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I Need a Law 101 Answer

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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I Need a Law 101 Answer

Postby Upper_West_Side » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:25 pm

In early 1981, I signed (but did not date) a rent-stabilized lease. Landlord never returned a countersigned copy that was witnessed and dated.

Now Landlord has started an eviction suit. I am demanding a jury trial. Landlord has opposed by citing a jury-waiver clause in the lease. As evidence, Landlord submitted photocopies of the lease -- which clearly shows that he neither signed, dated, nor had it witnessed.

Is that lease valid? If not, am I correct in assuming the jury-waiver clause never went into effect due to Landlord's negligence?

Would appreciate not only your thoughts but also legal citations in New York State Landlord-Tenant or Contract Law.

Many thanks.
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:40 pm

What have you already found in your search of the forum and Housing Court Decisions?
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Postby Upper_West_Side » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:51 pm

Maybe I've been plugging in the wrong search terms, but "valid contract," "properly-executed contract" etc. turn up nothing.

There's an interesting decision - Camilleri v Pena, 2008 NY Slip Op 52546(U) [21 Misc 3d 145(A)] - in which Appellate, 1st Department, affirmed that Respondent deserved a jury trial "in the absence of any showing that the original stabilized lease agreement contained an enforceable jury waiver clause."

My case is of course slightly different. The lease does contain that clause.

The question is, was that lease properly executed, given the absence of Landlord's countersignature, much less dating and witnessing?
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:03 pm

I've never seen a lease witnessed. Try "jury waiver" in your search.

The question is if the lease becomes valid when you accept it an return it to the LL, or when they execute it and return a copy to you.
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Postby Upper_West_Side » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:45 pm

I've searched "jury waiver" and the manifold hits do not address this question.

"The question is if the lease becomes valid when you accept it an return it to the LL, or when they execute it and return a copy to you."

Exactly. Which is why I'm posting here. Someone on another board suggested that RSC demands that LL return a countersigned copy of the lease within 30 days of Tenant's signing. In my case, LL did not. So guess what I'm reading next? RSC.

Albest.
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:06 pm

Don't just check this forum. There are decisions on the rest of the site.
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Postby Upper_West_Side » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:22 pm

Please color me Confused.

What exact term should I search on the rest of tenant.net?

Albest.
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