed the rent to the bank (Funds ready for Rent for LL ) and it's up to the LL to get the rent money from the bank. Problem solved.

If i missed a step somewhere please correct me. I'm meeting with the tenant later tonight and tomorrow.

I hope this post helps other Tenants.

Thank you
Cylon452
 
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Re: Escrow accounts between Tenant and LL

Postby TenantNet » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:12 pm

I don't think DHCR can do anything about a LL refusing rent, or even if they have jurisdiction. DHCR has nothing to do with escrow accounts as far as I know. That's a court thing.

If you have a lawyer, the lawyer can hold the money in escrow. Or the lawyer can send the landlord (or the landlord's lawyer a letter) demanding they accept the rent.

You can buy money orders, itself a form of escrow. But that can get tricky and getting refunds from the MO issuing company is a bit complicated, and they might charge a hefty fee.

Stop trying to figure out the LL's excuses. The tenant can keep the money in his own account as long as he doesn't spend it, but of course the better solution is to keep the tenant from spending the money.

This is really a non-payment issue, and chances are the LL is trying to set up the tenant. I'm assuming the tenant can document all the effort made, such as receipts from the post office, etc.

Eventually the LL will bring a non-payment suit. Assuming there is no question about LL allegations of prior unpaid rent from months/years ago, or the legal rent itself, once you get to court, one defense will be "rent tendered and refused" (all the documentation can be saved for trial or motions). You get to court and let the judge or court attorney know:

a) you have tried many times to pay the rent
b) detail the LL's excuses
c) show the judge or court attorney the documentation (post office receipts, copy of the money order or the actual money order if it came back to you)
d) tell them you have a check or MO (show it to them) that you can pay rent right now.

Even the worst judge will turn to the LL and say, "why aren't you accepting the rent and you should take it now." Case over.

If there is discrimination, the tenant can file complaints with the NYS or NYC Human Rights. I think the city agency is better than the state agency, but not positive ab out that.

Setting up a bank account for the LL to withdraw the funds? I don't think that's a good idea, and any LL won't go for it.

My LL plays games on occasion. I send mail by Certificate of Mailing. For even better proof, send by Certified mail. Beyond that I would not bother. Just prove you made the attempt.
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Re: Escrow accounts between Tenant and LL

Postby Cylon452 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:27 am

Even the worst judge will turn to the LL and say, "why aren't you accepting the rent and you should take it now." Case over.

LOL you got that right. Thank you for the quick reply. Tenant has all the returned mail not delivered and email to and from the LL. And tenant has the money to pay.
I'll the Tenant not to worry. They all know about Tenant.dot but they all ask me to create the topics and questions for them.

Hope this helps other who come here.

Thank you
Cylon452
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:11 pm

Re: Escrow accounts between Tenant and LL

Postby TenantNet » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:45 am

Just make sure the tenant doesn't spend the money on something else. That happens all the time - it's human nature. And even now more important with COVID-19. Many tenants have reduced or no income, and yes, they have other obligations as well.

I understand the dilemma. While the pols have created what we see as fake relief measures, the rent is not canceled, and not likely to be canceled.
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Re: Escrow accounts between Tenant and LL

Postby Landlords Boy » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:38 am

Cylon452 wrote:I have a neighbor that is having the rent check Not being cashed by the LL. No matter how the tenant sends the rent check, certified, registered,signature conformation, change of LL destination address, etc. The LL is claiming they are not receiving the checks or whatever creative story the LL makes up.
It's possible the LL is telling the truth. Due to COVID, not all mailmen deliver mail that requires signatures. I've gotten stuff returned and some tenants have told me their certified stuff is getting dropped at the door without the mailman getting the green card signed. And last month a DHCR administrator called me to resolve a matter, an exchange that usually would have been done via certified mail.
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Re: Escrow accounts between Tenant and LL

Postby TenantNet » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:00 pm

It's possible DHCR called as the admin is likely working from home (as are many govt agencies). We hear that Gertz is essentially empty (or has been).

OTOH, yes the USPS has gotten very sloppy with cert. mail. But the OP says he's tried a number of different ways. I could see one instance where cert. was lost or not delivered, but he says the tenant has tried a number of different times.

He says the LL is offering excuses, so there must be some communication happening, presumably by phone or email. If the LL really wants the rent, he will find a way to get it.
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