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LL is Blocking Rent Payments - Rent Stabilized

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

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LL is Blocking Rent Payments - Rent Stabilized

Postby luckyredpr » Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:27 pm

1) Does the LL have the right to prevent me from paying my rent?

2) How can I pay rent if the LL has blocked the payments to their payment service?

I live in a rent stabilized apartment and have been behind on rent during Covid-19. Beginning in June of 2021, I started paying more than one month's rent each month so that I could pay rent and arrears and bring my account up-to-date. It is my goal to be up-to-date per the LL's accounting by the end of June 2021.

The LL wants me out and has told someone there is an eviction action against me. I have called the Clerk of the Court and nothing has been filed yet. In March I filed the Tenant's Declaration of Hardship During Covid-19 and received confirmation of receipt from Housing Court.

The LL uses a service to receive payments. When I went on this service to pay rent today, it said payments are not being accepted from me.

I want to keep paying my rent and additional money towards arrears. What can I do? Do I need to contact the LL's attorney?

Please advise. Thank you.
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Re: LL is Blocking Rent Payments - Rent Stabilized

Postby TenantNet » Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:21 am

You and thousands of other tenants.

This is called "payment tendered and refused." You will need to document everything you do to make the payment, including all receipts you get from the payment service (I presume that is online).

You don't have to pay online. You can pay by check or money order online. They have to accept legal tender.

You can also make payment by mail. Send certified (more expensive) or by "certificate of mailing" where you will get a receipt from the USPS of the cost of the mail method and also proof of mailing.

Certificate of mailing only gives you proof of mailing, but certified return receipt requested is supposed to give you proof of receipt. If you don't get the green card back, you can track that online.

But be aware that the USPS is falsifying receipt information with certified mail during COVID (and not telling people that there is no proof of receipt).

But still, you get the green card and white slip that gets attached to the envelope. So get the proof of mailing, proof of payment and I would even take a photo of the envelope before you send it.

If the LL returns the payment, then usually they will say they aren't accepting it and why. Keep all that. You do all this in anticipation of them taking you to court. You can even send a letter with your payment - which is more documentation.

They aren't preventing your payment per se, just not accepting it.

You want to be able to go to court and prove to a judge that you are attempting payments and they are refusing it.

Have they sent you a Notice to Cure or Lease Termination for anything? If so, they would be working up to a Holdover case and there would be a period of time in which if they accept payment, that would vitiate their court case. A non-payment is different.

When you say there is an "eviction action" against you, you need to find out if it's a holdover or a non-payment. While the courts are starting to reopen, there is a huge backlog. I would do everything by mail and document EVERYTHING with multiple proofs. Also send the LL a letter explaining that you want to pay off all the arrears and this is your plan.

A holdover would be different.

You can track cases once they ware filed by Ecourts:

That's for Civil Court (and Housing Court), but Supreme Court actions are different. Holdovers are usually not in the computer until they have been served on a tenant. But you should get a Notice to Cure and Lease Termination.

And yes, the hardship should prevent anything, but that's only through May 1st (for non-pays only). The legislature is taking steps to extend that through August 31st, but it's not in place just yet. So keep the hardship information in your file.

How did you file the hardship and what sort of proof do you have? Is it proof of mailing, or proof of receipt? You can also send the LL a copy of that so they know you should be protected.
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